Drama Casting & News
Lee Hyun-jin joins cast of Empire of Gold
by | April 30, 2013 | 25 Comments

SBS’s new drama Empire of Gold now has a fixed premiere date and a revised episode count, as well as a new cast member in Lee Hyun-jin, who’ll join the multigenerational saga depicting the power struggles and turmoil of one chaebol group and those in its orbit. Empire of Gold’s central family arises out of the ruins of the 1990s IMF financial crisis that wreaked so much havoc on the economy, and becomes the top conglomerate in the nation.

Go Soo (The Front Line) will play the hero, a dirt-poor man who builds himself up through his blood, sweat, and tears; I presume that puts him at odds with the Goliath-esque chaebol group Sungjin. Lee Hyun-jin will play the youngest son of Sungjin Group, whose dream is to become an economist. Lucky for him, then, that his family runs the Sungjin Economic Research Institute, where he works.

I’m happy to see him taking on more dramas since since I’ve been keeping an eye on Lee Hyun-jin and wondering when he’ll get his big break. He’s a former stage actor who’s been building up the supporting roles, and there’s something very present about stage-turned-screen actors that I love, which I also see in guys like Jo Jung-seok, Jin Yi-han, and Song Chang-eui. Most recently he played Coach in Operation Proposal as Yoo Seung-ho’s rival; he also had supporting roles in Chilling Romance and You’ve Fallen For Me.

The drama, which comes from The Chaser crew, is also bringing back several of that show’s cast, including Sohn Hyun-joo, Jang Shin-young, and Ryu Seung-soo (who plays a villain). Yoon Seung-ah will play Go Soo’s younger sister (portraying her from high school through young adulthood and marriage), which is funny since she and Lee Hyun-jin were originally cast together in Brain before the production essentially fired everyone and started over with an older cast. Let’s hope they’ll be sticking around till the end this time.

Originally reported to be a 30-episode drama, Empire of Gold has announced that it will run for 24 episodes instead. Producers emphasize, however, that the episode order has not been cut down and that they had merely been considering 30 before settling upon 24.

The drama premieres on Monday, July 1.

Via SBS E!, Osen


25 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. jandoe

    Another sort of backstory he-said-she-said I wish Anthony could clarify for us, ha. Anyway, I love this guy! He’s just never in dramas that interest me but this might just change 🙂

  2. Cherry

    I’ll watch this if he gets to sing. Glory be his voice is magical!

  3. pabo ceo reom

    I can’t explain it but I just really, really like this guy even though I’ve only seen him in minor roles. He has a super infectious smile. 🙂

    • 3.1 jomo

      I really liked him in OP because he was such a great foil for YSH, but I didn’t like him in OP because he was sooooo almost going to win her all the way through!!!

      • 3.1.1 pabo ceo reom

        He seriously needs to land a lead role and get the girl!

    • 3.2 ck1Oz

      I’ve followed him since Family Honour.
      Now I will be watching the drama.Was planning on skipping it.
      Great for him been waiting for him to becoming more successful.

      • 3.2.1 pabo ceo reom

        That’s where I first saw him too! Thought he had potential 🙂

    • 3.3 a_diva

      i feel the same way. very good vibes from him. i’ve only seen him in operation proposal but i just LOVED me some him in that drama. he was kind of reserved and stiff as jin won in OP but in a good way and his love for yi seul came through. he did a really good job there. i’ve wanted to see him in other dramas but haven’t so will definitely watch empire of gold and check him out.

  4. Cup Cake

    Omo. I love his voice in Heart String . He had such a cute face and a HOT body! Can’t wait to see him again

    • 4.1 Lilian

      haha..that is where I noticed him too! XD hope he gets enough screentime hear. I am happy to hear that it is 24 episodes. Sometimes I just don’t get why plots have to be dragged out unnecessarily.

      • 4.1.1 Cup Cake

        He’s so HOT. I don’t mind if they drag it out as long as he’s on screen the whole time. I will just stare at him and be happy…:-)

    • 4.2 Maris

      His singing “if I leave” in heartstrings was great. One of my favorite korean songs since then. One does not even need to know the words to enjoy the emotional heartfelt rendering in his beautiful voice. I totally thought he was under used in the drama and was puzzled about the reasons then.

      • 4.2.1 Cup Cake

        I think the director want to do screen test for the newbie actor to see if he had screen present plus he need to practices in his supporting role until he can get a break through lead roles. Lee Hyun-jin had plenty of screen present…:-)

  5. malta

    He sings so well! His character might have been the best thing about Heartstrings. He’s good at acting too and so cute.

  6. OxyR

    The only thing I remember from heart string is him singing ‘if I leave’ other than that i erased it from my memory. I watched it when the drama came out, but that song still sticks in my mind,.

  7. Annie

    Wow, what a perfect face.

    I still remember him as the youngest brother in Kim So Eun’s daily drama. While his storyline really creeped me out, he did a fine job. Good for him for getting cast – Park Kyung Soo will see this one through beautifully.

  8. Zareen

    What a handsome man. Sigh.

  9. Rashell

    I flub him, so now I’ll have to check this out. Thanks!

  10. 10 asdjfkl

    OOHH!! I remember him! He was Eom Hyun Jin in Kimchi Cheese Smile, Eom Ki Joon’s baby brother!! aahhhh!!!

  11. 11 kfangurl

    Aw, yay for Lee Hyun Jin!! I always feel like he’s got so much potential, but he’s always playing smaller supporting roles. Loved him in Family Honor and I also liked him in OP.

    He was FAB in the small role he did in Heartstrings/You’ve Fallen For Me. I really wished his character had more screen time. Maybe that’s the idea? Keep us hungry?? Coz if that’s the case, it’s totally working!

    Lee Hyun Jin Fighting!! 😀

  12. 12 Melmax

    Love him. Such charming smile!!!! Not a bad actor either… Thanks.

  13. 13 elen

    I was really impressed with Lee Hyun Jin’s good looks & performance in Jewel Bibimbap/Assorted Gems. I’m glad for the chance to mention it here. Looking forward to watch Empire of Gold with 2 of my favorite actors Goo Soo & LHJ.

  14. 14 sayuri

    I was wondering where he is at! Gosh he is has such a cool present and decent acting, I am very glad we hear from him again. Especially in a drama that’ll gain a lot of buzz…

  15. 15 AnotherFan

    Oh he has the cutest smile. I saw him in Family Honor and he played the second lead (sorta). He was very very good. I was also waiting for his breakout role. Hope this will be an opportunity for him. Good luck!

  16. 16 Isabelle

    yeah he’s so cute n have a beautiful voice…i hear his songs many times..First time i saw him is in Assorted Gems but i don’t care so much because this is a very short scene…For a while i see this film again n realize what a handsome guy, suddenly i feel like “falling in love” ^”^ hi hi. Hope will be a day i’ll travel to Daegu to visit his hometown n then is Seoul to meet him 😛

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