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And Makino (in the Korean Hana Yori Dango) is…

Gu Hye-sun???

Erm. Okay.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Gu Hye-sun (of hit family drama Pure 19, sageuk King & I, and fusion sageuk Strongest Chil Woo). A lot. I think she’s one of her generation’s more promising actors. She can do vulnerable, and she can do inner toughness. She can cry. She can emote. I respect her for writing and directing her own short film.

But I’ve never seen her as serious contender for Makino Tsukushi in Boys Before Flowers, aka the Korean Hana Yori Dango, mainly because (sorry to sound shallow) she’s too old. Born in November 1984, this also puts her older than all the F4 boys, although thankfully I do think Lee Min-ho in the Doumyouji role looks of an age with her despite the three-year age difference (he’s a 1987-er).

But since she’s been picked, I’ll be happy with it, I suppose. (And I’m not outright disappointed about it, just surprised. At least it wasn’t Lee Yeon-hee or Go Ara.) Director Jeon Ki-sang (Delightful Girl Chun Hyang, My Girl) explains that he chose Gu Hye-sun because she fits Tsukushi’s image well, and acknowledges that the public had tossed her name around a lot as a prospective Makino when the drama was first announced.

Via My Daily

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I actually thought Ara was one of the [more] likely actresses to at least be considered. But Gu Hye-Sun? Hm. Interesting. And by interesting I mean "Not Anyone I Ever Would Have Considered For The Role." Not because i dislike her or anything. Just because...I don't know. I don't really see her as Makino.

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I was also very suprised because she's kinda . . . old.
I would of liked to see Ara there but knew it wasn't
possible because she was too pretty. =(

- Kyu

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I guess she's ok. I like her in Strongest Chil-woo. I think she looks young even though she's old. We'll just have to wait and see if she can pull off Makino. If only kim Su-nah or Kim Min-hee can play Makino. They're both tough, bubbly, can act, just not... young.

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Well, we'll just have to see how this turns out. Even with the age factor, atleast she somewhat fits the roll, from what I see. I bet a significant amount of people will be disappointed though.

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hmm.. i dunno who i was expecting to be makino,
but for sure, i wasn't expecting GHS.
i don't hate her or anything,
it's just that i dunno if she fits makino's image
and (importantly) will have chemistry with the 2 leading guys.

well, i just hope that she'll grow into me while watching the drama :]

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omg.. yea i really was surprised too.. shes like you said a bit old.. .... (well compared to the boys.. )

wow. really can NOT believe they chose her.. but yea im just glad they didnt pick go ara or lee yeon hee.. (thank goshh!)

so i guess im semi satisfied (not really) with the pick. but i guess the more i think about it its hard to really pick one person who definitely fits the role as makino.. (except for mao inoue)

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yeah... this is such a suprise. Someone everybody never thought for the role of makino was picked.. Hope she can plat it well, evntho she's a bit old..

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That's what I was feeling too. I mean its not that I don't like Gu Hye Sun as an actress, but she just wasn't someone who I had in mind as Makino. I was hoping really really hoping for Park Min Ji to play it. But, oh wells, what can you do? It's already been decided. I hope she does a good job playing the role. I have a feeling that she can pull off looking quite young.

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I really think that she will be able to play the role well especially since her performance in Pure 19. She has the cuteness that I think Makino needs... and she isn't that old. relatively young. Thanks for posting!

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I think Yoona (of SNSD) will be the perfect choice. I'm not a fan at all of SNSD but as an actress Yoona is quite talented. But now it's too late...

Anyway I'm not a fan of "young dramas" so I don't expect too much of this.

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Shouldn't be too bad. There'll be no going around the fact that she's older than most of us would've liked, but she's younger than Yoon EunHye, and lord knows how many people wanted HER to be Tsukushi. Anyway, Barbie was older than all of the F4 in MG, and that worked out okay... So long as they all have chemistry (PLEASE GOD LET THERE BE CHEMISTRY) I'm okay with whatever.

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oy. if 24's considered old..

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Sue, I think most of us are talking in context of the original Hanadan, where the characters are in high school.

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not expecting her.. but i really like her. at least, eventho she's 24, she looks young like hmmt.. 17? and i can imagine her in schooluniform. ok, def cute. i really hope there will be chemistry.

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I am excited for this one...but I see disappointment ahead. This version will probably at least be better than the Taiwanese version...which in my opinion sucked.

HYD Japanese version will always be number one.

I like this actress but I just don't see her as Makino!!!

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Not that I know anything about HYD, but according to what I have read of the character Makino and what I've seen of Inoue Mao, this casting decision is a big, BIG mistake!

However, let's not be so quick to judge. I remember reading about the netizen reaction to the casting of Song Hye Kyo as Han Ji Eun for Full House, and how they didn't think she would be able to play a sassy role due to her being better known for melodramas. Look how things turned out?

Still, I would've preferred to see either Park Min Young, Park Shin Hye or Park Min Ji, but oh well, I am sure (hope) they know what they're doing.

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So funny...I didn't think 24 is old at all. I think she'll do fine as the lead role.

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HELLO! Good actress but role suitability? Ermm.....

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i say that I have to agree with javabeans here so relieved that its not Go Ara.

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It is a little stretching the fact to have a 24-year-old to be playing a 17-year-old. Even if Asians are reputed to look younger than their age, a 7 year difference? Hopefully she can look young, and it probably isn't difficult for the guys to look older. And also she has that "nice" image, so it would be believable for F4 to like her. I guess they wanted a "safe" choice as Makino in case the guys absolutely can NOT act. Oh well...as everyone says, let there be chemistry!

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she's the one partnered with eric in chil woo right????? since im just watching that show right now i cant picture her as makino..... im not looking at the age but she her features for me is better for older actors in more mature serious roles (fine chil woo is not that serious but still.....) i will agree with the rest of the hana yori dango fans out there (and probably wish, pray and others) that there will be chemistry.... on a good note i am so happy that she will not end up with hyun joong (aka.rui) in the show coz honestly right now cant even squeeze just an ounce of the kilig factor......

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Initial reaction: Whut?

But yeah, as long as she can pull off the spunky, fierce Makino we all know and love, it should be fine. (I thought they would have a stronger actress to carry the boys, but, err, okay.)

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uh.
what?

OMG! NO

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she's too old and too pretty to play Makino..i wish they chose Park Shin Hye instead.

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I cant see her as Makino... yet. Back then when I first saw Inoue Mao, I thought that she might be weak as an actress, but her appearance totally fit.
Also, the way they chose the Korean F4, all the guys are more like, hm, the idol type, so it's also hard for me to imagine the chemistry between GHS and the two guys.

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she never came up from my mind.. i didnt even know her until now.. yeah, i agree with you, she's a bit older than makino character but she looks young though. but why dont you like Go Ara, i would very much love her if she's makino.. i will give this girl a try, i havent watch any of her dramas so i dont know anything about her acting but i heard she won an award as a best new actress.. i guess she's alright then. i cant wait for the drama, i heard its going to be 24 epsisodes,? thats longer than i thought it would be.. i'm going to watch this drama not thingking about the age difference between the actors, because age difference get into my nerves which is the reason why i dont like watching dramas with older girl and younger boy relationship

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What the.. GHS is awesome but she's definitely not a Makino.

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Wow. Nice double standard javabeans! I'm actually really disappointed in your assessment of Gu Hye-sun as "too old" to play the korean makino. In the original Japanese version, Matsumoto Jun was 22, Oguri Shun was 23, Matsuda Shota was 20, and Abe Tsuyoshi was 23, yet they all managed to look and act the role of high school students, a good 4-5 year age difference for most of them. Why is it that slightly older male actors are given lee-way to play younger characters, but that same standard doesn't hold for their female counterparts? I mean most of the cast for the Korean F4, with the exception of Kim Bum, is 21+....don't you think that's also a little "too old" for highschool? As for starz12, I'm assuming that the less than 3 year age difference between the male and female lead only bothers you (she's only 23, btw), because Gu Hye-sun is older than her male co-star. Why am I not surprised that in the 21st century female chauvinists exist as well.

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hmm, i don't really know much about her but to me she looks just a little older than i would've liked, and she looks too...cute? especially in that picture, she looks so fragile, and in my mind (after watching HYD) Makino is a toughie

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I'm sorry, how is this a double standard?

Makino's character is in her second year of high school. Gu Hye-sun is 24, 25 by Korean standards. I think she's on the old end of the spectrum, considering she's several years older than the other guys she's playing against, who are supposed to be older than her.

I never said anything about the guys being given leeway to play younger. But since we're going there, I think a 22-year-old guy playing 18-19 is less a stretch than a 24-year-old girl playing 17.

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We'll see....

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Hm... If I remember correctly, I believe Makino is supposed to be a year younger than the guys. Honestly, I really wanted a young, fresh face to play Makino. She doesn't look like a fresh, stubborn, suppressed and earnest high school girl. If she can convince me, fine. But Makino is supposed to be slightly cluelessly innocent as well, and I'm not sure 24/25 can pull off that look as a 16/17 yr old. That's 8 yrs.

The guys I've looked at, and they look reasonable for 17/18. Especially Rui. And the other three are supposed to look slightly mature (considering one is a womanizer, the other likes old woman, and the other one a bull.) I'm a bit worried if she can pull the chemistry off with them. This is also my first time hearing of her... So I have absolutely no idea of her acting either. Meh for me...

At least the wait is over.

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Well, since you do want to go there, by korean standards, two out of the four F4, Kim Hyun Joong and Kim Joon, are 23 and 24, yet there'll still playing 17/18 year old high school students if we're only going by season 1 of hana yori dango. How does a less than 3 year age difference between Gu Hye-sun (Nov 84') and the male lead make her "several years older" than him (June 87')...you do realize how ridiculous that sounds? And with the exception of Kim Bum, she's only a few months to maybe a little under 2 years older than the rest of the F4. *sighs* ...it's pointless in arguing with someone who only sees her side of the perspective.

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JadeS, I'm not going to fight you although you seem bent on being confrontational. I think you're trying to project an agenda onto me that I honestly don't have.

You will note that the guys are also supposed to be older than Makino.

And yes, in most people's books, nearly 3 years = several.

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ooh, i don't know about this casting. i'm indifferent to this actress...not much of a fan but i don't dislike her either. i was so excited when news first broke out about a korean HYD but my excitement was waned a lot since the casting has been confirmed. maybe i'll end up liking the drama since i'm not expecting much of it now.

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come on Jade S stop trying to sh*t-stir and sound condescending because you're pissy that the blog owner has a point.

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although i was relatively skeptical on how casting has been so far, i have to say Gu Hye Sun is somewhat of a better choice than i could have imagined, especially since i was sorely disappointed at the guy's casting.

sure, gu hye sun might be considered "old," i do think she looks younger than her age and i'm pretty confident she can pull off acting like a high school-er because she's so bubbly and cute.

but no matter the circumstances, i'm still very skeptical on how this drama is going to turn out ... i'm trying desperately to keep my expectations low because of how much i loved the original Hanadan ... i just hope this k.version won't kill my perfect image of the Hanadan series ...

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sorta disappointed...
sorta a lot!
i know she is a good actress but i really don't think she fits the role.
i don't see where the director saw it... nope still don't see it.
i truthfully think that snsd's sooyoung could do better... not just because i'm her fan but because you can actually see her as the goofy, kind Makino that is how she's suppose to be not i'm kind and lovely... always pure innocent etc. what ever this actress is... i truthfully don't think she can pull it off/it'll get low ratings... i say this because i REALLY care!
i'm not sure how great the drama will turn out know... not that i wasn't disappointed in some of the guys he picked either. (i've never heard of the other two... not kim bum or hyunjoong.) I think Korea could have done better...
well i guess i'll just have to wait and see. ^_^'

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Finally the main girl is chosen!
Well, I've got to say that I'm happy ~
I haven't seen any of Gu Hye-sun's dramas, but it's good that they choose someone that can act Makino well. :)

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boy, this k-HYD cast really is weird. i think Kim Bum is the only one out of the 5 I'm comfortable with. Makes me a little hesitant to watch it...honestly, who the heck are Lee Min-Ho and Kim Joon whatshisface?

Oh well, at last Gu Hye Sun is cute.

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hmmm this quite strikes as surprise to me as well.
i like gu hye sun, she's good. she can act the part.
but hmm.. i dont know if she'd look the part and make it that believable..
but good costumes, makeup and acting might be able to pull it off..

honestly, i would have picked someone like Han Hyo Joo.
or maybe Lee Yeon Hee.
but maybe they fit the too pretty image?
or something?
cause like in the taiwanese HYD..
Makino was like not so pretty and a bit tomboyish.
but jap HYD is a higher standard too..

ill wait and see :)

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My first reaction is "OMG GOO HYE SUN!" but then my 2nd reaction is "OMG Goo Hye Sun??"

like everyone said, i like her but i'm a bit doubtful of how well she fits the part. but i hope it works.

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Awww I'm kinda disappointed... GHS has nv been a fave of mine (am watching Pure 19 now & somehow her character thoroughly rubs me the wrong way) though I must say she can act. ah ha mb it's a good thing, the Makino character (at least in the Taiwanese version i watched) was cute but pretty annoying and coarse, much like her Gukhwa character in Pure 19.

and to Haru, Yoon Eun Hye is NOT older than GHS, they are both born in the same year (84). Though a YEH fan, am kinda glad it wasn't her. Idol drama types, while i like watching them hehe, am not necessarily the best if you wanna be known as a serious actor. Actually I personally don't think the age diff matters, in the Taiwanese version, the girl playing Makino (Barbie Hsu) if I'm not not wrong is older than ALL the F4 guys. She was 25, Jerry Yen (Doumyouji) was 24 and Vic Chou (Rui) was 20 with the rest in between. but she looked young so it was perfectly fine.

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the casting for this drama is rather interesting, isn't it? i guess we just have to see...

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Amen to the Lee Yeon Hee, Go Ara comment in the article. Both gorgeous actresses, but not talented enough. I like Koo Hye Sun, although yes, she does seem a bit old to be playing a high schooler.

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I haven't seen her act but I've seen her pictures. She can look young sometimes and other times, she can look older. And in those Strongest Chil Woo recaps, I thought she looked a bit old- maybe it's the bags under her eyes and the hairstyle? She's pretty and cute but she doesn't fit the image of "naturally spunky" to me- but I hope she can prove me wrong. I think it would have been better to cast her in the role of Shizuka-the girl Rui likes. Gu Hye-sun looks too polished and is pretty in your average-Korean-celeb way. I had imagined Makino to be pretty but in a distinctive way that can also be construed as not-pretty. haha i'm sounding so contradictory.

Honestly, I don't know who I was hoping to play Makino. I can't think of any girl between the ages of 17-21 would be able to play Makino naturally. I'll wait and see how Gu Hye-sun and the F4 guys will deliver- the casting could have been much MUCH worse so I'm a bit relieved.

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As long as she can play the part well, I'm happy. And although she is slightly older than the F4 actors, she *looks* around their age so she seems like a pretty good fit :) I'll wait to see the chemistry between the cast.

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can she play a spunky tough girl? I hope so. Thats the reason I like Makino's character. As for the guys, I like them, well only know 3 of them but I hope everyone can work together well. I love Hana Yori Dango so I hope the korean version will be good too. please...:P

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I don't know much about her. No deny she looks older than the boys but so was Taiwanese version. But she looks like she can pull off the cute, innocent look.

I'm just glad it wasn't Go Ara. She's pretty but her acting is annoying in a way.

Anyway, I am not so fond of Hana Yori in the first place but it's fun to compare this one with other 2 versions.

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@ carribeane: I realize that Barbie was older than all of the guys in F4 in MG, you can see in my post I said as much. I don't really care all that much about age differences either- some of my favorite dramas have couples who are as much as nine years apart both on-and-off screen. I do realize that YEH and GHS are born in the same year, I brought up their ages mostly to make a point. In my opinion, the difference between their ages is a long enough time to establish that GHS is indeed younger, however short that time may be to everyone else... xD That being said, I wouldn't really like YEH to be Makino either.

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