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Jang Hyuk Is An Ambitious Prince In 'Empire of Lust'

BY Julie Jones | Feb 25, 2015 12:42 PM EST

Shine Or Go Crazy

It has been a busy and successful year for actor Jang Hyuk, who shot back into the spotlight with his role in the popular comedy "Fated To Love You." He revived his chemistry with co-star Jang Na Ra for the third time in the single episode drama "Old Farewell," then proceeded to win acclaim in the historical series "Shine or Go Crazy."

"Shine Or Go Crazy" recently broke its own ratings record by scoring 13.1 percent, beating out the contenders "Heard It Through The Grapevine" and "Blood."

But that's not all Jang Hyuk has been busy with. He is also getting ready star in the upcoming film "Empire of Lust," also known as "The Age of Innocence." He headlines the film with co-stars Kang Ha Na and Shin Ha Kyun.

In that film he plays Prince Yi Bang Won. The prince is the fifth son of King Taejo. He helped his father overthrow the Goryeo dynasty and found the Joseon dynasty. But his father did not repay his loyalty and chose another successor.

At a press conference for the film, Jang said he portrayed the ambitious, often ruthless prince by focusing on his emotions.

"When people think of Lee Bang-won, they picture a strong-willed, ambitious and rational figure," he said. "I tried to highlight the emotional side of the character and illustrate different aspects of him, in contrast to previous depictions."

A general named Kim Min Jae, played by Shin, watches the prince carefully, worried that he will oust his father and try to seize the throne. Kim falls in love with a courtesan, played by Kang Ha Na not knowing that she is planning revenge against him.

Yi Bang Won's eventual ascension to the throne as King Taejong, required a series of bloody coups. Some of them were waged against his siblings and tthe coups have therefore been described as the Strife of Princes.

The film's director Ahn Sang Hoon, became interested in this period of history when he noticed that some historical records were missing. In the process of filling in the missing blanks, he conceived of the story for "Empire of Lust."

At the press conference Ahn said that the film focuses more on the stories of the individuals who were caught up in these tragic struggles for power than the overall context of the historical events.

The film also stars Kang Ha Neul as Kim Min Jae's unhappy son.

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