Drama Casting & News
Level 7 Civil Servant’s first script read
by | November 20, 2012 | 104 Comments

Joo-won, back to dramaland so soon? We barely had a chance to miss ya. Well you know you won’t hear me complain about it, though it IS confusing for those of us still holding onto Gaksitaaaaaal. Guess now’s a good a time as any to begin letting go, whether we like it or not. And a good dose of comedy is just the ticket, I reckon.

Production is underway for the spy rom-com Level 7 Civil Servant, starring Joo-won and Choi Kang-hee as a pair of undercover agents who have to keep their secret identities a secret (well duh) — but from each other, as well as the rest of the world. The cast gathered for the first table read at MBC to kick things off.

The 20-episode series is slated for the Wednesday-Thursday slot following I Miss You, putting the premiere in mid-January. It’s the drama adaptation of the hit movie starring Kang Ji-hwan and Kim Haneul, which recently switched its title back to the original, after going by Secret Agent War for a while. I don’t know why they diverged from the movie’s title in the first place, if the entire point is to cash in the film’s success.

In fact I’m glad they’re sticking to the movie’s original concept, in having Choi Kang-hee’s character the higher-ranked agent, and Joo-won’s character the rookie. I don’t think he’s going to be as bumbling as Kang Ji-hwan, but hey, a girl can dream right? Maybe it’s because Joo-won has yet to truly ruin his image on 1 Night 2 Days, but I just want him to be completely ridiculous.

Kim Min-seo and Chansung will round out the love square, as rookie agents. Man, I’m just now realizing how long it’s been since I’ve watched a regular ol’ rom-com with a regular ol’ love square. Where have you BEEN, rom-coms? Happy to be looking forward to one, even just a little.

Level 7 Civil Servant premieres January 16 on MBC.

Via Joy News


104 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Gustave154

    Will watch for joo won and chan sung!

    • 1.1 hawaiianseoul

      wait… is chansung the guy with the serious case of eyebrows a lá fonzie?

      • 1.1.1 pabo ceo reom

        Yup! He looks totally grown up from his High Kick days that’s for sure.

        • Rachel

          Ha somebody still remembers Chan Sung’s High Kick days. Speaking of which, by the way, the first one was the best of all seasons.

    • 1.2 JoAnne

      Not gonna lie – completely missed that Chansung was in this. I’m curious to see how he does.

      Joo Wonnie….you are just feeding noona fires. You realize this, right?

  2. Mystisith

    “Man, I’m just now realizing how long it’s been since I’ve watched a regular ol’ rom-com with a regular ol’ love square. Where have you BEEN, rom-coms?”
    I won’t comment again on the main pairing since my opinion didn’t change. I will try this show and see if it works.
    Informations I take from the pics: Already 4 episodes written and a secured casting while the drama starts airing in 2 months. Few productions start with so much margin and it’s kind of reassuring. I would really like for Show to take the True Lies road: “How was your day honey?”– “Nothing much, just the routine.”

    • 2.1 kilmenyanne

      True lies true lies true liesssss

  3. redfox

    ummm there is a plastic doll among them? the black leather jacket-black hair “guy”? it is not human is it. substitute for scriptreading? really weird … the actress actually looks cute here but way too serious. I hope she can bring some funny.

    • 3.1 JIW_sobangnim

      Is this meant to be nice….. or not nice? :O
      ANYWAYS! It is ChanSung from an idol group called 2PM 🙂
      He does have the idol-ish look but hey fans look at their every move gotta keep the idol spirit! HOWEVER, contrary to many idols nowadays ( no bashing ) CHANSUNG started off as an actor.

      Watch : Unstoppable High Kick Season 1. The original one.
      He has a charming spirit there. Only hoping for the best!

      JOO WON! <3

      • 3.1.1 redfox

        neither, just wondered why the guy looked so unhuman and doll-like. it is not that I hate it or anything, I just thought it was some trick of the eye

    • 3.2 Mystisith

      Haha. Yes. I had a flash of Gigolo Joe in A.I.

    • 3.3 enz

      I thought the same actually :p. I see Eric in him though but maybe I’m seeing Eric everywhere right now!

      • 3.3.1 jomo

        You and me both, Enz.

        EXCEPT in my house, dagnabbit!

        • Enz

          Jomo! Thou art greedy. I see you salivating over yoo seung ho and joo won too!! And song joong ki. Leave Eric to me for now coz right now, he is all I want 🙂

          • jomo

            OMG, this is a tough choice.
            I don’t need JW, but YESH! or My Joong-ki over Eric?

            Eric is by far the best kisser…hmmm….
            But YESH! may get better with experience, and My Joong-ki so far hasn’t sold me in that skill yet.

            So it is down to YESH! vs Eric.

            Joanne! What do I do?

          • JoAnne

            For sisterhood since you have others you do enjoy and Enz has just Eric – let her have Eric NOTE Under no circumstances will I ever give up My Beloved – screw sisterhood!

          • Enz

            SJK not a good kisser. I LOVED his enthusiastic kissing in penny pinchers. He good kisser. Enz declares!

            But I just wanna jump Eric.. I can’t help it. Trying to never go down the road of YESH because my god, at 19.. I don’t want joAnne to set pedonoona police on me

            JoAnne, who is My Beloved?

          • Enz

            Ok, he is past pedo noona but still, too too young!

          • Enz

            Ok, he is past pedo noona but still, too too young!

          • jomo

            OK I made my choice…Jung Ji Hoon!!
            Ha ha ha!

          • enz

            you HAD to di that. now I HAVE to google Jung ji Hoon. my k actor knowledge extremely limited.

          • enz

            jomo, you no likey joong ki’s sucky face?


          • JoAnne

            enz rain is the guy for this noona!!!

        • jomo

          Believe me, that PP scene was pretty amazizing, but sortuv lacked finesse.
          All reaction and no reconnaissance, not that he had time. LOL!

          • Enz

            I like it a little hasty and rough like that haha. Anyway, my pet dislike is when the leading men think swallowing the girl up is good kissing. Really hate large mouth opening during kissing scenes. So for me, on deeper analysis, SJK def looks like a good kisser.. Just the right amount of mouth opening and suction pressure :D.

            JoAnne, yes I googled .. So, now I know how he became jomo’s final choice HAH! Picking fights!!

    • 3.4 Fab


    • 3.5 pauper

      Now that you mentioned it, he does look a bit… waxy.

    • 3.6 Meghan

      I think it’s just an awkward angle of the picture, he usually doesn’t look bad. Chansung is quite handsome now he’s losing his baby face. Ahhhh idol maknaes are getting older and so am I…. sigh.

    • 3.7 ilikemangos

      haha — choi kang hee can do funny alright.
      check out some of her scenes from protect the boss.
      despite her looking quite serious in these photos, the lady can still act.

    • 3.8 jyyjc

      Funny the first thing I thought of when I saw chansung in that pic up there was that his hair looks like a plastic doll’s, like ken’s, but black.

    • 3.9 crazedlu

      MUAHAH. why yes.

    • 3.10 whatis

      HAHHAHA that was the first thing I thought! … What’s up with the Madame Tussaud doll?? haaha Photoshop overload right there!!

  4. Rainerust

    Man I totally agree about the rom-coms. We had a spate of them and then poof! Everything had to be complicated by murder, revenge, or…whatever.

    I loved the movie and I love Joo Won and Choi Kang Hee has always been not too bad for me, but I have to admit I have problems seeing how the pair works out. I really liked the PTB OTP and am having problems seeing JW in those shoes :/ on the other hand – hijinks galore! I hope this works well for everyone!

    And also, for a reading, the entire cast has amazingly furrowed brows. I’m just wondering why no smiley photos (except for JW!) we’re posted…

  5. Mira

    Finally !!! Can’t wait to watch this drama!!!
    Joo won ahhhhh! !!

  6. Nutella

    Choi Kang Hee doesn’t look like Choi Kang Hee. Does that make any sense?

    Joo Won~ If we’re going to see a bumbling Joo Won… I’m pretty sure we’ll be wanting to throw ourselves onto him for massive cuddles.

    And I spot the awesomesauce Lady Choi~ Will we get to see her as a VERY high-ranking secret agent? *Imagine Lady Choi with guns and gets giddy*

    • 6.1 redfox

      oh, right! it is “Lady Choi”! I wonder if she is their boss.

      • 6.1.1 jєѕѕα™ 주원사랑 (@jung_kYro)

        Maybe she’s CKH’s boss. I remember in the movie, KHN has a lady boss.. 🙂

        • jomo

          I think you are right.

        • redfox

          she´ll make an awesome lady boss. I can´t wait for it.

          • zsa

            I love Lady Choi!!!!…much much mooooooore than Choi Kang Hee….hehe…Lady Choi always awesome in all her roles! ^^

    • 6.2 needlight

      yes! i was so happy to see her there!

    • 6.3 Mar

      I too zeroed in on the Lady Choi actress. I might watch this for CKH and the Lady Choi actress. That’s a whole lot of ovular fortitude potential of fun viewing to be had just pushed this show up a notch for me to consider. Drama Gods please pair these two up as cranky bossy biotches with hearts of gold. They might take over the world lol.

  7. buki

    Actually CKH looks better than I expected. Still, he looks so young next to her. I guess it’s because he looks young even for his age.

    I hope she won’t be so annoyingly cute as Ha Ji Won’s character in TK2H. When she was all badass – I loved her. But once she changed her voice to be cute and aegyo I couldn’t stand it!

    I hope writers are realizing 35-year old women shouldn’t behave like 17-year old girls.

    • 7.1 Ladytron33

      I agree that CKH looks beautiful in the first photo. I’m not one of the people who has an issue with her casting in the first place, so I’m hoping this will give people who had reservations about how they “look together” a bit of pause.

      I’m more worried about how they write the characters. Let’s have some adults who actually act like adults, please!!! “Oh no, I’m a 30 something secret agent who kicks butt all over the place, but I’ve never been kissed and I faint at the thought of your rippling male physique.” *blergh*

      • 7.1.1 Conny

        I’m with you on all points. Especially the kissing part you mentioned. The shell-shocked-eyes-wide-open-omg-what-is-he-doing just doesn’t cut it for me in dramas with so called adults. I know it’s supposed to be cute and all, but I just don’t see it..lol

        • jomo

          She wasn’t like that with Ji Hyun-woo in My Sweet Soul. The kissing was very involved on both parts.
          But they are closer in age.

          At the time, JHW was 24 to her 31. He looked like a baby!
          Now, JW is 26 to her 36.

          JW 1987
          JHW 1984
          CKH 1977

      • 7.1.2 zsa

        You are so right…you can imagine how I cringed when kim ha neul’s character in AGD reacted when kissed and many other characters in other dramas…oh come on…at 30++ you should get over the shock and kiss back!

      • 7.1.3 asianromance

        I think the particular shade of lipstick she was wearing that day and the softer look for her hair helped her look fresher.

        I can buy the whole 30-year-old never been kissed thing (sometimes you just don’t encounter the opportunity until late). But just because a female character has the sexual/relationship experience of a 12 year old doesn’t mean she has to act like a 12 year old whenever she sees a guy naked or gets kissed. If she didn’t have the experience, she should be adult enough to ask for help: “I want to French Kiss you, but I’m not very experienced. Please lead the way and I will follow”.

    • 7.2 Laurita

      Agreed. She does really look very very good. I believe Ji Won will look more like a grown up once he is in a character (as we saw in Gaksital, he can do that).

      In the first place I was not so bothered with their looks, but with the fact itself (I’m little bit square when it comes to big age differences (yep, I tried to avoid all that noonas’ trend in dramas)). Still, if they can pull it… I’ll try and see.

      As for behavior, I justify real shyness and such, no matter the age. But, if it is unnatural and done just for appearance (smth like “oh, I though I will be cute now”), than no.

      • 7.2.1 jєѕѕα™ 주원사랑 (@jung_kYro)

        When I watched Protect the Boss, I don’t find Choi Kang Hee pretty. But when I watched Petty Romance, I realized she can be cute. I don’t exactly know what made her look different in Petty Romance. Maybe the hair helps? Or maybe she’s slimmer in PR?

        They won’t do anything in Joo Won’s face or hair to make him mature, right? Someone tell me they won’t!

  8. Fab

    Why can’t a woman act girly and cute when she is in love?

    I don’t know what’s the matter with pple, but CKH is very pretty and I can’t wait to see her kick that aegyo’ ass…

    • 8.1 buki

      I honestly find it creepy when 35-year old women pout their lips like high school girls.

      • 8.1.1 skelly

        Same here. Actually, this drama has cringeworthy written all over it: two cutesy little boys, one of them a total newbie to the format and an idol, and a much older woman in some sort of comedic love square that is also a spy movie that is also a re-make? This show will be compared to the original movie, and come up short, and Chansung (the plastic Fonzie doll) will be compared to Joo-Won and also be found wanting.

        I wish they would stop casting all of these newbie idols as leads – it really narrows down my choices for shows to watch. I am not wasting my time while yet another idol numbskull figures out how to emote beyond a CF or – gag me – “being cutee”

        • me

          You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch!

          • skelly

            You betcha. Old and cranky! 😉

          • Mystisith

            @skelly: You’re not supposed to catch my sickness. Not enough room for 2 crankypants on DB. ^^

  9. nomu nomu nomu

    some good signs. plenty of time befor the premier and the cast is already in place, there’s already a script reading (which duh, means there’s a script to be read) Since the premise is based from the movie, some of the plots and its trajectory is already available for the writers.

    seen and liked the move, so, I was going to try this out regardless of the promo details, but it doesn’t hurt that everything appears to be going smoothly.

    I didn’t know The Fonz was in this…. “Aaaaeeeyyy!”

  10. 10 kcan12

    I think I just noticed that the bad ass female detective from Story of a Man/The Slingshot is sitting there, which just made me SO much more excited for this show. I hope she spends a good amount of time commenting on Joo Won’s ass and making him uncomfortable.

    Thanks for the update GF!

  11. 11 ck1Oz

    LOL. I might not much of a 2PM fan but isn’t Chansung one of the popular good looking members? So why is it a surprise his profile looks good.

    For Joo Won- sigh, I am onboard for this drama. Casting shit or not.

    • 11.1 SoulsEntwined

      actually Chansung seems to be one of the less popular members of 2pm, he doesn’t get much solo work and hasn’t been in a drama in a while

      • 11.1.1 JoAnne

        Yeah I think it’s pretty much Taec and Wooyoung these days…but I like all the boys in 2PM…Yummy Beast Idols for the win! Not that I ever could picture Wooyoung as a beast, exactly, since my intro to him was in Dream High…but his recent ahhhh…developments make it easier.

    • 11.2 Meghan

      Chansung is actually one of the less popular members in Korea. Wooyoung, Taecyeon, and Nichkhun definitely would win the popularity poll. Chansung though is one of the popular members in Japan, he’s the best at speaking Japanese and was in a j-drama last year.

      But for 2PM fans like me, we’re excited to see Chanana in a kdrama, it’s been too long, and we all know how much he wanted to act again, considering that’s how he started out his career.

      • 11.2.1 JoAnne

        That, I didn’t know. Now I’m really excited to see! I haven’t watched anything he was in, so far.

  12. 12 UJ

    Ah i can actually see joo won and choi kang hee in the drama together now.. She looks relatively young in these pics.. They will make a cute couple 🙂

  13. 13 ladida

    Joo Won, don’t overwork yourself! It’s ok to take a break every now and then. But thank you for choosing a romcom. (I’m looking at you, Song Joong Ki. *wiggles eyebrows*)

    • 13.1 pogo

      from your eyebrows to SJK’s brain…..

    • 13.2 jєѕѕα™ 주원사랑 (@jung_kYro)

      I also hope SJK would pick a rom-com for his next project so I can see him smile more often. HA!

    • 13.3 JoAnne

      He is trying to make that money so he can give his hyung the biggest wedding gift! It’s not like he had much notice!

      • 13.3.1 jєѕѕα™ 주원사랑 (@jung_kYro)

        He actually got it from his hyungs. Look at Uhm Tae Woong and Kim Seung Woo.

        After The Equator Man, he’s working on a movie and he also has a new drama slated to air next year.

        While KSW, after the Third Ward, he’s now working with IRIS 2.

  14. 14 Js

    Chansung looks like Elvis…

  15. 15 befuddled


    • 15.1 Yewyee

      Ojakgyo brothers! Taehee!

  16. 16 NikaNika

    Choi Kang Hee looks really pretty in these pictures and Joo Won is always cute, of course; hope this drama is good, crossing my fingers.

  17. 17 Indi

    I will watch it because of Choi Kang. I looooove her since My Sweet Seoul, so squishable cute <3
    Joo Won does nothing for me, but I think they do look good together and I don't see the age difference at all.

  18. 18 mini

    Joo won is so cute.he seems quite humble in these pics(smiling like a child and wearing normal cloths even though he is main lead)
    I am not against for this pairing for now….
    And chunsung,he looks like plastic doll…like Ken for berbie doll world?hope everything goes well since they are going against Iris 2…

    • 18.1 jєѕѕα™ 주원사랑 (@jung_kYro)

      It will actually go against Jeon Woo Chi, then IRIS 2.

      So this will gonna be Joo Won vs Cha Tae Hyun and Kim Seung Woo. HA!

      It will gonna be a friendly competition among the 1N2D casts. 🙂

    • 18.2 jomo

      I think he looks daunted.
      Can you imagine beng in a room of actors of THAT calibre and experience?
      Most of them are pretty relaxed, prolly have worked together before and know each other’s idosyncrocies idiosyncracies habits.
      I’d be scared to death, too.

      • 18.2.1 canxi

        I agree. It’s also his first time in a Korean drama as a lead so he must be worried that he might mess up. He must be really concentrating on that script. He has the focused eyes of concentration!

        • skelly

          He has the glazed look of abject terror. And rightly so.

          • canxi


  19. 19 pogo

    I might check this out for Kim Min-seo, I’ve been enamoured of her ever since Sungkyunkwan Scandal and I’d love it if she graduated to playing proper first lead some day instead of enigmas/villains (though she is SO GOOD as those).

  20. 20 @liss@

    Looking at the first script reading, it seems that the script for the first 4 episodes are completed. Hope this drama starts shooting soon since there is like only 1 and half mths left to premier. I really dont want another MY which just shows crappy production planning. Felt that CKH and JW are displaying really good vibes and gives me hope that this pairing might just work out well 🙂

  21. 21 cg

    Well….I haven’t seen any of Joo won’s dramas yet…..so I’m not very much looking forward to this….I guess it’s time to watch Bridal Mask so that i can also join the “Joo won fan club” 🙂

    • 21.1 nomu nomu nomu

      you could go with two choices depending on your mood.

      Gaksital (Bridal Mask) – Dark and intensive, action packed with emotion. It will get you yelling GAKSITAAAAL in no time.

      Ojakgyo Brothers – family oriented Rom-Com, not fluffy, This drama does have heart. Funny and heartwarming, what more can you ask?

      • 21.1.1 cg

        Thanks a lot for the suggestion 😀

      • 21.1.2 jomo

        Baker King, too.
        You have to get through a lot of majang, but
        JW stole the show as the second lead.

        Though I have to say JW’s ability to cry pretty better be back-burnered for this show.
        Let’s have HAPPY HAPPY character for a change, guys.

        • nomu nomu nomu

          True dat, Jomo

          we need varieties,
          personally, I don’t mind Dark once in a while, but HAPPY HAPPY characters are always welcomed.

          I purposely didn’t mentioned Baker King because I have an allergy to Makjang, but for those that enjoy it, yes, it was highly regarded among that genre type and Joo-won was reportedly did very well.

        • ilikemangos

          So agree with ya’ll on him being “dark”.
          i honestly think that’s when joo-won’s at his best.
          I think in terms of acting, he killed me in baker king. I ended up falling in love with him over the lead amidst all the makjang.
          I’m open with him trying out a more comedic character because i think that’s an area our boy can expand on.

          • R

            I like Majun too. Good acting from JW in his 1st drama.
            I’m one of those still holding onto Gaksitaaaaaal but now very excited for this new drama !!!

  22. 22 Kiara

    Reading this makes me want to watch Mr and Mrs Smith again. I love spy movies/dramas but I’m not excited about this for some reason.

    • 22.1 JoAnne

      I remember watching that in the theater with a girlfriend, turning to her, and saying this: There is NO WAY they are not sleeping together.

      Within what? One month? Two? The scandal over Brad leaving Jennifer for Angelina broke.

      It was Queen Inhyun’s Man-level chemistry…I’ll never forget it. Wouldn’t it be funny if it turned out that way for Joo Won and Choi Kang Hee, too?

      • 22.1.1 Kiara

        I wonder what would have happened if Nicole Kidman didn’t turn down the role.

        I wasn’t excited about Yoo In Na as the female lead but she rocked her role in Queen In Hyun’s Man. I guess we should give Choi Kang Hee a chance.

  23. 23 crazedlu

    Will this be regular? 😐

    Joo won.~

  24. 24 canxi

    Choi Kang Hee always looks pretty! (also love her lego phone case!) I just hope the maturity levels of Joo Won and Choi Kang Hee are on the same page in this drama so the relationship doesn’t come off as friends! or mentor/student or *horrors* brother/sister because that’s what I’m worried about with the pairing.

  25. 25 adette

    i sooo want joowon to be dorky and lovable and a little incompetent like kang jihwan’s character was :3

    also: CHOI KANGHEE HAS MY PHONE CASE. except mine is blue hehe.

  26. 26 ilikemangos

    I love how at first there was all gnashing of teeth when everyone found out choi kang hee was cast opposite joo-won. Now, it seems as though that chaos as subsided..hopefully? Ha.
    I know for sure i’ll check out this drama. I don’t know how their chemistry will play out but i know for sure choi kang hee does lady-boss-that-whips-into-shape really well. Chemistry is important, but if they play it out more subtly i honestly wouldn’t care as long as this action show is well-done. Some of us might agree that King Of Dramas need not a romance to keep us from watching that hilarious&well-executed show.
    So here’s some hope to those who are still doing the gnashing.

  27. 27 BellaMafia

    I’m definitely going after JW’s hoodie and watch… *going nuts for Black Friday*

  28. 28 buki

    BTW is it just me or does Chansung look even older than Joo Won?
    Or is it his hair? 😀

    • 28.1 mysticmalady

      I think it’s the hair; then again, there must be a reason why he’s called the ‘old maknae’ in 2pm… XD

  29. 29 mellowyel

    Okay, so before these photos, I wasn’t seeing how it would work but now it’s starting to come together for me. The movie version is awesome so I was skeptical about the whole thing, not just the cast. If they keep the lead girl and guy badass/hilarious and goofy/adorkable respectively, I’ll be sold.

    Also, is this just a rom-com? Not an action-rom-com?

  30. 30 addylovesbwood

    I cannot wait!!!! I love Joo won!!!

  31. 31 ajj

    Chansung looks super hot..

  32. 32 lili

    There were a lot of comedy drama this year with not so good rating.
    I Do, I Do, Haeundae Lovers, The King 2 Hearts, Ohlala Couple and the new one The King of Dramas. I haven’t watched those dramas just saw the rating and genre from dramawiki.
    The question is can this drama make it Big?

  33. 33 Tha

    I don’t care what anyone says! choi Kang Hee looks super young and cute here! I think she’ll match up with Joo Won just fine!

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