New K-drama 'Queen of Divorce' offers lighthearted consolation on heavy topic

Actors E Ji-ah, left, and Kang Ki-young pose for photos during a press conference for the new JTBC drama ″Queen of Divorce″ held at Stanford Hotel Seoul in Mapo District, western Seoul, on Wednesday. [YONHAP]

Going through a divorce is never easy. And if it involves dirty legal battles requiring a collection of evidence to use against your former spouse, it can quickly become your worst nightmare. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have someone do that job for you? That's the premise of the new JTBC drama “Queen of Divorce,” starring E Ji-ah and Kang Ki-young.

“A divorce fixer is something that doesn’t exist in real life, so ‘Queen of Divorce’ has a fantasy, superhero element to it,” E said during a press conference for the drama held at a hotel in Mapo District, western Seoul, on Wednesday. “I approached my character Sarah as someone who helps out those in need as a hero.”

In “Queen of Divorce,” E’s Sarah teams up with Kang’s Ki-joon, a lawyer and business partner, to form the divorce resolution company, Solution. The duo takes care of “bad spouses” and helps clients gain the upper hand in their divorce proceedings. The first episode of “Queen of Divorce” airs Wednesday at 8:50 p.m.

“E has a stylish, somewhat cold and elegant image as an actor, but in ‘Queen of Divorce’ she gets rid of that exterior and performs a comical character,” director Park Jin-seok said. “Sarah is a hotheaded person who is like an older sibling and very down-to-earth. She goes to any lengths to solve the cases in front of her.”

Kang, who mostly had smaller roles before making a breakthrough with his supporting role in the hit ENA drama “Extraordinary Attorney Woo” (2022), is playing his first lead role in “Queen of Divorce.”

“This is my first work playing a lead role and I couldn’t be happier or more excited, but I am also very nervous,” Kang said. “I relied a lot on E, who has been in the industry way longer than me. I felt like a table with only three legs instead of four while filming ‘Queen of Divorce’ — struggling to find my balance. But I also want to enjoy the experience.”

The chemistry between E and Kang was palpable on set, despite “Queen of Divorce” being the first time they've worked together, according to the two actors.

“Every other scene had a comical element to it, and Kang and I would ad-lib and think up new ideas to suggest to the director,” E said. “Sometimes we would even surprise the director by ad-libbing without consulting him, and he was very happy with those scenes.”

Even though “Queen of Divorce,” being a comedy about divorces, may seem frivolous, the cast and director said that it does have a message for viewers that will show through the serious bits of the drama.

“We thought about naming the title of our drama to ‘It’s Okay to Break Up,’ but changed it — but that’s still the message of ‘Queen of Divorce,’ that it’s fine to end things with someone you once loved,” E said. “People sometimes hold on to their marriages even though they aren’t happy because they are scared of divorce and breaking up. We want to tell them, it won’t be the end of the world, and there will be people to help you along the way. I hope our drama will be a kind of consolation to those who have been disappointed in marriage.”

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