BY Julie Jones | Feb 22, 2016 09:58 AM EST
When "Descendants of the Sun" begins airing on February 24, all Song Hye Kyo and Song Joong Ki have to do after that is anticipate the ratings. That's because the drama was shot in advance, unlike most other k-dramas, which are filmed a few episodes at a time and close to air dates. That's a first for KBS, the network which produced the drama.
Filming the drama in advance means it can premiere in Korea and China at the same time, with Chinese viewers tuning in to the online video platform iQiyi. Censorship requirements in China make it difficult to show dramas that are filmed in the conventional way.
The anticipation is high as the drama is Song Joong Ki's comeback role after serving his two year mandatory military duty. He has not appeared on the small screen since his role in the 2012 drama "Nice Guy." It seemed a natural step to take on the role of a military man, Captain Yoo Shi Jin when he was fresh out of the military.
"Having recently been a soldier, I thought it would be easy to play this character, but Yoo turned out to be more complicated than I'd expected," said Song Joong Ki at the February 22nd press conference for the drama.
Since he did get the script while serving his tour of duty, he had time to accelerate his exercise routine, so that he could look his best.
"I'm not the kind of actor who is known for his physique," he said. "But I needed to look good."
The melodrama is set in the fictional country known as Wooreukeu, a country ravaged by war.
Song Hye Kyo plays Kang Mo Yeon, a doctor with a humanitarian organization. Kang Mo Yeon and Yoo Shi Jin first meet in Korea and then again in Wooreukeu, where they each have a mission. And where they will fall in love.
Being able to film in advance did offer Song Hye Kyo time to consult with the cast and crew on such topics as characters' motivations. But that was not necessarily always a good thing for the actress, last seen on the small screen in the 2013 drama "That Winter The Wind Blows."
"Sometimes there was too much time to think and that complicated things," said Song Hye Kyo at the press conference.
According to Song Joong Ki, the melodrama offers a love story, plus plenty of action and dramatic moments lightened by some comic ones.
"We needed helicopters, wars and earthquakes to make two people fall in love," he said.
Are you looking forward to this drama?
Latest Photo Slide Shows