BY Julie Jones | Jan 20, 2016 07:58 AM EST
It has been three years since Park Shi Hoo appeared on the small screen, playing a retail chaebol in the drama "Cheongdamdong Alice."
The actor, who returns in the OCN drama "Neighborhood Hero" has been absent from dramaland for three years following a charge of sexual assault that was eventually dropped. Because the charge and associated lawsuits were dropped, none of the major networks banned Park, as is sometimes the case when actors are involved in legal issues. But the negative publicity did make it less likely that he would be offered roles and it caused his name to be withdrawn from the Baeksang Drama Awards. Some speculated that his image was too tarnished to ever get another drama role.
Park contemplated appearing in a 2014 drama "Golden Cross, but ultimately reconsidered. Although he said he didn't decline the role due to public sentiment, news of his drama return prompted negative comments.
After the scandal Park spent some time in the U.S. and worked in Japan appearing in the Japanese film "Scent." He then made his Korean comeback in a film, "After Love," co-starring Yoon Eun Hye.
Although he is well known for romantic comedies, his new drama role requires plenty of action scenes. In his comeback drama he plays Baek Si Yoon, a former agent who buys a bar and becomes an undercover hero. While running the bar he hears about crime and injustice in the neighborhood and attempts to set things right. He enlists the help of one of his customers.
Park has done action scenes before. His serial killer role in the 2012 film "Confession of Murder" involved action scenes but that was not the only reason that Director Kwak Jung Eun cast him.
Kwak recently spoke to the The Korea Herald about his decision to cast Park. Portraying the character required more than skill at action scenes.
"Baek Si Yoon has some painful memories so I needed someone who was able to be sincere about his feelings as well," said Kwak. "Then I thought about Park Shi Hoo."
In the interview, Park spoke about his small screen return.
"It feels like a dream to be able to stand here once again," said Park.
The drama begins on January 23 and co-stars Kwon Yuri and Lee Soo Hyuk.
How do you feel about the actor's return to the small screen? Too soon? Enough time has passed? There can never be enough time? Time to stop judging him on a crime he was never convicted of?
What do you think? Let us know.
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