On July 1, the cast of KBS’s Gumiho: Tale of the Fox Child held their production press conference. And while Han Eun-jung is the headliner, I’m wondering if (and hoping that) the two girls actually run away with the story.
Kim Yoo-jung plays Han’s half-human, half-fox child, and Seo Shin-ae is a sickly, cranky nobleman’s daughter. They were born on the same day and their fates become linked as Han and her daughter run away and meet Seo’s village family.
Both young girls already have quite a bit of acting experience despite their young ages (Kim will be 11 this fall; Seo will turn 12 a month later), each with numerous drama credits to their names. Kim was in Iljimae, Painter of the Wind, Tamra the Island, Dong Yi, and most recently Road No. 1, to name a few. Seo stole hearts in Thank You, then again in the recent sitcom High Kick Through the Roof.
As for the adults, Han Eun-jung called it her “good fortune” to be cast as a gumiho, described as “every actress’s fantasy.” It’s a familiar character of folklore and has been acted by a number of actresses in past projects, including Go So-young, Song Yoon-ah, Park Shi-yeon, and Park Min-young.
The gumiho, or traditional fox spirit, is considered a meaty role and melds together two sets of tropes that kdramas just love: the horror-thriller aspect and the woman as fox. The gumiho brings the fright factor of ghost stories (think vampires in Western lore, or to a lesser extent banshees or even succubi), and her fox nature is like a literal manifestation of the foxy lady archetype. (In English, a foxy woman means a hottie, but in Korean it has additional — often negative — connotations. She’s wily, cunning, and a man-eater.)
In addition to those three ladies, the drama also features Jang Hyun-sung, who had nothing but praise for his child-actor co-stars. He said, “They’re like colleagues more than children actors. They’re so good that they’re very dependable. Children’s hearts are pure, so the expressions they convey are pure. There are a lot of things I can learn from them.”
Meanwhile, 23-year-old Seo Joon-young (in the hat below) plays his silent servant, and harbors secret feelings for Han’s character. His reticence isn’t just a character trait, though, as it seems he’s actually mute. (Gah, I’m a sucker for this type of character. It just kills me.) His character is described as a “momjjang” servant, which means muscular and built. As Seo recently packed on 10 kg for a film role, he had to shed that weight to get in shape for this one.
Rounding out the cast are Baek Bong-ki (Pasta) in a comic role, Yoon Hee-seok (Secret Reunion) as a mean governor in pursuit of the gumiho, and actress Kim Jung-nan (Partner).
Gumiho: Tale of the Fox Child premieres next Monday, July 5.
- Seo Shin-ae on the set of Fox Child
- The leading men of Gumiho: Fox Child
- The Fox Child reveals her gumiho face
- Han Eun-jung in Tale of the Fox’s Child
- Gumiho’s Revenge’s new name and cast additions
- Han Eun-jung leads Gumiho’s Revenge