Drama Casting & News
Badassery and hijinks on the set of IRIS 2
by | February 4, 2013 | 91 Comments

Time to check back in with spy sequel IRIS 2, getting ready to premiere in just about a week. I have to say, I’m back to being a little excited for this show, against my better judgment. I can’t help it — action spy thrills just make me happy. I inevitably get suckered in by the big flashy opening overseas shoot (the franchise’s signature highlight, this time taking place in Hungary), and then start complaining when we get back to Seoul and start recycling the same old story. Does knowing that and watching it anyway make me an optimist or a masochist?

Here’s our main setup for the three leads: Jang Hyuk stars as an NSS team leader who is in a happy relationship with Lee Da-hae‘s character, a sharp-shooter field agent on his team. They’re in love and everything’s roses, until he goes missing one day when a mission goes awry. He stays missing long enough for her to finally give up and get over him, and become hardened and jaded in the process. Yoon Doo-joon plays the NSS agent who was in love with her from the start, but played second fiddle to their leader. He gets the chance to be close to her during the time that Jang Hyuk’s character is missing… until he shows up one day, alive and well, and throws everything off balance.

Then there’s Lee Beom-soo, who plays a North Korean agent, also officially declared missing. Something tells me the incidents are linked? In any case, he’s the classic bumbling-on-the-outside, trained-killer-on-the-inside kind of spy, and he’s most likely going to end up my favorite character, knowing how these things go. He’s not on the same side as NSS of course, but he’ll find that they share an enemy in IRIS and become a key player.

And I’ve already picked a second favorite: cutie pie Baek Sung-hyun’s genius hacker computer geek agent, because well… he’s just plain adorable is why. There have also been some late-addition awesome ajusshis to the cast: Sung Dong-il (Jeon Woo-chi, Answer Me 1997) will play the head of the counter-terrorism unit in NSS, and Jo Sung-ha (Romance Town, Sungkyunkwan Scandal) will play the next president.

This story will focus on the baddie Baek San (Kim Young-chul)’s past and how he came to betray his country, which is why the trailer starts out at the end of the original IRIS — this story will be the B-side to the original series, with timelines that overlap, and then jump forward to the aftermath. It’s a double-edged sword, because if done well, it has the potential for a really intricate narrative and great character insight (especially for characters like Kim Seung-woo’s who have been in every installment of the series); if half-assed, it recycles stuff we know and rests on the laurels of the original without adding anything new. I’m going to dial my expectations waaay down on that front.

IRIS 2 starts February 13 on KBS.

Via Sports World


91 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. chane

    Kim Seung Woo!!!:)

    • 1.1 naya_marie

      He’s one hot ajusshi.

      • 1.1.1 Arhazivory


        • Rach^^

          I hear him asking for chocolate… hehe.

          • SSS

            Ha ha! Now it’ll be so weird watching him in IRIS when 1N2D ruined his badass actor image for me…LOL!!! I still love him though!<3

  2. Laurita

    Hmmm, I keep thinkong whether these series will require IRIS to understand what’s happening, or it can be watched on its own… What do ya think?

    • 2.1 come2noona

      That’s what I am wondering too.

      I guess I’ll wait until after the first few episodes and see what people say about it.

    • 2.2 Orion

      You can just read a summary about it. A lot of the first series was wasted on romance which ultimately didn’t mean a thing. For its duration and amount of action, it had surprisingly little plot. Quite an empty series, in fact.

      I think reading up would be enough. They will surely have some sort of a summary in the series as well, since the previous one was quite a while back and not only might be forgotten by many, but would also not be something new viewers might have seen.

      • 2.2.1 come2noona


      • 2.2.2 Laurita

        Thank you, I’ll read the summary then. I dropped the first series at the very beginning, so it’s good to hear that I didn’t lose much.

    • 2.3 hipployta

      Just watch the 2 hour Iris movie that compressed the entire story

      • 2.3.1 Orion

        Except for the ending, which I think they’re cancelling when it comes to the story of ‘IRIS2’. Although we’ll have to wait and see.

      • 2.3.2 angelineong

        Where to watch the two hours movie?

  3. jomo

    Here is to Baek Sung-hyun stealing scenes and hacking my heart.

    • 3.1 pogo

      I finished White Christmas recently, and am quite happy to join in that wish re: Baek Sung-hyun.

  4. OMG

    M with u there GF!!! This drama has sucked me in!! Hopefully they don’t disappoint~!!

  5. Christy

    I keep telling myself not to get too excited for these things…and then I inevitably do (cue eventual disappointment). Especially since Baek Sung Hyun is in this. Which, question – how is this kid not getting bigger roles? It’s frustrating to see such great talent getting put on the back burner while rookie idol-actors are given bigger roles. But don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against idol actors. I like Doo Joon and definitely believe he has potential.

    • 5.1 pogo

      It’s frustrating to see such great talent getting put on the back burner while rookie idol-actors are given bigger roles.

      Tell me about it!

      • 5.1.1 skelly

        Same here! I look at the three stooges and just sigh. Do you have to have the cute for every single blasted show? If you have to have these same ridiculously fresh-faced kids time in and time out, can they at least be taught how to treat a gun? If not, can they get shot in the early eps and leave more room for the real actors?
        I really like spy shows, but I like them to have at least a tiny bit of verisimilitude, and having these young goofballs as “spies” just ruins it for me.

        • Dongsaeng killer

          Lol @ getting shot in the early episodes heehee…… But yes. I agree. So tired of foot acting

        • pogo

          to be fair, Baek Sung-hyun is an actor, and a pretty decent one – not an idol. But we still have the obligatory idol anyway.

        • Kiara

          Amen and thats why I’m more excited when there is a movie review cause thats where the real actors are in.

    • 5.2 Orion

      I think being an idol should not influence an acting career. If an idol can act well, cast them. If not, don’t. But acting skills should be the reason. Not getting the attention of fangirls.

      A lot of talented actors are dying to get work that is being taken by people who already have a job and a salary (however bad it may be). They should pick a good actor to portray a character the best it can be portrayed. Not chose people based on how many viewers they can get.

      On the other hand, people need to stop whining over idols being cast without having seen them act. Many singers are also actors and good ones. I hope the idols here are chosen well and that they have the acting and physical skills to justify their existence in this.

      • 5.2.1 skelly

        Unfortunately, the decision to cast idols is never made for reasons of acting talent – it is made for reasons of box office draw, marketing, and deal packaging. And you know idols are held to a lower standard when stints on game shows and variety programs are considered “acting experience” (how many times have you heard something like, ‘but he was so funny on Running Man, I think he will be great!’). In terms of idols, “chosen well” equals ‘they brought in their fan base to bump up the ratings and didn’t stink up the place too badly with their attempts at acting.’

        Maybe someday Koreans will wise up – the Japanese certainly haven’t – that being a pretty face that can lip sync and shill products well does not equal acting talent.

        • Orion

          Most of them are bearable, but some are actually good. Don’t forget people like Uhm Jung Hwa, Yoon Eun Hye or Rain. They all started as idols/singers and even though they’re not exactly top-shelf, they are good actors.

          What I mean is, being an idol does not automatically make one a bad actor, so one line of work should not influence the other. Favorably or negatively. It should simply be off the table as a criteria to being given roles.

  6. snow_white

    “action spy thrills just make me happy”….same is the case with me πŸ™‚
    And I’m finally excited about this (by the way, I haven’t seen IRIS)….

    • 6.1 befuddled

      I admit it, me too

  7. nicole

    what happened to lee da hae’s face? πŸ™

    • 7.1 pogo

      Human intervention (the invasive kid) is what I suspect πŸ™

    • 7.2 pogo

      Human intervention (the invasive kind) is what I suspect πŸ™

      • 7.2.1 Annie

        Fillers? There’s something different but I can’t quite figure out what it is.

    • 7.3 Nokcha

      LDH was! a beautiful young lady when she started. Now, she looks like every other plasticized B actress out there….too bad.

      • 7.3.1 bd

        Eh, LDH wasn’t exactly a knockout before she got the work done.

        And I have more issue w/ her acting/on screen charisma – which has been lacking in everything I’ve seen her in (including her appearance on Running Man); otherwise, the rest of the cast looks real good (still a ? about the writing).

    • 7.4 Betsy

      She’s changed a lot since her My Girl days that’s for sure and it’s most likely due to plastic surgery.

      Dramabeans had a posting about Lee Da Hae’s changing face:


      Here is an old article from allkpop about Lee Da Hae’s changing looks too:


  8. jandoe

    WHY is the plot the exact same one with IRIS? The whole happy-in-love-went-missing-second-fiddle-was-always-there stuff? Yeeeeesh. But I am excited too, against my better judgment haha

  9. Annie

    I’m curious as to why a second male lead is even necessary. It just goes to show you that female characters are literally nothing without the men who despise or covet them.

    • 9.1 Annie

      Oh, and I can’t believe how the stylists for this show have uglified Jang Hyuk. Why couldn’t he have Yoon Doo Joon’s hairstyle as well?

  10. 10 anna

    The ladies are not going to be running around kicking ass in high heels, are they? That’s one of my biggest action movie pet peeves. It hurts just walking in them.

  11. 11 kay

    is that lee joon in the poster? but not anywhere else in the stills?

    • 11.1 Soo Won

      oh believe me im not usually like this… i mean i agree with the majority on this actor vs. idol thing…
      it is LEE JOON (my current kpop bias)!! why so little????? i couldnt see much of him in the trailers… and now in none of the stills… and i certainly remember his character was described a hacker at first! now whatever… just dont push the boy aside after casting him!!! theyd better not have neglected him in the drama as well, or im gonna…!

      sry i will go back to being a sensible cool headed girl who can distinguish between an actor and an idol soon! ^^

      • 11.1.1 kay

        lol you’re serious about lee joon πŸ™‚ hopefully he wasn’t replaced with that other flowerboy in the flowerboy trio stills.

      • 11.1.2 Peeps

        You know, as much as I love that boy, I wish they’ed really cut his scenes because every time I see him, my heart breaks. He’s so tired and it’s so obvious! I only want him to eat and sleep but apparently hia company think people don’t need that.

        • Soo Won

          well as long as there are people who NEED watching him (am i talking about me?!) im glad the companys not caring about HIS needs more than OURS! ;D
          oooooooh dunno! its been AGES since their last comeback and im not really following variety,… soooo my JOON FACTOR has dropped to the bottom! i kept rewinding the trailer for like a ZILLION times only to swoon over his 2-second gun-holding figure!!!
          this is what an idol IS for in a drama afterall, isn’t it? :))

          • skelly

            Um, I rest my case?

        • hanie

          Mostly I agree with your comment about idol stretching themselves thin but I dun think Joon have anything on the table right now?? He already done with We Got Married anyway. So, I guess he’ll be fine. But I’m not sure whether he had any other gigs as I’m not following Mblaq/Joon schedule.

  12. 12 Orion

    So Joong Won is not working with IRIS? I thought he would be working with them through Yeon Hwa. Unless Yeon Hwa is in IRIS as a double agent and they both go rogue. This is getting more interesting now. I am cautiously excited.

  13. 13 sweetcloud

    Strangely enough the ajusshi cast has me more excited than the main cast. Sung Dong Il, Kim Seung Woo, Lee Beom Soo, all shades of awesome. But I must say Baek Sung Hyun looks way cute in every still πŸ˜€

  14. 14 lorac

    What’s with that tiny little glimpse of Jeong Jun Ho near the end of the trailer? Wonder if it’s a flashback, or if he will have a part. Hope so, I’ve been missing him in dramas.

  15. 15 BellaMafia

    I saw Jung Joon Ho on 2:01. I can’t remember what happened to him on Iris 1. Can somebody refresh my memory?

    • 15.1 Orion

      His suit was too pretty so the baddies put a few bullets through it. While he was in it.

      • 15.1.1 kfangurl

        LOL! Nice one πŸ˜‰

    • 15.2 Maysoon

      He was killed.. Im quite shocked that he’s alive. This has actually made me interested in IRIS 2.

      • 15.2.1 Bengbeng

        i think he’s part of the back-track stories. I’m excited about the guest appearances of IRIS cast, specially Kim So Yeon. she could be part of the back-track before her sister became an agent too.

        Ahhh, i want to watch already! when is this showing again?

    • 15.3 angie602

      So I am not the only one who see him too… Thought I saw wrongly! I think that part is a flashback… Unless his charater really came back to life….. Haha

      Can’t wait for IRIS 2! Kim Seung Woo! Too bad Kim Min Jong was no longer in it….

  16. 16 Vivian

    haha does anyone else look at that poster and see IRISH?

    • 16.1 Conny

      I didn’t but do now. Thanks a lot..lol

    • 16.2 Maggie

      YES!! I thought that it might have only been me. Glad that I’m not the only one who got eye-jacked by the serif font.

  17. 17 HeadsNo2

    The only thing I’m not stoked about when it comes to this drama is Jang Hyuk’s hair. (Why, Coordi Noona, why?)

    • 17.1 Orion

      Maybe his moves and acting will be so impressive he needs to look like crap in order for everyone else to shine equally. Or Korea simply has weird trends in hairstyles and clothing. Ok, perhaps the latter…

      • 17.1.1 zsa

        HAHAHA….you’re hilarious…

  18. 18 whysnow

    I am actually more excited now two more of my favourite ajussi actors has been added to the cast:) Now if only kim so yeon also makes an appearance then I will be really happy!

  19. 19 kkongchi

    Sorry, but the screencap of the woman with her arms overhead in chains that are obviously much bigger than her hands (i.e., that she can easily get out of) kinda cracks me up.

    • 19.1 Orion

      I was thinking they might have some sort of an inner part that becomes thinner and very sharp around the wrist. That would keep the whole thing large and heavy while giving a lot of pain if you let your weight take you down. Or then I might just be too sick and it really is just oversized cuffs…

      • 19.1.1 Quiet Thought

        Yeah, it really looks though they aren’t so much holding her up as she is holding them in place. Maybe the bad guys threatened to tickle her if she let go of the cuffs long enough to wipe the ketchup off her forehead.

        • Orion

          Thank you. Now I’ll be imagining them tickling her and will not be able to take any torture in this drama seriously. Bwahahaha.

  20. 20 Yasmin

    so lee beom soo isnt the bad guy?! AWESOME! Is he gonna be like in History of the Salaryman but more badass!! Ooh, my interest levels in this drama have shot up!! πŸ˜€

  21. 21 Quiet Thought

    Commenters in the know should be having a contest to see how many of their friends can be convinced that there’s a new drama coming up based on an attempt by the Irish mob to infiltrate Kpop.

    Really, it isn’t any harder to explain than the plot and title of ‘The King 2Hearts.’

  22. 22 Quiet Thought

    Caption for the lead photo: “Team Idol Confident That New Tactics Will Finally Give Them Victory Over Team Running Man.”

    • 22.1 Orion

      Baek Sang Hyun is an actor though. No idea who the other one is.

      • 22.1.1 Orion

        *Sung Hyun

  23. 23 whitethorns

    okay, the story between JH and LDH is VERY similar to LBH and KTH from the first Iris. It would have been better if they made it different this time.

  24. 24 Mawiie

    I’m actually a little bit excited as well! I haven’t watched Athena but I’ve enjoyed Iris.

    And on a side note…why are North Korean characters in k-drama always some sort of cool badass type? Not that I’m complaining, of course πŸ˜‰ But it seems like all the NK characters are spy/soldier/military instructor etc.

    • 24.1 Quiet Thought

      Really, what are the odds that some average grunt from the North Korean military would ever turn up anywhere a cool plot line would develop?

  25. 25 Mimi

    Just out of curiosity, why do they always wear turtle necks? Is it like a spy thing?

  26. 26 houstontwin

    Iris 2 will totally be worth it for action and eye candy. I just won’t let my heart be broken by expecting to much!

  27. 27 hanie

    Ahhhh… Park Mooyul!!!! I mean….Baek Sung Hyun!!!! I need more pictures of him. And they need to give him bigger role, really. What so hard about it? He can act…jeez

    And I think it’s Joon in the poster but no picture??

  28. 28 sunshower

    have they already shown all the best bit? πŸ˜›

  29. 29 Sajen

    expectations be damned I will watch Iris 2 from beginning to end even if it’s wore than the first one even if it’s worse than the travesty that was Dr. Jin, why you ask the aswer’s simple. Jang Hyuk, Lee Da Hae, Lee Bum Soo, Baek Sung Hyun, Sung Dong Il and I thought I heard Kim So Yeon was coming back and if so yay but anyway nuff said.

  30. 30 jennie

    hey did anyone see Jin Sa Woo from IRIS 1????
    he;s still alive!!!!

  31. 31 saranga

    lee da-hae looks fierce! i never really had doubts about her castingβ€”somehow i think she could pull off fierce pretty well, though the show does yet have to air.

    who is the guy in the middle next to baek sung-hyun? he’s strikingly good-looking! i’m guessing he’s an idol, but heck, with those looks i’m not really complaining this time πŸ˜‰

  32. 32 sajatokki


  33. 33 meepers

    Is it just me or do Lee Da Hae and Jang Hyuk end up as romantic pairings a lot?

  34. 34 supidcupid

    wanted to as do dramabeans going to recap a Movie if requested? i really wanted you guys to recap joon movie “an Actor is an Actor” thanks alot

    ps : the movie due in May this year

  35. 35 oozzeee

    ,who’s the cutie pie driver? can I call dibs on him? πŸ™‚

  36. 36 miley

    i’m going to watch this mainly for jang hyuk!!!!wooohooo!!!of course his on screen chemistry with lee da hae is a plus.

  37. 37 mary

    [SPOILER ]
    Jang Hyuk’s character went missing because he was abducted by a very secret organization and used as a lab rat for an experimental, permanent horrible haircut. It took him a couple of months before he had the courage to show up in public again.

  38. 38 Nooni

    lol i started clapping and shouting when i saw seoung woo’s pic xD looks hot by the way hehe

  39. 39 sujudiehardfan

    joon is badass!!!
    i love to see him in action…
    i attracted to watch this drama because of many reasons…
    1. i already watch iris
    2. there are joon and jang hyuk in this drama..
    and 3rd is because i love k-drama especially action…
    IRIS 2 hwaiting!!!

  40. 40 Nobodysoppa

    after reading this, isnt it TOO MUCH like the previous IRIS? I mean cmon i know you’re trying to recreate the success of its predecessor but shouldnt it be a teeny weeny more different?

  41. 41 niKai

    I’m actually excited for this. but the haiiiir.@%$%^

  42. 42 lovin it

    Sung Dong-il was added? awesome! never saw him in an action role before though..

    starstudded cast. no way this drama could fail. right?

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