Drama Casting & News
Choi Kang-hee as Joo-won’s potential leading lady
by | October 18, 2012 | 285 Comments

We’ve finally got a potential co-star for Joo-won in the upcoming rom-com spy drama Secret Agent War, with the latest reports telling us that Choi Kang-hee (Protect the Boss) has been offered the role and is considering it favorably. As she’s currently filming a movie, according to her agency Keyeast, both sides are working out scheduling issues.

I mean this in the nicest way possible: Noooooooooo.

There are so many reasons this feels weird and off-putting to me, mostly because it’s an odd coupling. Individually, I can see both actors working. Choi can do feisty, and she had a pretty ballsy character in Protect the Boss, so she should fit in playing a secret agent who hides her work from her boyfriend. But together?

It’s not strictly the age difference, although that’s definitely a concern with Choi being a 1977-er and Joo-won a 1987-er. Or should I say the mere numbers aren’t the issue, because I’ve long since gotten used to drama heroines being noonas (that’s just a fact of life in an industry where your most eligible actor-bachelors have to take two years off in the army). Lee Min-ho and Kim Hee-sun have the same ten-year gap between them but I don’t really care about the age difference in Faith.

But Joo-won just seems like a baby, with his aegyo personality and little-boy ways, and Choi Kang-hee definitely has a more mature vibe. The whole fun of the source movie (Level 7 Civil Servant) was that they were on equal footing, both in love and in their spy confrontations. I want hot romance, not Adventures in Babysitting! (Must remind myself of Joo-won’s powerful on-screen transformations. Arg. But who can recall Gaksital’s fierceness when you’ve got images of Joo-won squealing over moths and bees running on an endless mental loop?)

Secret Agent War is being planned as a 20-episode drama and will air in January 2013.

Via Star News, Osen


285 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. saltandpepper

    yay….i’m the first one ๐Ÿ˜€

    • 1.1 saltandpepper

      and for me also, it’s a NOOOOOO

      • 1.1.1 JoAnne

        here also, big noooooooo

        Just cannot picture it.

      • 1.1.2 janie

        I checked korean websites for comments and…um…Koreans seem to be actually anticipating this pairing?? Interesting how us international fans have different taste compared to the domestic audience. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • JoAnne

          Yep. and there’s times in the past I thought nooo but didn’t say it, and then it turned out to be OMG good. So perhaps this is another – it’s much farther ‘out there’ than anything I’ve seen so far.

        • JO

          I am anticipating the pairing as well. Idk, I usually never care about age and I don’t actually see choi kang hee with a mature woman image. I think she balances both sides well but she can do “young” particularly well due to her face which is…young-y..lol

      • 1.1.3 ilikemangos

        Can i join in with the NOOOO’s?!

        I love Choi Kang hee after watching her in Protect the Boss but with baby Joo-won?
        My mind cannot commute.
        This has nothing to do with age difference. I think we’ve all been proven many times that age is nothing but a number in k-drama land.
        But like JB pointed out.. mature + aegyo? I dont know..
        She did well with Ji sung though. but that’s a completely different story.

      • 1.1.4 Betsy

        I’m also a no for this pairing.

        Individually they would be awesome in these roles (with other people), but together I’m just not feeling the chemistry. I loved Kang Hee in Protect the Boss w/ Ji Sung, but her and Joo Won just seem like an odd pairing. I would much rather see him paired up with someone like Park Shin Hye, Lee Min Jung, Yoon Eun Hye, or Park Min Young.

        • Joy

          Omg I would love to see Park Shin Hye as a badass spy. I can already imagine her with Joo Won. And Park Min Young would also be my second choice ๐Ÿ˜€

          • misso

            I kinda want the actress from Girl K- Han Groo?? when it comes to action scenes she did pretty good. Though I don’t know if they would fit well..

      • 1.1.5 canxi

        I LOVE Choi Kang Hee. She is awesome, but I agree with the no’s. She’s definitely more mature than Joo Won is and she EXUDES it.

        What are ya’ll doing casting people? What about Im Joo Eun? I miss her and she can be badass..they can both sing. It’s a match made in heaven if you wanna break out into song and possibly dance. Guys, you aren’t doing it right…I wanted Lee Si Young, but I think she’s doing two movies so Im was my second choice. Kang Sora? No?

        I’ve never wanted someone to reject a role more than I do right now. Why Drama Gods? Why do you hate us?! D’:

        • zsa

          come on!!! she’s too old for him…I usually have nothing against that, but if they’re not noona dongsaeng in script, then choose someone younger….PLEASEEEE…jebal!

      • 1.1.6 Arhazivory

        I agree. I love them both individually but she looks sooooo much older. She doesn’t have a baby face and he doesn’t have a mature face. Oi vey

      • 1.1.7 am

        Here’s another one – NO.

  2. nyss

    definitely didnt see this coming.at all.oh my…can choi kang please change her mind later? please?

    • 2.1 nyss

      *choi kang hee

    • 2.2 saltandpepper

      lol…ya please

    • 2.3 ilikemangos

      oh man. i wish.
      but most of the times the posts that JB/GF posts about actors/actresses “considering the role favorably”, it’s a done deal! eeeeep.

  3. Shara


    • 3.1 Maricon

      Saw the headline and the same words escaped my lips. A big hell to the no.

  4. Yuhotarubi

    I agree with you Javabeans, a big NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    isn’t there any other actress ??? a younger one ???? I want Joo won to be an OPPA in the drama

    • I think the main reason that they want Choi Kang Hee because she has experience in doing rom-coms. Joo Won hasn’t done any rom-com drama yet so they are afraid to cast a leading lady who has no experience for that genre.

      There’s no doubt, CKH suits the role. But being paired with the baby-faced JW, that’s a big “?”.

      If they want someone who has experience in doing rom-com, why not cast LEE MIN JUNG? She did well in Big.

      How about PARK SHIN HYE?

      But, please..not CHOI KANG HEE!!!

      • 4.1.1 ColleenF-H

        I have to agree Choi Kang Hee and Joo Won as the leads just do not seem to fit … I really can not see them having the right chemistry. I guess I just do not see it.

        I like your ideas for alternatives in Lee Min Jung or Park Shin Hye. Especially, PSH that pairing seems really appealing.

        • nicty



          1987 Couple FTW!!

          I love you Choi Kang Hee…but you guys look so odd together (in my photoshopped mind).

          • True2u

            MOON GEUN YOUNG, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, keep her there!! I cannot think of her a spy. It’s not working in my photoshopped mind at alll.

          • not MGY please..i want her with Park Shi Hoo.. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Quiet Thought

            Good gawd, what kind of vision are you having, here? Moon Geun Young weighs what, about 80 pounds right after lunch? She’d be about as credible an action character as my grandmother . . . who passed away a decade ago but probably still doesn’t look as frail and helpless as MGY.

          • ranthe

            Lee Min Jung… please… I know she can play badass and spunky (e.g. Jaekyung in BOF)…

      • 4.1.2 Betsy

        When I first heard that Joo Won was doing this drama Park Shin Hye was my first pick to be his leading lady. I just love her to pieces and I think she could totally pull off the cute girlfriend by day and the butt-kicking spy by night character and my second pick that I wouldn’t mind seeing in this role could also be Park Min Young (she was totally awesome in City Hunter).

      • 4.1.3 Yuhotarubi

        oh yeah, I think Park Shin Hye would be good, I love her a lot, and maybe Park Min Young one of these two would look great with Joo Won, but Choi Kang Hee and Joo Won, it really seems odd

        • Addy

          Absolutely Not!! Park ming who??? with my Joo Won…ohhh nooo way!!! omg what r you ppl thinking!!?
          Park Shin Hye and Park Ming Young are the two leading ladies i despise the most!!

  5. Rukia

    Oh no….this was not the coupling I could ever imagine O.o I don’t see her as a leading lady, maybe a supporting cast but definetely not in the lead role with Joo Won. I hope this won’t be the final choice *sigh*

  6. DaDa

    Hmmm….I’m not completely against this idea….could be A LOT worse

  7. Jilly

    I don’t want people jumping on me like the anti-YEH people in the other post, but can seriously not get behind this coupling. She’s better off playing Joo-won’s aunt than his girlfriend. This looks so creepy :'(

    • 7.1 Star

      i LOL’ed at your comment about her playing Joowon’s aunt. you’re so right!

  8. Vincy

    I’m also a no! He’s such a big cutie and she’s looks very mature.
    Ah well, what can we do? We know that Joo Won will do his best and somehow we will come to accept this bizarre pairing…

  9. eny

    may be i’m the one that feel excited :
    1. i think in this drama the lady should be older, she’s veteran spy and joo won rockie spy,n she doesnt look old
    2. i see protect the bost and i think she is fine and match with the role
    3. she has experience in comedy, she can give more lesson to joo won
    4. i thought she doesn’t have drama in this year, it’s refreshing
    unpredictable but excited

    • 9.1 kakashi

      you’re not the only one. I think it could be a big mistake to cast a woman the same age as Joo-won. The younger actresses tend to lack a certain … something that ‘older’ women have, per their life-experience: It’s more seriousness and less aegyo. In my opinion, the initial ‘Level 7 Civil Servant’ movie worked because they were both way-past the cutesy-phase not because they were the same age … so you could very well argue that Joo-won is simply too young for this role.

      • 9.1.1 cheekbones

        Yes, I agree with you in all your points. In fact, my initial reaction to Joo Won casting was “isn’t he a bit too young for the role ?”. Just like my reaction to Lee Min-ho casting in Faith.

        I can very well see Choi Kang-hee rocking the role. Let’s just hope for the best.

      • 9.1.2 ladida

        Lollllll! โ™ฅ I love the way you think.

      • 9.1.3 Sunshine

        boy i am glad i wasn’t the only one excited to see her cast in this series for the same reason! i can’t wait to see this!

        • DeeDee

          If they wanted an older actress, I wouldn’t have mind Kim Sun Ah (she grew on me somehow) but CKH is abit …. off.

          • mia

            Uhh…sori, Kim Sun Ah has an even more ‘matured’ look if paired with the baby-face Joo Won ! She will certainly risks being mistaken for his auntie. Some one suggests Yoo In-Na ( queen inhyun’s man) ? She’s also a noona but she has that pert cutie look and yet can be so infectiously hilarious.

      • 9.1.4 lovedramas

        I agree with this. I think Joo-won is simply too young for the role. However, they can rewrite the script to fit his young looks and aegyo personality.

        As many people have mentioned, the original movie worked so well not because of age but the equal footing. She was bad ass for work, and behind the scenes with the love connection, she was just as great. Same with the guy. So you could feel that contrast.

        Since nothing is confirmed, who knows if she’ll actually accept. I will hold my thoughts until there is confirmation.

    • 9.2 ladida

      You know, I think CKH’s awesome and will play the character well.

    • 9.3 Annie

      But they were supposed to have met in college…

      • 9.3.1 piaaa

        THIS. People should read the story first then comment after. And CKH doesn’t look like a college girl. What? They will do the same thing Big did? Cast a younger woman on their college and Choi kang hee will play the “adult role after?”

        • eny

          they meet in the colleague doesn’t mean she’s studend there,she could be spy who doing her mision, in the movie the heroine become spy first, don’t you think she is older

  10. 10 Kay


    i loved her in Protect the Boss, precisely because her and the lead were so well matched….but Joo Won and here!?


    cray cray…thats what im saying…

    on a side note, i totally think UEE and Joo Won should pair up again lol she’d play a fierce spy really well too

  11. 11 Jules

    Oh God, no. Please, no.

    Joo-won looks younger than his age, and Choi Kang-hee (I’m sorry to say), looks *so* much older than hers. I don’t think I could watch the two of them together without thinking, “But… you look old enough to be his *mother*.” (JMO)

  12. 12 reeen

    Worst. Pairing. Ever. She looks like she could be his mom… Are they sure that they’re doing a remake of Level 7 Civil Servant and not of Pietรก?

    • 12.1 Annie


    • 12.2 Gaeina Lee


  13. 13 Ladyk

    JB, I agree… This is not a pairing that should not happen at least in terms of this drama. I have watched the movie so many times that this Nuna – Dongsaeng relationship could turn me off from watching the drama. I love the actors seperately, but together for this is a BIG NOOOO!

  14. 14 buki

    Please say this isn’t true.
    From the whole Korea they cast her? She looks like his aunt!!!

    Oh god,please… don’t make this happen!!!!!!!

  15. 15 Md

    Ooo… poor my Baby.

    I’m so not looking forward for this pairing! Please drama God, not Choi Kang-hee.

    She’s okay, but not for this. Please.

  16. 16 Kelinci Biru


    I love her. I love him. but NOT together.

    • 16.1 husnaa

      me too. I love her in Protect the Boss, but to be paired with Joo Won as OTP, a big NO.

      • 16.1.1 Kelinci Biru

        i just can’t picture them together. too weird. as JB said she got this mature vibe. sigh.

  17. 17 Eun

    No. No. No. Not even in my wildest dream. they will pass more as a siblings but not an OTP.

  18. 18 sweetlites

    ok good i wasnt the only one thinking wth heck no…

  19. 19 mems

    I also mean this in the nicest way possible: Casting people, OPEN YOUR EYES!

    Is there no one else in the industry you could find?? Someone who’s preferably younger than Joo Won and has the acting chops to pull off a sexy, funny, badass spy? ‘Cause I can give you a list if you need one.

  20. 20 SS

    CKH is not famous in China so someone on baidu commented that she’d thought Joo Won’s mother is going to do a cameo in his new drama

    • 20.1 husnaa


    • 20.2 Md

      Pwahaha. Yeah, they looks like siblings.

      Come on show. This is not what I (and… everybody) want. After awesome and intense Gaksital.. We got THIS!

      Gaksital will never forgive you!

  21. 21 Fab

    OK she looks younger than her age, but certainly not that young. Ah well I guess it’s better than a younger but horrible actrice…

  22. 22 MsB

    Can’t see this paring! There are a whole bunch if other mature lead if that is what they are going for who would be better.

  23. 23 eunsoo

    noooooooooooo please dont’ I really want to watch thos and I hate her

  24. 24 baby's lover

    Please make her busy, everything! Something! Anything!

  25. 25 ayma

    definitely no. they both are great actor, but together just seems off.
    if possible i want him with shin mina. please..

    • 25.1 piaaa

      My thoughts exactly. I even commented on Shin Minah’s post last night that I hope she will be the leading lady of Joowon! SIGH.

  26. 26 Fantyc

    I am IN SHOCK.

    Worst Pairing EVER

    Can they mistype, and she will play his mother. Then I’m ok.

  27. 27 Wowow

    UEE? yeaaah man! ๐Ÿ˜€ Joo Won + UEE= Matchmade in kdrama heaven. but probably wont happen now.. Well, i look forward to the day when theyfinally work together again :’)

  28. 28 baby's lover

    I mean eg. More promising CF ( more money than drama)

  29. 29 Toystar

    What? Why?

  30. 30 coby

    haha! I thought I was the only one against it. I did not get to see Protect the Boss, except for ep1 and it was enough for me to say NO.
    But maybe she can prove us wrong.
    Can’t wait for Joowon’s next drama!

  31. 31 baby's lover

    Just praying. What the hell is wrong MDC? Don’t make our actor fail, …….

  32. 32 saltandpepper

    the drama people should read all these comments to realise that they should not go for this pairing…

  33. 33 piaaa

    I saw this earlier on twitter. And my immediate answer is also: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    I don’t have anything against with Choi Kang-hee but this pairing doesn’t look so good on a story-line note.

  34. 34 Lia

    Me tooooooo!!! I’m a big fan of Joowon because of his acting and i don’t really care about his partner, but this time she doesn’t really suits him!

    The movie was also good because of Kim Haneul’s bad-ass acting and we need actress who can take the role like her!

    • 34.1 lovenicole

      CKH is as good as Kim Haneul as an actress,the only problem is that Joo won is so young even Kim Haneul will look too old for him.

  35. 35 sudi

    Is there any one who disagree??Plz raise your hands…Absolutely No…for this…Noooooooo*Head bangs*Nooooo way…Please find new one..But No for this Actress with Joo Won..I cant even imagine.its the worst nightmare

  36. 36 gellie

    aishhhhhhh can’t they have another actress? xD
    IHonestly I don’t like her xD

    • 36.1 ilikemangos

      Aww. I don’t think we should go far enough to say that she’s not likeable.
      Have you seen some of her works? She’s pretty badass in them.
      It’s just the PAIRING we all have an issue with.

  37. 37 kopytko

    I don’t have a problem with this pairing. BUT my type was Choi Yeo Jin (INR), she can do feisty really great. But I guess she might be considered “too old looking”…

  38. 38 Lily

    Same here: someone else please !!

    Well, as long as she doesn’t have this horrible haircut in the picture below…
    I will somehow manage… I guess… *resigned sigh*

  39. 39 JIW_sobangnim


    • 39.1 ilikemangos

      It’s funny how ha ji won’s only a year younger than Choi kang hee but yet that’d be acceptable in my mind.
      Probably because ha ji won + lee seung gi were the perfect couple in my head.

  40. 40 buki

    Seeing these two having skinship together is like watching Joo Won being abused by ajumma.

  41. 41 sudi

    Well..I see there’s are lots of with..*Noooooooo*Thank god i wasnt only one against the couple..There’s many of then who are good in rom-com…But I just shake off this feelings/vibe when i try to picture them doing this drama…If i even watch for joo won…with CKH…I would be suffocating for sure..But I wish they would line up another actress for this drama..

  42. 42 Lily

    Same here: someone else please !!

    Well, as long as she doesn’t have this horrible haircut in the drama like in this picture, I will somehow manage…
    I guess…
    *resigned sigh*

  43. 43 Mystisith

    I don’t like following the crowd but for this I must agree: It will be VERY strange. Noona-dongsaeng stories can be fun but it means than the girl has to “look” younger like in Baby Face Beauty.
    Why not Im Joo Eun (What’s Up?) or Lee Yoon Ji (TK2H)?

    • 43.1 Autumn

      OMG Im Joo Eun!! Yes please!

      • 43.1.1 piaaa

        I third Im Joo Eun. She’s way adorable in Wild Romance. Or Lee Si Young! Gah! There’s so many actress that they can choose from.

  44. 44 Village Mrembo

    Well i dont watch 1N2D so i only know the onscreen JW and i know u agree he can totally transform when in character so i dont get why this pairing wouldnt appeal to the writer, i mean dude u said it urself, gaksital! I have so much faith in him i think he could pull off a love line with madame evil, soul eating fairy of arangville if needed to he he!

  45. 45 UJ

    i like Choi Kang Hee…but this pairing is definitely weird!

  46. 46 didisalma

    NOOOO i love them but not as the OTP

  47. 47 kit

    This is interesting because now I can see CKH rocking the character. She’d totally pull it off. But wow, with Joo won. Blinks. In such a situation, I feel like he’s too …. young …. and adorable …. and ….. young.


  48. 48 sharrrrr

    If the production wants a veteran to play the role, why not hire someone like Jeon Ji Hyun or Ha Ji Won? Choi Kang Hee is a good actress, but I don’t think she suits younger guys when she herself looks older for her age…

    • 48.1 skinnymocha

      Jeon Ji Hyun would be perfect~ Although that’s not going to happen unless movie stars returning to TV is the trend these days.

  49. 49 Sonia

    Gosh. She does not look noona material. She looks like an aajumma. Especially with Joo won, she looks like she could be his mom or his aunt. Imagine a kiss scene between the two! I think I might puke a little if I see it.

  50. 50 jomo

    Not an age thing, but an energy thing.
    She feels resigned in whatever role she plays.
    JW is still fresh and bright.
    Put him with KTH even and I would like that. Hmmmmmm…..I would.

    • 50.1 SoyJade

      Exactly the thought I was having! (except for the KTH, who I do not know who it is ๐Ÿ™‚

      When I saw her name, plus what I know of the character, the image of her, Ji Hyun-Woo and the way she used to treat him in “My Sweet Seoul” comes to mind.
      I do not like it Sam I am!!

      • 50.1.1 jomo

        Kim Tae Hee who was originally linked to this project.
        She is such the obvious choice. It would fit her skills and prettiness and personality perfectly.

        • SoyJade

          Yes! Thank you. Now I remember the original story. That would have worked really well. I Liked Kim Tae Hee in “My Princess” and the first 6 episodes I watched of Iris. I think you are right those two would have been a good pair. Though, isn’t Kim Tae Hee about to star in a new project?. I really hope the CKH’s schedule does not match this drama and they look for someone better suited to Joo Woo.

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