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Choi Kang-hee confirms Secret Agent War

Confirmations are in: Choi Kang-hee (Protect the Boss) has signed on to be Joo-won’s leading lady in the new spy action rom-com drama Secret Agent War. I… can’t pretend to be ecstatic about this news, as I’m not exactly her biggest fan, but I’m willing to keep an open mind. Who knows, maybe she just played characters I didn’t like before, and somehow she and Joo-won will defy the strangeness of their coupling, have fantastic chemistry, and make me eat my words? Maybe? Possibly? A little bit? I’m trying here! Sigh, the things we do for aegyo monsters. Joo-won, if this drama sucks, I’m putting you on a timeout.

The series is based on the hit movie Level 7 Civil Servant, and will feature a pair of spies who keep their identities a secret from each other while they navigate the muddy waters of dating. It’s like Mr. and Mrs. Smith: The Dating Years, which is a fantastic premise. I loved the movie with Kim Haneul and Kang Ji-hwan, and have wanted them to make this drama forever. It’ll be a fun genre mashup: spy action thriller, romantic melo, and healthy dose of comedy. The 20-episode drama will be written by Chun Sung-il, of Chuno and Level 7 Civil Servant. Directing is Kim Sang-hyub, who was the second director on Dong Yi.

Choi Kang-hee will play Kim Seo-won, an agent with brains, brawn, and looks, but lacking in wealth. She’s the eldest daughter of a poor farmer, and works hard to support her family financially, from living expenses to all her siblings’ tuition. Seo-won is tenacious and independent, and a realist with fierce pride. Joo-won plays Gil-ro, a rookie agent who comes from a well-to-do family. Their initial conflict will arise out of — what else — money and pride.

Phew, well at least they changed it so that Joo-won will be the rookie to Choi Kang-hee’s higher-ranked agent, because I just didn’t see how they were going to pull off same-aged characters and agents on equal footing. But if he’s just playing the younger man and we’re not pretending they’re the same age, it works better all around. Chemistry concerns aside, I am still excited for the drama, because who doesn’t love spies and secret identity hijinks? I hope they milk the hell out of the comedy on this.

Secret Agent War will air in January on MBC.

Via Joy News

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Can i cry? haha!

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CKH definitely fits the role but pairing her up with Joo Won?

Huhu... yes bring on the tissues!

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yes! i actually like choi kang hee, and i like joo won too, but not together...i guess i just have to digest the fact that they are starring on this together.

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my thoughts exactly

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I also feel a bit sad of Joo Won. Didn't he say in that interview that he was hoping to work with/be paired with someone nearer his age. But maybe I'm remembering that wrong.

Honestly, I don't get the rash of noona romances with a big (6+ years) age gap. It's not very realistic....not that dramas are realistic anyway...but still.

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He said it.

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He said that he wants to play a character nearer his age.

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*sighs*

Le sigh~

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They are 10 years apart! This is crazy! Can't they find a younger girl closer to his age at least?
It makes it more real in the 'chemistry' sense...at least let us drool over a beautiful young couple ~ the age gap scares me! It's like convincing myself to date my

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Me too. I love both of them individually, but together...? I still having difficulties in trying to picture them in my head.
Now, what I can do is pray... Hope they will be as good OTP as Jisung - Yoom Jung Ah in Royal Family or Chae Rim - Siwon in Oh! My Lady...

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I thought Chaerim and Siwon were an awful couple in Oh! My Lady.. She was practically his mother throughout the drama and then all of a sudden he developed feelings for her because she was also mothering his child.. It was just.. gross .___.

As for Joo Won and CKH I absolutely agree. But it might end up cute? Like Ha Ji Won + Lee Seung Gi in King2Hearts cute? Hopefully..?

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I'm actually upset that she accepted the role...how does she expect to pass as someone 10 years younger? Aisyyyhhhhh....plus the fact that i never warmed up to her...i've tried, but I ....urghhh...so disappointed!

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me too... my exact sentiments >.<

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Here, share my Kleenex.

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sigh ....... i'm already crying...

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this pairing is way too creepy... why did she said yes? girl, you know the age difference and said yes? what is she going to play next? a school girl??? gimme a break!
poor Joo Won, i know he's not going to play his aegyo-self but i hoped he would work with a younger actress.
anyway, let's hope for the best *fingers crossed*

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Yes, I've got the tissues. Ugh.

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Sounds like they made the story to fit who they cast rather than the other way round.

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And this is the little ray of sunshine that is keeping me hopeful about the drama. *crosses fingers*

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If she calls him ahjussi, I'm going to die... Painful memories...

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They could also be trying to inject something new to the story presented in the movie. Look at how some kdramas adaptations of manga change things around. Heard Kim Tae hee was offered this project too and she's only 3 years younger than CKH, so maybe they were considering an older woman all along. In some close-up shots of My Princess, you can KTH's crows feet lines around her eyes, but KTH with crows feet is still more gorgeous than most female celebs in their early 20s.

I'm a bit worried about the story. Except for the spies angle, there doesn't seem to be much oomph to it. And considering that the last kdrama spy drama I watched didn't turn out so well (Spy Myung Wol).....

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With what you've just pointed out, please take everything I'm going to say with a grain of salt.

There's a rumour going around of an actress who gets around by you know how. According to the sources, this actress brought surprise to many by taking on this particular role and having the character tailored to her will.

Please don't take this seriously gaiz :3

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why oh why??...i'm on the same page as you on this one!!..doesn't really had a good impression on her..and i have been waiting for so long for this drama..hmm..let's wait and see then

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I don't exactly know how I feel about this pairing.

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Yes let's stay positive about this drama! Me too i'm excited for it !!!!

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My heart sank a little while reading the title of this article. I love Choi Kang Hee, but a big part of me was hoping she wasn't going to sign onto this drama (any other drama would've been fine). Oh well, it looks like a done deal so it's time to move on and hope this drama will fare well in the chemistry and romantic comedy departments.

I'm glad the writers aren't going to try to spin some drama magic and make us believe these two are the same age, but I was hoping Joo Won would get to be the oppa for his leading lady.

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Same here. I don't mind Choi Kang Hee at all, but she isn't one of those actresses that's believable with younger co-stars.

I guess we'll have to get used to the noona trend, given the YEH and Yoo Seung Ho/Yoochun pairing coming up.

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NO! MOTHER OF! Dude, I'm all about casting when it comes to dramas. My beloved Joo Won, I guess we'll see if I stick this out.

Another noona-dongseng relationship.

EYEROLL.*

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No, more like ajumma rather than noona

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I think joo won is crying in the picture., On purpose?

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this made me laugh... :D

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Hmm...I'm not really a fan of Joo Won in the first place, though I would have tuned in anyways to see how things go just because I loved the movie so much. But this pairing just does nothing for me. I totally believe that Choi Kang-Hee can pull off the spunk of Kim Ha-neul's character, and Joo Won is a great actor in his own right, but combined, I just feel like they aren't a good match. I wish the casting department just went with either Joo Won or Choi Kang-Hee, but not both. But who knows? Man-child Joo Won might end up having fantastic chemistry with noona Choi Kang-Hee. I'll *try* to keep an open mind until January.

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Let the wailing and gnashing of teeth begin.

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* bites tongue * and keeps quiet.
My mother used to say that if you're nothing nice to say don't say anything.
I've repeated this refrain countless times when I read the earlier posts. Plus the other news.

I need a Joo Won aeygyo gif or something as a reward.
* ck goes back to viki and stares at her cutie pie * and says it's okay.
Kim Seo Won will kick Gil ro's butt and he will give her his puppy eyes. There. My something nice to say for the whole casting process.

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i'm excited!! :D i liked CKH in Protect the Boss--i'm on board with this :D

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it seems i'm in the minority, but oh well - i LOVE choi kang hee AND joo won AND spies, so i'm excited! i'll hold out until i see what their chemistry is like, but i have high hopes for this drama. hopefully it doesn't disappoint. i know the age difference is strange, but they're both talented and i think they can make it work.

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Same here. I'm one of the few people who's actually excited about this pairing!

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yes me too, when i see the movie i always thought the feamale lead is older from the way he treat KJH, even in the movie doesn't mention about age exactly

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I'm not a fan of either of the two; I've only heard of Joo Won and haven't seen him in anything. I've seen Protect the Boss as well as a select few movies that with Choi Kang Hee and find that she can either be a bit annoying, or really, really good in her role. I enjoyed Protect the Boss, but not so much because of Choi Kang Hee alone.

Although I am interested in this series because I liked the movie it's based off of, which was LOTS of fun.

What I'm in the minority about, however, is the age difference. I don't see why a noona-dongsaeng romance is such a problem with everyone. As long as they aren't trying to play off Joo Won as too much older than his true age or Choi Kang Hee as way younger than her true age, then I don't see a problem. Older women/younger men romances DO wo [Read more]

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Here, Here!! I totally agree with you!

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This is pretty common place around these parts. Oh no she's older than him, oh no they won't have chemistry, why her?! I really loved her in Protect the Boss and Choi Kang-hee was hilarious and heartfelt and kick ass in it! I love noona romances.

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Yeah, I'm kinda side-eyeing the hullabaloo over the age difference as well, just because it rarely happens when the male actor is the older one. Unless you're really patriarchal, why would noona-dongsaeng relationships bother you more than oppa-dongsaeng ones?

My reservations about this are strictly chemistry-related - I'm not a huge fan of Choi Kang-hee's acting and I wonder how she'll mesh with Joo-won - but I have no problem with the age difference, especially since both parties are 25 and up (which I always consider as the threshold for "true" adulthood, lol).

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I'm excited to see this drama with these specific actors. I love JW and I love CKH(One of my favorite dramas is Protect the Boss)! I think this character seems to be very similar to the one she played in PTB. I loved her character in that drama so I think I'll love her here.

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After Gaksital (your recaps alone)...JOO WON <3 OMGOMGOMG heart palpitations!

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oh no :(

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That kiss is gonna be one big ass damocles' sword I can tell you that.
Threatening us... mocking us... TT^TT

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At last the confirmation, I was laughing every time I visited forum, blogs, seeing all JW's fans are crying/outburst, etc. Come on, CKH is cute and sometimes can look very beautiful with right make up and photo lighting. By the way, Jo Woo is not THATTTTT handsome, so I think they are in good match.
I think JW's fans should worry more on the writer (Chuno' writer), he can be soooo good, but sometimes not hitting the mark also.

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Some of his fans really turned me off, but I gotta remind myself that their opinion shouldn't be reflected on Joo Won. He's a good actor and I'm putting my faith in that... That he can manage to create chemistry with any actress, age-wise and look-wise.

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THIS!
Thank you very much Gala, let me give you lots of stars and hugs!

Drama is not only based on the actor/actress alone, but much, much, much more depend on the director, bunch of good writers, stylist (that includes wardrobe stylist - you can make a lot of different with good stylist), and tons of other behind the camera.

Sure, actor/actress will help and will always take a spotlight. But without tons of good help behind them, even the most brilliant one can't deliver a good drama.

May I remind you that Joo Won 'Baker King, Kim Tak Goo', he paired with Eugene. She is 6 years older. And both have portrayed the drama successfully.

So?

What I hope for this drama is bringing out the best of this pairs and the story keeps me interesting to watch them and make my day (especi [Read more]

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JOO WON IS NOT THAT HANDSOOMMEEE??? ARE YOU LIKEEE....BLINDDD???

OMG THAT COMMENT REALLY UPSET ME.

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NOOOOOOOO!!

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NOO... not really that excited for CKH to play the female lead.
Someone younger or, I dunno, more Joowon-fitting-ish would've been better.

I just can't see these two together. At all.

Thanks for the news, GF!

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Awww, I love her and would be watching this for sure if it wasn't for Joo-won who I can't stand.

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huh, there are even such people who don't like Joo-won :O
No offence, it's just so strange after all the messages crying for Joo-won's sake :D

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yeah I can't stand him either! He really irks me!

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I'm really going to have to keep an open mind about this casting until this actually comes out...although I like both of them, this pairing is too weird.

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I don't know what to expect from this drama ._. But I do hope that JW will turn out to be SUPER HOT! ;)

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um...

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

D: D: D: D: D: D: D: D: D: D: D: D: D: D: D: D: D:

and... I was so looking forward to this one.... ARGH! I'll try to keep an open mind and hope this works out..

Drama-gods didn't listen to my prayers D:
WAEEEEEEEEEEE
can we like petition her out of this role?
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

okay lol i am really freaking about this

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i hope they have tons of chemistry just so they can prove everyone wrong.

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My second something nice for the DECADE.
Choi Kang Hee can act. Joo Won can act.
Chemistry, loads of it, is not everyone is worried about.
Oh yeah, where is my something nice?
CKH can act. Joo Won can act :-)

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Seconded.

I'm getting tired of seeing all the criticism against the noona-dongsaeng romance. I mean, if the age difference is addressed in the story and we're not trying to make him out to be older than her or the same age, what's the problem.

Why is it so wrong for an older woman to be cast alongside a younger man? It happens in real life too, you know. Sometimes you just can't help who you like or fall for. I hate these old age taboos, really.

If there ends up being good chemistry and works for them, then I'm fine with it. I've seen plenty of series where we have pairings of the same age or of the traditional older man/younger woman pairing where they DON'T have chemistry even if they are more aesthetically pleasing to our young audiences.

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gahhh.... I am not watching this now. Gosh. I can't even imagine any romantic scenes between these too. She looks like his mom. like for real. If they kiss.... gah I think I will be too disgusted to watch it.

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holy mother truckers.... can he ONCE just act with a girl who is around his age please!? I'm really getting sick of the noona and dongseng image. I LOVE joowon, I like her... but not together... the chemistry just seems OFF.

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Uee and Jin Se-yeon are younger than him, while Eugene is older. So really, this drama would be balancing out the ages of his costars. And can you judge the chemistry before you even see them on-screen or even in pictures?

Relax, people. It's not the end of the world just because Joo Won is acting with an older actress. Be rest assured he'll do more dramas after this one.

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uee IS his age, she is only one year younger than him.

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I… can’t pretend to be ecstatic about this news,

my thoughts exactly :/

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o.O

I couldn't stand her in Protect the boss.. ><

My watching this is gonna depend on her hairstyle and overall look. If it complements Jowon's then I just might watch it.. if the age gap's painfully clear.. then I'm dropping it.

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Tangent from the casting news - it seems like more and more dramas are starting out as 20 episodes rather than the standard (or it used to be, anyway) 16. Most of them, I think, would be better in 16. There's less filler and dragging on of plots that way.

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There's still hope.... Maybe she will play the role of Joo Won's aunt ;)

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I was skeptical at first, even though I liked Choi Kang-hee in Protect the Boss, but now that it's set, well, we just have to accept it. I think it might be fine since she had really good chemistry with that baby of a character Ji Sung played. But then I think of all the other possibilities, and it makes me sigh. At least they didn't cast some idol or something like every other drama. I prefer my Joo Won wooing a real actress over some newbie idol who can't act.

Anyway, wasn't Kang Ji-hwan's character a rookie agent in the movie? That would make sense for Joo Won's character here and maybe why they casted an older actress.

January, come faster!

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20 episodes seem a bit much.. the movie didn't quite have a complex story from what I remember. I hope the fun remains. I'm a little sad at the news and also the change in story. I liked the equal footing better, but probably not enough drama in that.

Well, last time I was skeptical about Seung-Gi and Ha Ji Won pairing and ended up liking them a lot.. but still I can't quite picture them together.

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Agree about Lee Seung-gi and Ha Ji-won, and they turned out to be one of my favorite couples this year. Hopefully, this pairing will surprise me in a good way.

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Ha Ji-Won and Lee Seung-Gi are exactly what's keeping me hopeful here. All that pessimism over their age difference, and they were absolutely fantastic together.

I like Choi Kang-Hee. I've never seen any of Joo Won's projects, but other people love him enough to cover me, too. They're both solid actors who have been given an entertaining premise. This may not be ideal, but it's kind of premature to call it a wash already.

(And I have to admit, there's a part of me that loves the hell out of that age difference. It gets spun the other way all the time and rarely do I see complaints; a little subversion is a-okay by me.)

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I have no problem with the pairing. Inspite of Choi Kanghee's 10 year age gap with Joowoon it seemed not evident at all...just look the above pic of the two...have u noticed that difference? Naaaahhh! So, stop that drama Joowon fanatics ...just support your idol, if u really love him. And I believe in Hee's acting ability... This tandem is far more better than the Faith couple whose chemistry is 0 degree centigrade, lol!

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It's not the ageeee it's the behaviour! Joo Won is immature to Choi Kang Hee's mature and peeps are worried it might display itself on screen (especially in a romantic-comedy genre) and throw off the "romantic" part.

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Erm... In Korea, the surname/family-name is placed before the given name, so that would be Choi, not Hee.... Just putting that out there. :)

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And have u browsed with Choi Kanghee's pics in the Internet? She's still gorgeous!

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swerrie half of them are photoshopped

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oh... she was the reason i stopped watching protect the boss.. :/

but i'm willing to stay optimistic. maybe it'll work somehow. maybe my love for the movie and for joo-won will transfer to her (it works like that, doesn't it?). maybe this will be THE drama that changes my mind about choi kang-hee. you never know~

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I loved the Kang Ji Hwan version, but I'm so tired of them remaking good movies into dramas, like they did that with The Classic into Love Rain.

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hmmmm...I thought Choi Kang-hee was perfectly serviceable in Protect the Boss - but it was because the role was quirky (slightly doofus) and her facial expressions and overall physical appearance was meant to be comical.

She's best when she's a jokester and even if it's Non-PC to say so ...Kang-hee LOOKS like a woman in her 30's.

Which is hardly a killing offense (ha!) There are puh-lenty of viable male actors within her professional scope who would NOT make her look older when standing next to each other.

Honestly, I think I consider her rather *brave* to take-on being filmed as the love interest of a man a decade younger than herself. (BRING ON THE FACIALS !!! stat!) hahah.

parting note: when I first read that Ha Ji Won and Lee Seunggi would be the OTP in K2Hearts...I had a [Read more]

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Yeah, I was also thinking of K2H and that whole debacle in the comments with livid Ha Ji Won fans XD (I really liked that pairing, though!)

So, I'm hoping this is like that too. I will gladly put my foot in my mouth if they sizzle instead of fizzle.

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Choi has a resemblance with Kim Haneul in some of her pics... I believe that she has a chemistry with Joowon and that I'm dying to see, can't wait! My favorite upcoming dramas are from MBC - I Miss You and this WonHee's action romance drama - The Battle of the Secret Lovers! Saranghye, MBC!

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YES

YES

YES

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two great actors. i like them both. the drama can be great. .
come on , 애자 actress. he ought to be honoured to work with her. . . . HOWEVER!

they're gonna be kissing. quite a bit.
HOW? :(

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Ohh, as everyone agreed, they are both good actors, I trust he can deliver it well... with her, leading him.. ^^

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She doesnt look old, come on. THEY CAN pull off like maybe a 5 years age gap?

BUT JUST. CKH......You, Joo Won, KISS SCENE. Jealous :)

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I had high hopes for this drama but now they aren't as high. The pairing dose not seem to mash well and in a way i wish the netcitizens would do something. Not that i dont like her but im just not feeling it. Hope it proves me wrong so that i can eat my own words.

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This sure ain't gonna be a Korean version of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie collab. So, it's gonna be spunky/quirky and aegyo instead. In PTB, she had decent chemistry with Jaejoong, but only because she was more like his noona crush. Had they been the OTP, I would have been wayyyy turned off. *I am sorry, CKH.*

She and Ji Sung made an adorable couple though; and she looked good with Jang Hyuk in Thank You. IMO, she is one of those actresses that pair better with mostly mature actors around her age.

I was interested because of the premise, but since I am not a die-hard fan of either of the leads, my interest level has gone down. The pairing just seems kinda off to me.

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Sigh.

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She looks toooooo old for joo won! I was excited for the show until she was announced as the female lead :(((
Why?????

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i think they could have looked a little bit longer and find someone great for this role

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LOL ah well. I'm hoping they have good chemistry as a ROMANTIC pairing then. And at least I get to see CKH again. I do love her, but I'm still iffy about this.

SO. IFFY.

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Her acting in Protect the boss was good but NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! Sigh I guess they're gonna somehow make us like this couple..hopefully.

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God, Maybe I'm the only one who are not consider CKH looks old for Jo Woon.

I don't find her looking too old for his age. I saw her in PTB and several movie she has starred. And, God, she is so smexy in Petty romance and have ahmazing chemistry with his co-star. I'm sure she will burn the screen. Unfortunately it's not a tv kabel drama lol

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I am... not excited now. Sigh. I was hoping someone else would take the role. Alas...

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Choi Kang-Hee made her debut in the same year that i was born! Ohmo :O I don't know her that well but like all of you said, Joo Won should have been paired with a younger, cuter actress. It'd be more convincing perhaps, and a tinge bit easier to the eyes :| Gosh but the decision's made :( MAKE THIS WORK PD TEAM! :'{ Pleeeaase?

Btw, anyone realized this is the very FIRST drama joo won's doing and it's not a kbs drama? :O Fingers crossed it'd be equally prominent! my aegyo oppa, 파이팅!

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MM maybe we shouldn't be too harsh to judge before they even appear on screen together. It's not like the story calls them to be the same age. He's clearly established to be younger than her. It's not like she's 20 years older. Some of the pairing of older actresses/younger actors pairing were not as bad as i first thought (K2H, Faith,...) so i'll give them a chance. I liked her in Protect the Boss so i think she'll be good with the comedy and kick ass part.

And if it's a physical issue, well he's kinda cute and all but it's not like he's a Won Bin either or something. I don't really go googoo gaga over him like some do. And the actress is fine to me. It's just that petition against her being cast that i saw online was just a bit much.

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Petition?! o.O LOL damn, people are crazaaaaay. I think my biggest gripe is can Joo Won handle all the woman that is Choi Kang Hee cuz...I feel like...he ain't ready yet. HAHA. But no, seriously, can he? I hope so. I'm definitely down because I like them both a great deal but still iffy until I see how it is on screen, or hear about it.

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Yes a petition. I just don't love or hate anything enough from TV or Kdramaland for me to invest my time in signing such petitions lol

That's all i'm saying to just wait and see. If by epi 1 or 2, they are really not clicking. I'll be the first one ranting about it lol I just don't think that's it's fair to her.

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Yeah, I think for many it's concerns about the chemistry due o their maturity level rather than the age difference. Because you can be young and mature (Yoo Seung Ho who plays characters that are like 25 to his 19) where as Joo Won is not really there yet. I can't see him playing anyone older than his age, ya know?

But then again, reading the article again, CKH seems like she's supposed to be the more mature one in the relationship so hopefully it'll work out :)

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he already did in ojakgyo. he was convincing as a 31 year old guy then. he is a good actor - lets not prejudge the drama

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@enz
He did! I couldn't tell, though & honestly forgot,lol. And I'm hardly pre-judging the drama, I'm just worried about --and I said it many times literally all over this thread-- the chemistry between the two leads being more "buddy" or sibling-like than romantic. I could understand if you said that to someone who was all "Ohmygaawwwd this is going to suck" but I'm not saying that or thinking that, so please don't interpret my comments in that way.

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Men learn from mistakes. Jw still haven't tasted a failure. He said wants to challenge himself even if it isn't succeed. So both he and CKH agreed to work together no one forced them. For fans who cant watch them (as i) just pretend he has break and this drama never excit ....it helps alot.

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@sasa

Lol, but I do want to watch them and see how it goes :)

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@canxi

Have fun.

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