Drama Casting & News
Playful Kiss chooses Kim Hyun-joong
by | July 8, 2010 | 529 Comments

Kim Hyun-joong of SS501 has beaten out fellow contenders Jung Yong-hwa and DBSK’s Chang-min for the lead role in Playful Kiss, aka the It Started With a Kiss / Itazura na Kiss remake.

With those options, it seems they were determined to cast an idol-star-turned-newbie-actor, which just confuses me when you’ve got such an open field of talented actors. (Kim Soo-hyun? Ji Chang-wook? Im Joo-hwan?) Aie, what a waste of a director.

According to a rep from Keyeast, Kim’s new management, the contract hasn’t been signed yet, but they’ve made their final decision. The character he plays is “Baek Seung-jo,” who’s the best at everything at his school. There’s nothing he can’t do, and he’s a perfect example of the “eomchinah” — the boy next door all mothers love. He falls for a scatterbrained “Moon Ha-ni,” who has yet to be cast. Top contenders right now are Park Shin-hye, Kara’s Han Seung-yeon, and f(x)’s Sulli. (Man, if they make this an all-idol newbie cast, this may just turn into incredible snark fodder.)

Playful Kiss will air on MBC on Wednesdays and Thursday, and follows the current war drama Road No. 1.

So….. pretty much all of my legitimate interest in this drama is dead. Since the news is apparently final there’s no use crying over it, I suppose, and I’ll try to be open-minded enough to the possibility that Kim has improved since he made his debut role in Boys Before Flowers and murdered the Rui character with his disconnected acting. Hey, Park Shi-yeon started out pretty bad in My Girl and has recently won me over in Coffee House with a much improved performance. (Then again, she has been steadily improving for years, and has taken on many film and drama roles since My Girl five years ago. And even if I can wish for improvement from Kim, I can’t wish him into another person. Booooo.)

Via TV Report


529 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Annie

    Somehow, I have this feeling that he was going to be chosen…………

  2. soysauce

    I am quite saddened that he is chosen for this role. I would LOVE to have Lee Minho and PArk Bo Young to the leads, but there’s nothing we can do now. booo 🙁

    Hopefully, this one won’t be as much of a train-wreck as BOF.

  3. Louise

    Yey I can’t believe SULLI f(x) that I secretly want really being 1 of top contenders! She has experience in Seo Dong Yo before.

  4. crabapple

    Sigh. I don’t see Kim Hyun Joong playing as the lead role. I agree that Im Joo Hwan would of been a good choice. In fact I wasn’t very interested in the top 3 male leads that they choose, and if I had to choose I would of choose TVXQ Changmin. Also, the female leads don’t stand out either. boo

  5. meia

    WHY? WHY? WHY? Now more than ever, I wish Lee Min Ho took the role.

  6. bethyoo

    Agree totally about how he ruined the Rui character…the HYD saga has always been about the Rui character and his portrayal ruined BOF the whole drama. And I’m hardly alone in having this opinion. What a pity, since I quite like SS501 and how he is with that band, but his acting…

    The only way they can make this drama now worse for me is to cast that Kara girl in it. Don’t like Park Shin Hye either…S.Korea has plenty of young actresses don’t they? Why are the supposed shortlisted ones so…URRGH.

  7. The Real CZ

    Instead of watching out of interest, now I’m gonna watch for the lolz.

  8. bethyoo

    ^ correction: the HYD series has always been the Rui character TO ME, PERSONALLY, because I adore that character. Of course the 2 main lead’s romance is the focal point of the story.

  9. sora

    Park Shin-hye would totally make a better choice with this guy….

  10. 10 BellaMafia

    *giggle*… don’t care whoever the male lead is.. I’ll watch it anyway.. 🙂

  11. 11 Annie

    I don’t want Park Shin Hye too…………………………………….
    and this is one of my fav manga………………………………………
    im doom

  12. 12 javabeans

    Man, I’d take back all my bitching about Athena if we could swap Kim Hyun-joong and Choi Siwon in these two dramas……………..

  13. 13 dulcedeleche

    nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. arg.

    well maybe he’ll do a semi-passable job because the main character has a pretty rigid and cold personality.
    ahhhhh lee min-ho why couldn’t you just say YES??!!!!

  14. 14 Penn

    I was so hoping it would be Kim Soo Hyun. He’s young and has great acting talent. I don’t understand why they are so determined to cast a idol star for this role since it doesn’t involved any singing. Sigh.

  15. 15 jons

    Oh no! Is park Bo young out already? My intrest in this has completely gone down the drain. This will be competing with fugitive and….I can’t remember what it was-but another big anticipated drama…I am legend? But I think this will be a hit or miss. This had a lot of potential. But after this, I dint think there should be anymore remakes.

  16. 16 nG

    I’d rather see the two younger sisters in Bad Guy as the lead female than those three top contenders.

  17. 17 Sere

    Such bad news. Out of all the actors out there…gah! *sighs* I would have watched Playful kiss with any of the actors you mentioned. Maybe not all is lost yet, right? Maybe Bae Yong-jun will share his knowledge with KHJ and IDEK, KHJ will be v v v v good?

  18. 18 langdon813

    Boo. Hiss.


    Oh well…a little spot on my drama plate now cleared for something else, I suppose!

  19. 19 bluebird

    I wish PSH don’t accept the role. total waste

  20. 20 Pooie

    🙁 I’m watching it anyways but c’mon……KHJ?! =.=
    Well, all I can hope is that the female lead will save the show…………
    And if its that KARA girl, well….fail.

  21. 21 Snikki

    Man! WTF! Since the male lead’s confirmed, they should at least cast a strong lead actress opposite him. I hope he is aware that his acting sucks so he tries hard to work on it. It’s just sad that a drama like this with a huge following will just be another training ground for him. He should stick to second lead for now, learn how to act, AND THEN accept a major role.

  22. 22 karen

    if only park bo young was casted as the female lead but then i highly doubt it will ever happen. I just watched her in speedy scandal and she really is perfect if she was chosen. sigh.

  23. 23 Ally

    Omg I did a battle cry of doom when I first read this post.


    Alright I’m try my best to stay positive even if I feel like the snatched my child from my hands and stumped on it. I WILL STAY POSITIVE, theirs always a small chance of improvement.


    Why, at least not changmin?

  24. 24 ockoala

    @ all

    We’ll always have ISWAK. That’s what I keep saying to myself this morning: We’ll always have ISWAK. We’ll always have Joe Cheng’s incredibly nuanced portrayal of a cold fish who is anything but detached.

    Sigh. 🙁

  25. 25 Ally

    On second thought if this is and all idol cast I might just lose all hope…

  26. 26 hopesofgreen

    NOOOO!!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Drkh0YLF8rI

    I was so crossing my fingers for Im Joo-hwan, a young and very underrated actor who really needs a hit. I liked Kim Hyun-joong in the few episodes of We Got Married that I saw, but he was horrible in BBF. What’s frustrating about Kim is that I don’t even see this desire to act and inhabit the roles he’s given. With some actors, despite their limitations, they try so hard and it’s endearing. Not so with Kim. Choi Si Won would’ve been a great choice, too! Ahhh, I probably won’t watch now but I’ll definitely tune in for your recaps because they’re awesomesauce.

  27. 27 dramacafe

    I’m so with you JB, it would have been a lot better if Siwon was cast instead of KHJ. He was lifeless in BOF and that’s putting it mildly. Hahaha!
    I’ll just hope against hope that they’ll cast a better actress to redeem the drama.

    • 27.1 ilovekoreandrama

      i am very upset with everyone on her hating on Kim Hyun Joong. Seriously guys he fits the role perfectly and i like that it is funny watching this show brightens my week. I dont care if u dont like idol stars he is great and Jung So Min is adorible i love them and this has become my favorite show. Playful Kiss for the WIN!

  28. 28 ilovekimchee

    echoing everybody else. NOOOOOOOO!! Oh well, I’ll give it a shot but yeah, like it’s been said, there will always be ISWAK

  29. 29 Combray

    Should’ve been Changmin OMG. He would’ve been playing himself, it would’ve been perfect. He’s exactly like that, cold, smart and snarky and his hyungs are all scared of him. Perfect example of maknae on top.


  30. 30 rl

    The lead actress they choose CAN make a difference. I really enjoyed the Taiwan version and was looking forward to this, so I’m still hopeful, although really disappointed that Lee Minho turned down the part.

  31. 31 Ally

    True if, the drama turns out to be absolutely horrible we can always cleanse ourselves with ISWAK

  32. 32 jyyjc

    i wanted park bo young to have the lead female role but too bad that’s not gonna happen. among those contenders i can only accept park shin hye. seungyeon has little to no acting experience and sulli is too young. well sulli could do it but if this korean version is like the tw version where they have the characters move up to college and stuff, then i think sulli looks too young.

  33. 33 Rossi

    hee…”snark fodder”. I seriously fangirl your writing.

    I have no interest in this drama to begin with due to my hate for the Taiwanese version plus any drama with that plot line = DNW! for me, so I’m a little bit surprised at the interest ppl have for this from the beginning. Is it because of the director that’s attached to the project?

  34. 34 wenny

    they better choose the proper lead actress. past experience has shown that in a leading male/female couple, even if one actor sucks, if the other is good enough the drama can be saved.

    and by proper lead actress I mean HECK NO to shin-hye or SY or worst, Sulli.

  35. 35 Ace


  36. 36 Hanjae

    Oh god, NO.

    I was being optimistic and hoping that it was all unfounded rumors, but ugh. And to think how different this could’ve been, if they had casted someone with actual acting skills as Naoki and with Park Bo Young making the perfect Kotoko.

    Instead, we get… this.

    Ah well, now I’m hoping they’ll cast someone like Han Seung Yeon, just to push it all the way off the edge and into the deep end.

  37. 37 bubblegumstar

    I sincerely hope that his acting improves in this drama.. I was definitely disappointed watching him in boys over flowers. He just didn’t show genuine interest in his character and he was just emotionless. I hope he truly grasps this character and tries to work harder to make people change their minds about his acting capabilities. I definitely wish the lead would be Jang Geun Suk, Lee Min Ho, or someone else, but… oh well.

  38. 38 Orion

    Oh no… Oh man… Way to take such a nice story and potentially very interesting and emotional work and ruin it. Unless this guy somehow managed to become a great actor in a short amount of time, which I don’t think is possible if you just don’t have the talent. And he clearly does not.

    I won’t be watching this. I loved the anime and I don’t need to see his ice cold acting ruin such a nice story. If the cast was good, I’d love to see it. But nah.

  39. 39 sweetkiss

    ewwww this totally makes me NOT wanna watch this drama anymore. no offense to kim hyun-joong, (i think he’s hilarious) but i think he is the worst actor everr…even worse than dennis o who can’t even speak korean. leeee min hooo….whyyy??? come backkk!! T___T i’d way prefer jung yong hwa over khj -_-” shin woo was a much better rui than khj was -_-“

  40. 40 Ethlenn

    So there goes my anticipation for it…. down the drain…

  41. 41 momosan

    I love the boy, but…no. ::cries::

    OTOH, it could totally turn out to be the giggle that Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge was with Kame – granted for all the wrong reasons, but still a giggle. I can’t believe I’m hoping that Itazura na Kiss is so bad that it’s good….

  42. 42 chops2

    omg…does this guy ever realize that he can’t act? he should have realized when he watched himself in BOF…. i also don’t understand why people keep casting him knowing how awful his acting is….hope this drama doesn’t end up being a disaster bcoz of him….i really love rui in japanese HYD but when i saw him as rui, he made me hate rui….i was hoping for kim soo hyun though…i think he fits the character …he’s such a talented actor…love him in WISFC, i actually watch giant for him ^^

    btw is there any news about im joo hwan’s drama What’s Up? i heard it’s gonna air on July but i don’t hear any news about it since then

  43. 43 dramalover123

    I am a total fan of KHJ from SS501, but I agree that his acting was simply not acting in BOF, he was being himself (or what he thought was himself) >< I feel that he might be able to do better in this drama (again acting like himself) because he is the kind of quiet type who can be sweet at times.. if he tries too hard though T_____T I hope Key East and Bae Yong Joon saw some potential in him as an actor and not just a charismatic figure who can just do anything and pass because he's cute and handsome. (ha ha siwon in oh my lady! hopefully something like that will happen? :D) I don't want to say that they should have put yong hwa because I felt that his acting was pretty bad as well (and a total copy of khj anyway) and siwon was adorable in oh my lady, but I think he has talent and he should spread his acting career… anyway just my thoughts!

  44. 44 maltreti

    What the hell…. why him?????!!!!!! Didn’t like him at all in BOF.
    Man I was really excited about an Korean Remake of Itazura na Kiss.
    I guess now I can really forget about it.
    As javabeans already said: My interest is dead.

    Even so, i think i can give it an 1-2 Episode chance. But i’d rather watch something else and just read the recap here (if you write one ^^)

  45. 45 Natalia

    I’m still hoping a magical fairy gave him acting skills within the time of Boys Over Flowers and now. -_-

    Why, just why! When they had such a large variety of good actors to choose from they choose an idol that just doesn’t make his acting believable. I’ll probably watch the first two episodes and if they aren’t showing any improvement, I’ll drop it.

  46. 46 ginnie

    I enjoyed previous renditions of this story and was looking forward to the Korean version….but this is really disappointing news on the main lead. My only hope is he has good chemistry with the female lead…that in my mind is the only way we will be able cover up the lack of acting skills.

    Choi Si Won — so much better choice. He is the same age (I think) as Kim but has so much more charisma and depth to his portrayal…Does Choi Si Won not have time to film this with Anthena or did they not think of offering this to him? that would be so silly to choose Kim for this story with other choices.

  47. 47 The Real CZ

    This might be the worst Asian drama not called Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge. That had some awful acting outside of the guy from KAT TUN (Kazuya?).

  48. 48 fuzzymogwai

    so yeah…id take hyunjoong in athena of SHIWON could do this kekekeke

    or anyone else really….

    totally agree with all the folks who contend hyunjoong ruined Rui…because he really did T_T which is sad because Rui is such an interesting character (to me)


    the ideal reshuffle?

    hyunjoong in athena
    shiwon in this….
    shiwon can go to s—- scandal with mickey…and we can take song joong ki here




    i really loved ISWAK and now…………………………………….>.>

  49. 49 Nuts

    Nothing against singer idols, but these days the idols are cast to increase the ratings as they already have a fan base. It must be hard for the young actors these days. I won’t be watching as i am sick of remakes.

  50. 50 chinkywinky

    NOOO!!! ugh! wtf is wrong with all the casting directors these days? theyre ruining every drama that looked good (except “my girlfriend is a gumiho). even though kim hyun joong and jung yong hwa both suck at acting, i’d still rather have jung yonhwa. at least he’s a bit better (not really. just kinda) even changmin would be great D:. the casting directors for sunkyunkwan scandal already made me sad for casting park min young. kim hyun joong’s acting is painful to watch! what were they thinking

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