Revalina S. Temat as Ayu in Saranghae, I Love You.
A bunch of South Korean TV series having invaded the country over the last few years, there now comes a joint production between Indonesia and South Korea which brings together actors from both countries in a new drama series, Saranghae, I Love You.
The drama unites Indonesian actress Revalina S. Temat, recognized for her roles in Perempuan Berkalung Sorban (The Woman in the Headscarf), Satu Jam Saja (Just One Hour) and Ummi Aminah, with Korean singer Tim Hwang.
The TV series, which tells the romantic story of a couple coming from two different backgrounds and cultures, is directed by Indonesian director Indrayanto Kurniawan, who previously helmed feature film Saus Kacang (Peanut Butter) and is a collaboration by local TV station Indosiar, Digital Network Aestetik and Asia Top Entertainment.
Revalina stars as Ayu, a young Balinese entrepreneur, while Tim plays Kim Young- min, a Korean singer and the son of powerful businessman Kim San.
Kim, whose mother was a famous Korean celebrity who mysteriously died in Bali, decides to come to Indonesia to discover the truth behind his mother’s death. Various events unravel during his visit to the country.
Revalina S. Temat (left) and Tim Hwang in a scene taken in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
“This series is about a universal love between two people coming from different cultures and how we understand each other,” said Rina Novita from Digital Network Aestetik.
Set in locations in South Korea and Indonesia — in Pyeongchang, Bali and Jakarta, the series will have a total of 30 episodes and will be aired by Indosiar in July.
Rina came up with the story idea four years ago, asking late director and story writer Nasri Cheppy, best known for the Catatan Si Boy (Boy’s Diary) franchise, to create the synopsis of the series. But it remained just a plan following Nasri’s death in 2010.
“Before his death, he asked me to keep on moving and make this project come true. I later teamed up with noted director Noto Bagaskoro, who helmed feature films Rini Tomboy and Anak Seribu Pulau [The Boy from Thousand Islands] to direct the series,” Rina said.
Noto, however, died in February while on a mission to South Korea to scout possible shooting locations. Indrayanto then came on to the scene to replace Noto.
“This sinetron is not merely a pure drama, it is a blend of drama and comedy,” said Indrayanto about the series.
For fans of Tim, this will be the first time seeing his acting skills as a leading actor in a TV series. Tim is known more as a singer, with four albums under his belt, and as an actor in musical plays, he earned recognition in the musical The Harmonium in My Memory in 2011.
Both Revalina and Tim found the characters in Saranghae challenging, saying that the language is the main issue.
“There are a lot of language issues and barriers. We called it, lost in translation,” Tim said at a press conference of the drama recently.
Tim also does a duet with Indonesian songstress Astrid Sartiasari in the series soundtrack titled “Saranghapnida” (I Love You).
“This is the toughest project I have ever done in terms of acting, language and filming location. We had to shoot the sinetron in Pyeongchang during freezing winter,
it was minus 20 Celsius at the time, before moving to Bali, which was really hot,” explained Revalina.
Tim and Revalina are supported by an ensemble of a cast, which includes Indonesian actors, such as Rini Yulianti, Anna Tarigan, Mike Lucock and Rudy Salam and Korean actors like Kwon Jin and Geum Dan-bi.
Rina said that networks in countries in Southeast Asia and Oceania had approached them to buy the rights to the series. “The drama will likely be broadcast in Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.”
Photos Courtesy of Digital Network Aestetik