Drama Casting & News
Still injured, Choi Su-jong resumes filming in voice only
by | January 8, 2013 | 34 Comments

GOOD LORD. Okay, here are the facts of KBS’s weekend sageuk drama King’s Dream:

  • Lead actor Choi Su-jong was in a car accident in September. He was told to take four weeks off. He returned to work right away.
  • Lead actress Park Joo-mi was in a car accident in October. Her stylist broke her leg. Park Joo-mi’s esophagus was seriously damaged (crushed).
  • The next day, Choi Su-jong was in a horseback accident while filming. He fell from a horse and tore a ligament in his (sword-wielding) arm.
  • By the way, another actor also had an accident while filming on horseback, early on in the drama’s production; Kim Yoo-seok replaced injured Choi Jae-sung.
  • Park Joo-mi canceled shoots, but went back to work earlier than advised. This time the attempt to act inflamed her vocal cords and she literally could not speak.
  • King’s Dream was forced to take several weeks off the air while its leads rested.
  • Park Joo-mi’s health worsened and she was replaced by actress Hong Eun-hee.
  • King’s Dream resumed broadcasts in mid-December after five weeks. Ratings were largely unaffected.
  • In late December, Choi Su-jong underwent seven-hour surgery for his broken collarbone and fingers. King’s Dream took another weekend off the air.
  • Choi Su-jong still insisted on coming back to work despite doctors advising him to take much more time off. To avoid further postponements and missed broadcasts, KBS and producers have finally decided that for the next three weeks, Choi Su-jong will continue to act for the drama, but only with his voice. He will not film any scenes, and will only voice-over scenes.
  • Scripts are heading into major revisions, to cut his character out of as many scenes as possible.
  • King’s Dream is slated for 80 episodes. It has aired 26.

I have one thing to say about this madness: JUST QUIT ALREADY.

Okay, maybe I can rustle up a few more comments: It is commendable for an actor to feel responsibility for his role as headliner and mood-maker and perhaps even source of income for a whole crew of hard-working staff who would be otherwise out of a job. And when you’ve poured so much time and effort and money into a project, I get that you don’t want to just let it fizzle away.

But you know what? At a certain point you look at the chips and you walk away. You think, Hey, this is insanity. Maybe I don’t want to work in these conditions. Maybe it’s better for all of us to call it a day. Nobody can accuse us of not giving it a decent shot.

Remember when Wolf got canceled barely a few episodes into its run, when its star (Eric) got into a massive car accident while filming? It seemed so dire at the time, but you know what? Life actually went on. People got new jobs and new dramas and the world didn’t fall apart.

I KNOW. It’s a concept. Sometimes in life, you have to know when to let it go.

Via TV Daily

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34 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Gala

    I hope the network/production itself will pull the plug. Don’t leave the responsibility to the actor. If CSJ pull out of the drama, I’m sure there will be some netizen out there who’d put the blame on him, as ridiculous as it is. KBS let it rest. Put a stop to it.

  2. kelinci biru

    Yes, but maybe they haven’t heard that concept in k-drama for a while. Letting go and move on.

  3. Annie

    I think the only reason they haven’t pulled the plug yet is because the network must have sunk a pretty penny into the sets, costumes, star fees, etc.

  4. kittikiki

    Still, at a certain point you have to think “is this really worth it?” Park Joo-mi going back to work was probably risking her ability to speak, not just in the short term, but for a very long time. And that would have a huge (monetary) effect as well because she, as an actress, would have difficulty finding work. And then she could sue KBS, even if they made her sign something before going back to work saying the station could not be held accountable, because as soon as the media got a hold of it they would have to pay (even if not legally required to) because the PR would be terrible.

  5. swurbel

    puuhh.. the actors can take a beating for sure. But the actors puts their health at risk. Is It Really Worth It?
    I think Javabeans is right: this is insanity!!

  6. Orion

    Jesus… What next? Decorate his hospital bed in period patterns and fabrics, add a “King slipped” scene in the drama and have him act out of his bed? Will this ever end, or will they start getting actors killed, embalming them and placing them back on the drama?

    Give it up already! I’m sure even audiences have gotten tired of this and immersion can now go royally bye bye anyway. You’ve been beating on a dead horse (an appropriate enough expression for this series) for long enough.

  7. Ace

    Crazy people. I thought this got cancelled already or the lead actor got replaced. Sometimes I think it’s better if the world ended as “predicted” last year. There are more insane stuff happening everyday than there ever was.

  8. Ann

    As a speech pathologist, I can tell you that rest is essential to recovering from a vocal fold (medical name for vocal chord) injury. The patient is often told that they cannot speak at all for a while in order to heal. Misusing one’s voice can result in permanent damage; the voice may be usable, but not the same as before.

    I wish they would take out insurance against this sort of thing happening and then it might lessen the pressure to perform.

  9. cutieblue

    This drama sounds cursed, geesh!!! Cut your losses and run while you still can!! :(

  10. 10 BellaMafia

    I dont understand how they do voice only if he is not there? Isnt he the main character? Or they gonna make a cartoon character just for his scene?

  11. 11 momosan

    I had surgery to repair my hand when I broke it. It was pinned back together and took months of rehab. I literally had to learn how to write again. If he doesn’t to the rehab and take care of that hand as the docs tell him to, he risks not being able to use it normally ever again.

    These actors and dramas need to get a) stunt riders b) insurance and c) a grip on reality. I love the man, but at some point he needs to just go heal.

    • 11.1 Orion

      Not to mention they need proper stunt coordinators and trained crew to handle such security issues. Isn’t it so that the horse slipped on ice and injured him? If security is so lacking, anything can get actors and crew hurt. They’re already stressed and sleep-deprived enough to make mistakes without the assistance of a dangerous filming environment.

  12. 12 Mystisith

    This saga is really dramatically crazy. They should have replaced the 2 leads. When we see all the accidents on the sets, as an actor I would take a good insurance when I sign for a drama, even if it’s expensive. Like Doctors. Since we are drowning in the insanity, here’s my little contribution: http://www.meh.ro/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/meh.ro10196.jpg

  13. 13 HeadsNo2

    So the Korea Broadcast Actors Union can step in when actors aren’t getting paid, but no one steps in when actors are getting hurt? Repeatedly?

    Priorities.

  14. 14 kopytko

    In my opinion no drama in the world is worth that much suffering. Give it up, people. It’s just a tv series. It may be entertainment, it may even move viewers, but it really means absolutely nothing.
    I think what is needed is a drama about trade unions.

  15. 15 crazedlu

    sheezles. NEW ACTORS, production. and stunt doubles.

  16. 16 blokkoms

    Holy crap. This is actually insane: dedication is one thing, but actors need to be able to stop when it comes to risking permanent damage. Medics – can doctors refuse to discharge their patients if they feel that they need more time to recuperate? And SURELY there must be a petition being circulated by netizens somewhere to stop the show.

  17. 17 Chrissie

    Dude be crazy! Just cancel the whole thing already if you don’t want to recast. VoiceOver? What kind of nonsense lol *smh*

  18. 18 Steph

    26 out of 80? Voiceover? Yes, just QUIT before something even worse happens. Scrap the whole drama. It’s not worth anyone’s health.

  19. 19 mikan

    The reason why they keep on falling to accidents is because they don’t know how to rest for a while after advising them to really rest for a while …. they must also use their wisdom, not just pure passion.

  20. 20 kami

    don’t wanna lose “the rice bowl”

  21. 21 Daisy

    VoiceOver? Would there be like a stunt double acting? Or do they literally just means VoiceOver?
    They should really just end the drama! This drama seems to be cursed or something! People’s health is affected greatly! Just film a new drama and replace it! Yes it would be a pity but honestly people’s safety should always come first!

  22. 22 goldeng

    … … so… they think they’ll complete 54 episodes more with their male lead in voice only?! yeah right…! no one knows what would happen but having professional/designated drivers -people who actually are hired to drive for you NOT poor managers who doesnt sleep and are just as tired as the actors/actresses- and stunt doubles could save them some of the problems theyre facing… I watched King of Dramas and i thought they were exaggerating a bit with the “risking my own life for the sake of the drama” thing but taking a closer look at cases like this one, I guess it wasnt that far from truth…

  23. 23 asianromance

    This sounds cold, but I wish Choi Su Jong will walk away from the drama. He’s tried his best, but isn’t it better to leave the drama so that the production can replace him and move on?

    And the drama must have some investments involves that they need to recoup so the show must go on, but they should really think about cutting the number of episodes down (maybe instead of 80, do 50). Now it sounds like it’ll take over 2 years for this drama to run, given the frequency of accidents.

    Does anyone know if Park Joo-mi got her voice back yet?

  24. 24 toritorisan

    Although all the signs indicate that this drama wasn’t really meant to be, I really admire CSJ’s dedication not to disappoint the viewers who are already watching this drama. In America, shows disappear (due to low ratings) without any consideration of the fans that are actually watching them and I know how it feels when a show just stops in the middle with no closure. However, with all these injuries, I really think he should pull out before more damage to his health is done. I think the show should be put on hiatus until the cast is better. If fans are truly loyal to the show, then they will return to watch when everyone is completely recovered.

  25. 25 Steph

    Was actually crying when I read this. Especially since I know how much my mother loves this show and even more so, her dae Jo young. Plusd obviously the whole of Korea does, considering ratings can be unaffected by such a long break.

    Thank you for the news wrap up! Saranghae!

  26. 26 ck1Oz

    I can’t even comment on this. I mean, if they don’t get it by now, they are not going to get it. Shesh.

  27. 27 Gustave154

    Noooooooo choo su jeong best actor in korea right now!! stop overworking yourself!!!!

  28. 28 Laurita

    With such “dedicated” thinking, televisions will have to make an award for the most dedicated actors (which;ll mean actors, who experienced the biggest amount of injuries during the filming) …
    This drama must have been cursed…

  29. 29 sweetcloud

    Is anyone else reminded of King of Drama’s last episode with the ultimate bout of Noble Work Ethic Idiocy? How sadly and tragically meta…

  30. 30 Makoto

    It’s just sad and pathetic how they still force to continue filming while they had their main actors close to dying. :’( I hope they take proper rest and get well soon.

  31. 31 beggar1015

    I’ll dare to say it: couldn’t they find another actor to replace Choi Su Jong? At least for a time? Happens in American soap operas all the time. “The part of King Chunchu is played today by so-and-so.”

  32. 32 Abbie

    First, I hope Park Joo-mi is okay, and gets better soon. I hope Choi Su-jong gets better soon, too. I hope EVERYONE! gets better soon.

    I’m with you on this one, JB! This drama seems to be having a lot of problems. So, maybe they should just quit. Of course, I’m not watching this show, so it’s easier for me to say that than if I was watching it.

  33. 33 GoguryeoGirl

    After reading this, I thought it was kind of crazy of Choi Soo Jong to be so set on continuing to act after all those accidents. But after digging up a bit about him on the internet, I see that the reason he continued to act was because he didn’t want to cause extra pressure for everyone else on the set by delaying and dragging the drama down. He has a good heart in real life. He’s married to another actress named Ha Hee-Ra and they are a wonderful couple! They have two cute little kids, too… :P When Choi Soo Jong was in Emperor of the Sea, he was good, but in King’s Dream, he was better. He’s one of my favorite actors.

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