KBS medical drama Brain is finally locking in its cast (again), and has finalized the casting of one male lead in Shin Ha-kyun and its female lead in Choi Jung-won. They’ve got no time to spare, with the drama set to premiere in early November, leaving them with just one month to begin filming.
The production’s earlier excuse that its first cast seemed “too young” still rings false to me; I think what they meant was more that they wanted more starpower, more heft. Which, we know, doesn’t always come with age. Because with Shin Ha-kyun onboard (The Front Line, Thirst, Cafe Noir), they’re clearly going for more gravitas, and now the White Tower comparisons are starting to be bandied about. If you want someone on par with Kim Myung-min, you’ve gotta go after the heavy hitters.
Shin Ha-kyun will play Lee Kang-hoon, who graduated from the top medical school, works at the top hospital, and is the top neurosurgeon around. Basically, he’s Brain No. 1. (And he works on brains, too!) He’s motivated not by a devotion to his work but an ambition for success, which is probably both his greatest flaw and strength, since it makes him steely and fierce.
Choi Jung-won is only two years older than Yoon Seung-ah and I wouldn’t call her a more serious actress, but she’s certainly much more known, having starred in a number of popular dramas (Infamous Chil Sisters, Kingdom of the Wind, Wish Upon a Star). I’m actually rather wary of her taking on a role like this, since I’d found her kind of bland until she burst out of her prior image in Wish Upon a Star, where she showed her bubbly, endearing rom-com side. Having just reinvented her image, I hope she doesn’t recede into her former role as Pretty Cardboard Character.
Choi’s Yoon Ji-hye character grew up in an ordinary family, and since she’s the eldest daughter, I’m guessing she grew up pretty self-sufficient. She’s extremely strict in matters of work and study, but has a warm bedside manner with her patients.
Brain still has a number of empty slots needing to be cast, which includes Shin Ha-kyun’s rival as well the sunbae who starts him on his new, warmer and fuzzier path. That is, if the drama didn’t totally throw out the baby with the bathwater and ditch its own plot along with its first cast.
Funny enough, it takes the airwaves after another drama that lost its initial cast (though under less questionable circumstances), Poseidon. It’ll air on Mondays and Tuesdays on KBS.
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- Yoon Seung-ah joins KBS’s Brain
- Medical drama Brain lines up male leads
- Summer blockbuster The Front Line opens to high expectations
- Choi Jung-won poses for Elle Korea
- A day on the set with Choi Jung-won