With the upcoming KBS drama Baby-Faced Beauty, actress-singer Jang Nara has her first Korean drama in, oh, EVER — she’s been busy in China for the bulk of the last seven or eight years, and has consequently been pretty absent from the Korean entertainment scene. So already this is more than we’ve seen of her in ages, starting with the poster shoots (directly above and below) and the behind-the-scenes shots from the drama’s set.
The crazy thing is, if you compare Jang from her prior dramas back in the early 2000s, she actually looks exactly the same now. She just turned 30 this month, but she may as well have stepped right out of My Love Patzzi or Wedding. Minus the awful orange hair that was so popular back in the day, that is.
So she fits right in playing the 34-year-old lead, a woman whose baby face is her one advantage to offset her lackluster educational background (a mere high school degree) and her bad credit history. Her appearance allows her to pretend to be nine years younger in order to get a job working for a fashion design company.
Her romantic lead is played by Daniel Choi (Cyrano Dating Agency, High Kick Through the Roof), who eschews the family jokbal (pork feet) restaurant he is to take over and instead joins the fashion company as well. I wonder if their dynamic goes from him thinking he’s the experienced oppa to realizing she’s actually his noona. (This dynamic is one of the only things I liked about the otherwise forgettable 2006 drama Fireworks, where Kang Ji-hwan starts out treating Han Chae-young like she’s his annoying kid sister, then has to correct himself later when she reveals her age AND becomes his workplace superior. Hijinks ensued for about four hilarious episodes…before that drama went to hell.)
Other members of the cast include Ryu Jin, the guy who took charge of the funny and underwatched My Country Calls, as well as MC/actress Hyun Young (Bad Family), who by the way had copped to lying about her age (a common industry practice usually instigated by nervous management). She plays Jang Nara’s high school classmate and a professor of fashion design, and should be a solid comic addition.
(In fact, Baby-Faced Beauty also initially reported casting Lee Shi-young, another actress who’d started out listing herself as younger than her age, although her name has dropped from the roster.)
Kim Min-seo, Ryu Jin, Hyun Young, Oh Yeon-seo, Yoon Hee-seok
Instead we have Kim Min-Seo, who played gisaeng-assassin Cho-sun in Sungkyunkwan Scandal and the dead girlfriend in Bad Guy. She’ll play a design team leader who studied abroad, who gets into a tricky love rectangle with Jang Nara, Daniel Choi, and Ryu Jin.
Oh Yeon-seo (Dong Yi, Merchant Kim Man-deok, and Suicide Pact) plays Jang Nara’s younger sister, an aspiring (though unemployed) fashion model. Yoon Hee-seok (Gumiho: Tale of the Fox’s Child) plays Jang Nara’s uncle — but one who’s actually 9 years younger than her — which is great because he’s really 36 and possibly looks even older. It’d be like Playful Kiss’s tennis sunbae, if only he were actually younger than Kim Hyun-joong’s character. Ha. They’re really playing with this whole age-versus-looks thing, which should lead to some hilarious misunderstandings. I anticipate lots of them.
The drama premieres on May 2, following Crime Squad, which is a particularly significant date for Jang Nara — it marks the 10-year anniversary of her debut.
- Jang Nara to make her drama comeback
- Jang Nara’s vacation photos
- Jo Seung-woo, Daniel Choi cast in Gu Hye-sun film
- Daniel Choi in Allure
- Min Hyo-rin and Daniel Choi star in short film
- Jang Nara becomes an associate university professor
- My Country Calls ends quietly on KBS