Drama Casting & News
All hail Queen Seon-deok
by | April 29, 2009 | 75 Comments


The first actor to get into character for the upcoming historical series Queen Seon-deok [선덕여왕] was Go Hyun-jung (HIT) taking on her court lady character of Mi-shil. Now the stills have been revealed for the second leading lady as Lee Yo-won (Surgeon Bong Dal-hee) takes the throne as the titular Queen.

The 50-episode Queen Seon-deok takes place in the era of the Three Kingdoms, in the Silla dynasty, and centers around the court politics and power struggle between the two ladies. (Mi-shil is the second most powerful woman in the court, next to the queen, and challenges her rival’s authority while using her femme fatale wiles to her best advantage.)

Lee Yo-won had a successful hit back in 2007 in the medical drama Surgeon Bong Dal-hee, although her follow-up series Bad Love (with Kwon Sang-woo) was pretty much a big flop. She explains taking on this role — she was brought in to replace Sung Yuri, whose casting caused something of an uproar and was swiftly retracted — by saying, “After reading the synopsis, I felt something like fate that I had to play Queen Seon-deok.”

The MBC series takes to the air next month on Mondays and Tuesdays, after Queen of Housewives ends. It will challenge SBS’s struggling epic historical drama Ja Myung Go and KBS’s The Man Who Can’t Get Married, which will replace Story of a Man.

Via E Daily


75 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Biscuit

    Ever since I watched Surgeon Bong Dal Hee, I became a fan of Lee Yo-won.

    btw, thats one awesome chair she’s sitting on.

  2. cc

    Wah…very impressive pics~
    Hehehe can’t wait!

  3. pretty costumes

    I have to say she looks like a diff person from the crying chick on Bad Love. I love the beautiful fabric and patterns. It makes me miss the good Hong Kong sword fighting dramas.

  4. angelsnow2u

    photo of lee yo won in seondeonk look good than when she cast in badlove.
    I think queen seondeok will good of mbc. WAITING IT^-^

  5. kellie

    I have hopes for this show because of the writer. She knows how to tell a powerful story and make you care about the characters. It looks like a far cry from Dae Jang Geum but let’s hope she can deliver again.

  6. Sarah

    i’ve liked her since fashion 70’s but saeguks really aren’t for me..

  7. mzpakipot

    she’s pretty! someone mentioned this before, but she and Go Hyun Jung look alike..^^

  8. Bina

    damn…loving the pictures! the chair is IMPRESSIVE… she doesn’t look pretty here though, in my opinion she looks pretty with bangs… :]

  9. belleza

    “the chair is IMPRESSIVE…”

    But let’s face it. If that was a King, we’d been saying there’s major overcompensation going on . . . . 😉

    Given that this is a Shilla story (the chair seems to reflect Han decorum), the clothes seem vaguely . . . English. O_o Looks gorgeous though.

  10. 10 yumi-chan

    I’m alreday falling for this drama.
    Very artistic, I sense a lot of pretty stills in our futures :]

  11. 11 ayana

    Nice pics.. she’s beautiful. I like her in Fashion 70’s. And Go Hyun-jung is also one awesome actress. Can’t wait to watch this drama.

  12. 12 Anonymous

    both actress are quite regal =)

  13. 13 Marres77


  14. 14 cosmopolite

    That chair would go nicely next to my fireplace. 🙂

  15. 15 belleza

    “That chair would go nicely next to my fireplace.”

    Only if you want to start a Burning Man Festival in your house. 😉

  16. 16 mookie

    I have one soft spot for surgeon BDH, another for women catfighting blood and sweat for mere survival/power instead of over some random beefcake. Another for writer of DJG and one more for gorgeous gorgeous sets/costumes.

  17. 17 belleza

    I think I’ve talked about this project with my mum for about half a year. But I’m not anxious for this project; I’m anxious *of* it. It’s not so much about high expectations (aka the true contender to Jumong/Jang Geum MBC Mania), but this nagging worry that the story isn’t going to work.

    The Queen Seon Duk Trailer:

    And, yeah, Uhm Tae Wong has never looked better. Ever. The words “Errol Flynn Dreamy” come to mind

  18. 18 vis

    Oh! One of the writer is the one who wrote Dae Jang Geum? Wow! I definitely have to watch this now ^^ That and the pretty pics has convinced me to give it a shot at least~

  19. 19 belleza

    “One of the writer is the one who wrote Dae Jang Geum? Wow! I definitely have to watch this now”

    Yeah, she was also the writer for HIT (same PD too), which is why Go Hyun-jung signed onto this project. MBC is definitely going for a Jumong-size blockbuster with this one.

    (and oh I guess there’s strong rumors of a sequel to Jewel in the Palace in the works.)

  20. 20 Aries

    “Yeah, she was also the writer for HIT (same PD too)”

    Thanks for the heads up, belleza! I loved Go Hyn-jung in What’s Up, Fox and H.I.T. Having the same writer and PD from H.I.T. reassures me that this will be a quality project so I’ll give it a shot even though I couldn’t stand Lee Yo-won in Bad Love.

  21. 21 kellie

    Thanks Belleza for the link to the trailer. Having seen all the cliches there I join you in ‘nagging worry.’

  22. 22 GeeNie

    waaa period/historical dramas are sooo pretty!

  23. 23 mookie

    My expectation of this drama is not high, so I’m not in the ‘nagging worry’ phase. Frankly GHJ and LYW are not too high in the acting dept for me, but they are appealing in their own way. As long as LYW is not playing another goody2shoes I’m good. (I don’t know anything about the backgd or how accurate the characters would be compared to the historical figures..)

    IF every single one of them turn out to be badasses one way or the other a la TVB’s War and Beauty’s style…including droolicious Uhm, I would be grinning mad.

  24. 24 Jin-Ah

    “The words “Errol Flynn Dreamy” come to mind”

    Belleza has now sparked massive online searches by teenagers around the world thinking “who the heck is Eroll Flynn?”

    I don’t really get into period pieces as a tv series, but I really admire the costuming. Those production still are beautiful.

  25. 25 belleza

    “Belleza has now sparked massive online searches by teenagers around the world thinking “who the heck is Eroll Flynn?””

    That’s the thing. I like Uhm Tae Woong (though mostly for his film work rather than his dramas), but this was the first time I was like “WOWOWOWOWOW”

    “Having seen all the cliches there I join you in ‘nagging worry.’”

    Visually, it’s impressive though. You can see where the money went.

    “Frankly GHJ and LYW are not too high in the acting dept for me, but they are appealing in their own way. ”

    I’m kinda a big fan of GHJ. She has peculiar mannerisms, especially with her teeth (like she’s seeing a dentist), but she makes those work and it also makes her unique. I liked Lee Yo Won in Fashion 70s and Surgeon Bong Dal Hee, but she’s more of a film actress to me. She has done a sageuk before, so she should be good with the dialogue.

    I just feel anxious about the project. I actually like the writer Kim Young Hyun a lot. Jewel in the Palace is either my favorite or 2nd favorite show of all time, and I thought HIT was a better show than Time of Dog and Wolf. I just have my doubts whether this is a good story to tell.

  26. 26 all4movies

    love the lavish set and costume. I have high hopes that this sageuk will succeed where others have failed this year.

  27. 27 loveydovey

    Seriously Bad Love wasn’t that bad! lol in fact I loved how it started and the end made me cry but happy =]. I don’t know why everyone hates it SO much it was a bit draggy and depressing but overall i really did love it and it was a really, really sweet romance. And a good OST. And I can’t wait for her new drama. Had to defend it =D. Has anyone seen Fashion 70s?

  28. 28 belleza

    “Has anyone seen Fashion 70s?”

    Oh, I loved Fashion 70s (the undercard of Chun Jung Myung and Kim Min Jung really stole the show for me.) Still my favorite thing that PD Lee Jae Kyu has done.

    “I don’t know why everyone hates it SO much it was a bit draggy and depressing ”

    Oh I loved the first half of Bad Love, SO deliciously wacky. But I think they burned through 90% of the plot in the first 10 episodes, and so the back 10 was just them mostly just standing around and yelling at each other. “Slow” doesn’t adequately describe it.

    But I liked the chemistry between LYW and KSW. When they were still up-and-comers, they and Gong Yoo did an elaborate music video together, and so I’ve always visualized them doing a show at some point. I think she’s a much better actress (again, her film work) than her reputation, but her chemistry with her leads (more often than not) in drama tends to be cold. Except when it’s hot. When she plays off a real hothead like Kwon San Woo or Lee Bum Soo, she gets really comfortable. Though I don’t think any of this will matter for Queen Seon Deok.

  29. 29 mookie

    To my own O_0 I loveloved Fashion’s 70s, *ohsnap* it had CJM..naked…in a wetsuit…..DUH… But I’m not THAT shallow 😉 (to the eccentric BOF fans out there who’s into Mama Kang…I couldnt take my eyes off her in 70s). It floored me in many unexpected ways. I was initially watching it for JJM (and just checking out CJM), he has never bored me till 70s. I like LYW, she’s pleasing and her innocence/naivete in her screen presense is her superpower ..yet again I was bugged by her in 70s. Of course, CJM (Bin sshiiii!!!!) made up for it and some. (it’s exactly this quality of hers that was running havoc in bad love, I honestly thought she was the only one who really was spot on with her character’s psyche out of that mess of a script, she was supposed to be revolted with/lost in her feelings/doings with the guys and hence the complaints of ‘lack of chemistry’).

    GHJ is more than fine when she’s not doing comedy. I’m oddly not a fan of hers in What’s up Fox (though I love the first 11 eps of that drama)

  30. 30 belleza

    “I’m oddly not a fan of hers in What’s up Fox ”

    Oh I loved her in that role. First, it’s a novelty to see her in such a light role. Second, unlike Kim Sun Ah, her character really seemed THAT silly and oblivious. 🙂

    “I was initially watching it for JJM (and just checking out CJM), he has never bored me till 70s. I”

    I gotta say — the helicopter scene, with Jo Jin Moo in those copter glasses — meeting the grown up for the first time . . . oooohweeeee. Seriously one of Belleza’s all-time favorite scenes.

    “it had CJM..naked…in a wetsuit…..”

    Caked in mud . . . mmumumumud!! O_O

    “I like LYW, she’s pleasing and her innocence/naivete in her screen presence is her superpower ..yet again I was bugged by her in 70s”

    But, see, that’s what I like about Lee Yo Won. Because her frame is slight and her characters seem a touch daffy (when LYW does funny, it’s not unlike YEH), it really surprises you when the scenes get heavy. Because she is able to play it true to character. The same is also true with Bad Love.

    But I really liked the script for Fashion 70s (though it slips a bit in the end.) The framework is, for the most part, straightforward SBS melodrama, but she did a good job setting up each main character as a distinct shard from the conscience coming out of the war. And I like the ongoing haute boutique vs. pret-a-porter discussion between the two character, since it also expressed the shift in social class, which paralleled the increasing marginalization of one character over the other. The ruthless flow of time, awakening of new bourgeoisie, the tremendous gap and psychic toll between the parents and their children. For what was a melo around an amnesia plot, it managed to hit all those themes.

    Wow, major OT-ness this week LOL

  31. 31 cathy

    Great drama so far , hopefully script continues being interesting then we will have great dramas as Jumong and Yisan . i love LYW , she is cute , charming , talented . For K actresses i like LYW and LDH , they are pretty and good in acting .
    Usually K actors are more talented , more charming than actresses , just my opinion.

  32. 32 hana

    do they have the real story of queen seondeok somewhere?

  33. 33 Nika

    I like and I enjoyed Queen Seon-deok.

    I think that Lee Yo Won is very talented & a good actress. She did a good job especially in Surgeon Bong Dal Hee & Fashion 70.

  34. 34 ika

    it’s impresive for me. i like it….. expecially deok man and yushin

  35. 35 zaira

    kpn cih deok man jd rtu sila nya…………………………..

  36. 36 andi agusli

    korea hebat banget
    bisa buat film
    queen seondeok

  37. 37 BlackButterFly

    The trailers are great.!!

    I can’t wait to watch it here in the Philippines 😀

    I’ve watched the 1st episode and it’s way too cool!

    I can’t wait to watch it all!!!!!!!

    I hope It lasts until the summer vacation here in the Philippines is over 😀

  38. 38 nadia

    drama kolosal korea itu bagus2 ya. penuh dengan pesan2 tentang perjuangan…..nice drama…i luv korean drama


    i adore the writers of jewel in the place which i learned are also behind queen seon-deok. mwah! – eleanor of cebu city, philippines

  40. 40 adra

    is story so cool of politic and good story

  41. 41 sappi

    saiia suka deokman suka skaliii

  42. 42 Anonymous

    wuyz gleeeeeeeeeeeeee ianth ska bgt ma chun chu guanteng abizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  43. 43 ni no

    I liked the story seondeok queen,
    He is an amazing women’s emancipation
    colossal drama is really good, it was like returning to the past

    amazing!!!! 🙂

  44. 44 gina fatma

    gilaaaaaa allthing about queen seondeok sngat seru abizzzzz tapi gmna hbungan ya deokman n yushin?

  45. 45 Anonymous

    pangit man diay nga salida

  46. 46 queen shin deok :)

    i love queen seon deok! sa uban diha na nag ingon na pangit nih! ikaw ray pangit!

  47. 47 Sembreaker

    I have watch episode 2 ~ 20 and bypass57~62 Very intense Tele-drama series made by korean the power struggle/drama and true to life adventure adding the historical events makes this tele-series a must to see.Can not wait to watch the remaining episodes , The best ever i have watch korean tele-series that can be classifies into the level of Hollywood Movies 300 , troy , Alexander.

    Ps. Perting nin~dota salidaha walay sama ! ngil-ngiga (in Visayan dialect)
    Sakto queen shin deok kanang uban diha wala nga ga comment wala na kauyon kay wala kasabot sa istorya.

  48. 48 mitch

    i love QUEEN SEON DEOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    NICE DRAMA……………………
    NAKAKAIYAK RIN ANG SERYENG ITO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  49. 49 mitch


    MIZ KO NA TULOY ANG JUMONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    GDNYT TULOG NA AKO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ALAS YRES NA NANG UMAGA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  50. 50 aris

    good movie series

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