Drama Casting & News
KBS casts idols Woo-hyun and Sung-yeol in new drama High School
by | April 30, 2014 | 67 Comments

KBS is working on a coming-of-age drama titled High School, and has cast idol group Infinite’s Woo-hyun (full name: Nam Woo-hyun) and Sung-yeol (full name: Lee Sung-yeol) as its leads. Woo-hyun (The Thousandth Man) and Sung-yeol (drama While You Were Sleeping) have slowly been building their acting cred, but this is the first time either has taken on a primary role.

High School will be about rebellious and flirty boy students and the “pure” high school girls (eyeroll) they meet and romance. It will follow the daily lives of Woo-hyun, a transfer student and Casanova-type who loves to date but draws the line at falling in love, and his rival Sung-yeol, whose character is honest but calculating, and whose gentle manner is also popular with the ladies. 4Minute’s Nam Ji-hyun has been cast as a supporting member, but the show is still searching for its female stars.

The drama series is a revamp of the high school drama Sharp, which went on for three seasons and launched the careers of Go Ara, Yoo Ah-in, Lee Eun-sung and Kim Shi-hoo back in 2003. While each edition of Sharp was a 50+ episode weekend series, the format for High School is yet undetermined, with the network indicating a 16-episode series and a possible Sunday morning broadcast, although KBS admitted receiving pushback from the production company on that time slot.

The show will begin production in mid-May, and I’m looking forward to hearing more casting news, as the fresh-faced students of today may offer us a sneak peek at the dramaland/film stars of tomorrow.

Via My Daily, TV Report


67 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. informantxgirl

    Even as an Inspirit, I have to admit I was a bit surprised at the casting news. Still, the synopsis reads a bit like fanfic, so my hopes are marginally higher than when I first read the info – mostly because it seems like roles they can pull off without too much strain. Now I’m just waiting to see what girls are cast; chemistry is so important in these things, and I’m not going to lie, Woohyun’s last match-up with Hyomin left me cold. The role wasn’t even terribly taxing, but put up against a actress who (to me) had as much pull with Woohyun as a knob of melted butter just killed it for me.

    Also, when is Hoya gonna get more drama offers?!?

    • 1.1 chhavi

      I totally agree with you….
      I loved Hoya in reply 1997 and since then I’m just waiting for him to get some good offers.
      Anyways the cast is good…hoping for the best from WooHyun oppa.

      • 1.1.1 Lilian

        Ooh..I loved hoya too. He has no other roles since then? =(

        • koko

          Hoya! Hoya! Hoya!

  2. yay

    In short, a drama for Infinite fans.

  3. jesse

    If I’m not mistaken, the girl in brown colour uniform is Oh Yeon Seo, she started as teen actor before joining idol girl group…

  4. pastmidnite

    Aah, so they’re BOTH from Infinite? Idols as both leads? I didn’t know they could do that…

  5. Chandler

    I’m still waiting on that college campus drama I’ve been craving. Growing up doesn’t just happen in high school. I wish they’d set a drama in college days for once.

    That said, I am looking forward to this 🙂

    • 5.1 trisha

      You reminded me of an old Kdrama

      my vague memory, around a decade ago there was a college kdrama aired in my country, forgot abt the tittle and name of the leads. One thing I remember till now, there’s an episode that a group of college students had to make an advertisement, the ads story’s around butterfly(es?) gets closer to clothes or towels (?) like they’re flowers because they hv flowers fragrant. Turned out the ad was a plagiarism. It was good drama back then. Think should go to Name That Drama for this.

      • 5.1.1 Changdola

        that was Ad Madness starred Wonbin and Lee Donggun I think.

        • trisha

          Changdola, thank you. You’re right abt the tittle, googled it just now. I was going to put Won Bin’s name in my comment but a bit hesitant. WB with natural long lock’s so college student’s nature.

    • 5.2 eli_n


      I wonder the same thing every time another high school drama comes out. What’s with dramaland jumping straight into the workplace from high school? There’s plenty of drama in college trust me (In university at the moment preparing for finals grrr)

      And seriously many times the actors playing high school students look like they’re playing dress up *coughs* LMH in Heirs* cough*

      • 5.2.1 Tanaya

        I agree with you so much! College centered dramas give a lot more freedom to the story line, and honestly – the only popular one I remember is Heartstrings. But Jdrama’s do it a lot better in terms of college life (Buzzer Beat if you’re into sports dramas)

    • 5.3 Liter81

      Not a k drama, but the currently airing Taiwanese drama, “In a Good Way,” might fit the bill. The character growth through the series has been awesome, and the show pays attention to the all important, but often forgotten existence of female friendships.

    • 5.4 KimNaNa

      One of my very first Jdrama was Tatta Hitotsu no Koi, and college wasn’t the main theme, but it was all about being 20. Idk if you like Jdrama, but there’s a bunch out there like it, centered around college/college age characters ^_^

  6. gellie de vera

    Yes!!!! Proud Inspirit here 😀

  7. NoNONO

    Tired of idols, i want true actors not idols.

    • 7.1 chesquared

      Me too!!! I can’t stand it anymore. So many young actors these days. The child actors back then are all grown up and actually in high school. Park Gun Tae, Park Ji Bin, Seo Young Joo. I’d loveeee to see them instead!!

    • 7.2 ChoiHyeRa

      I’ve said this before and I say this again, don’t judge them before they’ve been given a chance to prove whether they deserve criticism or not. Just because they’re idols does NOT mean that they can’t act. That being said, I really do hope Woohyun and Sungyeol can do a good job with these roles. I’ve seen Sungyeol act before and thought that he was still quite green but bot downright horrible. He can improve a lot if given the right guidance. I can’t say about Woohyun, I only know of him as the Greasy Prince that he is in real life. Woohyun as a casanova will be innnnnteresting.

      • 7.2.1 Rooney

        Why idols have a chance to act and not a true actor who stutied for that, it’s a shame.

        this drama will be a flop.

        Well Job KBS

        Sorry my english is bad.

        • Rachel

          Meritocracy isn’t about giving out casting roles based on how long or how much acting school the candidates have attended. The most deserving should be the candidate who is the best fit and shows the most potential. I don’t know how much the idol label influences a casting director’s decisions. I’m sure in some cases it does, but I sincerely hope it doesn’t heavily influence their decisions in all cases.

          It is known that some of these idols enter the music industry as a backdoor to the acting industry.

          On a separate note, despite the idol label, some of them are truly talented and even manage to shed the idol label later on. Right now only Yoon Eun Hye and Eugene come to mind, but I’m pretty sure there are more.

          • TS

            The lead actress in Secret and Incarnation of Money.

      • 7.2.2 windsun33

        I don’t object to the idols so much as I do to the fact that there are so many promising REAL actors out there.

        But let’s face it – the main purpose of putting idols in dramas is not because they are good or bad – it is for ratings.

      • 7.2.3 chesquared

        This debate can go on forever. But all I have to say is that I don’t mind them being “green” what bothers me the most is that MOST not all. MOST idols are given a silver spoon in their mouths as soon as they get recognition as an idol. That being said they easily get casted in dramas even if their whole training days consisted of just singing and dancing.

        Here is one personal experience of mind. A few weeks ago I found out this one girl in the company that I work for didn’t even go to college prior to getting in with the company. She got in because her grandma is the manager of the department. I’m still a temp worker busting my ass off to show that I have what it takes. But taada. She just got in just like that. So imagine those young actors that graduated with so much competition in University only to graduate and get no acting roles simply because Idols are already popular therefore pds and networks use them.

        I’d also like to add that Infinite is now under SM’s grasps. SM has so much power to do whatever the hell they want.

        • ...

          i understand your bitterness but your example isn’t a good comparison…? it’s not like idols got in easily like your co-worker. they had to compete against hundreds of trainees too and years of practice and such, risking years of their youth for something that’s not even guaranteed. sure they didn’t walk the same path that ~*legit*~ actors did but that doesn’t mean they had it easy ._.

          jesus the elitism towards idols makes me sad… i don’t even particularly like boy groups like infinite but here i am defending them

      • 7.2.4 glowry

        agree, there’s no doubt some idols can really act but i think the issue here is not whether the idols can act or not, but idols snatching roles here and there while the rookie real actor/actress are struggling to get a role while they’ve sweat blood and tears practicing… imo..

    • 7.3 Kiara

      At least this drama has a lot in it so you know to avoid it. MOST of them suck donkey balls but there are a few that are good and some with potential.

      In dramaland, popularity > talents and some of these idols are actually getting themselves into the k-pop world for a chance at acting. They know that they wont last long in an idol group.

      • 7.3.1 Voxpopuli

        The dramas with really good actors has good ratings, the dramas with idols bad ratings.

        Idols and bad ratings

        Playful kiss, Pretty Man, prime minister and i, etccc

        good actors in dramas and greatest ratings:

        empress ki, secret garden, you who come from the stars, secret. a gentleman’s dignity etcc

        • ChoiHyeRa

          Hwang Jung-eum, the female lead in Secret, started out as an idol.

        • Kiara

          There is a lot of things that determine a drama’s high rating other than just having really good actors because if that was the case, God’s Gift would have been a national drama with Jo Seung Woo in it or all of Kim Myung Min’s dramas.

          I’m too lazy to make a list but great, mediocre and bad actors can be in really high rating dramas. Seen BOF? It had idols, mediocre to bad actors in it and it got a 32% rating.

        • Clara

          That Pretty Man, I wonder if you just consider IU as idol, or include Jang Geun Seok. Though he clearly started as an actor (decent actor I dare to say), he now, to me, is none other than an idol.

          And Seo In Gook – Jung Eun Ji – Hoya are all “idols” but Reply 1997 is so good, isnt it? T-ara Ham Eun Jung did a decent job in Queen Insoo, didnt she?

          At least, give those idols a chance, we will see if they deserve the given role or not.

  8. birdscout

    Wait, is that Yoo Ah-in in the bottom photo?!

  9. JoJo

    Wow! I’m so excited! Another high school drama starring 23/24 yr olds!

    • 9.1 windsun33

      Well, it is not much worse than 23 year old flower boys being super-doctors 😛

  10. 10 hipployta

    Sungyeol and Ji Hyun were cute in that mini college drama they just did so I’m cool with casting. Sungyeol was an actor before Infinite anyway

  11. 11 MO

    I’m an Inspirit, and Sungyeol’s acting is quite good than most of the members or other idols. And with Jihyun (from Love Poten), I believe chemistry can be there. But Woohyun? I don’t know, I had to admit he was more awful than L.

  12. 12 maldita

    Why not pick actors that are actually high school-aged? I mean, in Go Ara’s “Sharp 2,” she was 15. Kibum was 18. Lee Eunsung was 17. Heechul pushed the age limit at 21.

    There are many known child actors who are at least high school-aged by now. Why not make use of them? I mean, the big child stars like Yeo Jingu, Park Guntae, Kim Yoojung, Kim Sohyun, etc. are certainly just as famous (or even more so) as idols out there. And there are plenty left to fill up an entire cast.

    • 12.1 usui

      Kim Yoo Jung wil be fantastic, i think i go to korea to create a casting company xddd

    • 12.2 Quiet Thought

      Hey, if you work under-age actors 22 hours a day, someone might file charges.

      • 12.2.1 windsun33

        That actually IS a concern. When Queen of the Classroom filmed, it took longer than usual because of work hour restrictions on minors. On the other hand, it also turned out to be one of the better dramas of the year.

        • Kiara

          Teacher Ma and her students were amazing. Korea is blessed with talented young actors.

  13. 13 ChoiHyeRa

    I don’t if sound like an airhead fangirl I HAVE to say this: OPPA HWAITING!!!!
    A huge inspirit right here.
    I understand everyone’s wariness about idols being cast again in a drama and I know everyone will think that since I’m a fan my opinion will be biased but I do know that I’m not being out of line when ask you to at least give them a chance to prove you wrong (or right; whichever you prefer).

    • 13.1 ChoiHyeRa

      *care -.-

    • 13.2 ilikemangos

      I don’t fangirl over k-pop idols at all, but nowadays idols are being casted left and right i don’t bat an eyelash. I give them a chance, until they disappoint me or surprise me. If they suck, it’s a shame. But it’s become so routine nowadays i get surprised when there isn’t a single idol member on the cast.

  14. 14 flavea

    I will probably won’t care if the actings are bad or if the storyline is cliche or even bad. I will still watch it because my favorite idols are in it. /shallow

    But anyway, Sungyeol was an actor, he trained to be an actor before he trained to be an idol. He was supposed to be the actor of INFINITE (and he is the best in acting between INFINITE), but unfortunately he didn’t get many roles. So I’m really excited for this, he finally get a major role he deserved >w< As for Woohyun, his last acting gig was 2 years ago (If I'm not mistaken) and I don't think he's good, almost cringeworthy even, but hopefully he has improved~ Plus his acting in MVs are actually good, probably because it's small scale? I'm still amazed with him in Before the Dawn MV tho'.

    As for Jihyun I saw her in the mobile drama with Sungyeol and I liked her because of that, I don't think she's bad and she has good chemistry with Sungyeol. With Woohyun…. /suddenly remembered their bickering in Beatles Code/

  15. 15 hanie

    someone commented at NB about this casting news and throw an idea that makes me regrat reading it.

    that commentor said why not casting these teen actors: yeo jin goo, kim yoo jung, kim so hyun, park ji bin and a few other names I forgot. they can act and at the right age.

    but darn it…. now I’m hoping those talented teen actors have their own drama, you know or take over this drama…jk jk jk…or…maybe not… ;p bye bye perfect world~

  16. 16 TS

    I wish my bias would get a drama role, sulk.

    And if we are going to make this The Infinite Show, can I get some SungJoon, please?

  17. 17 piggy68gal

    I felt conflicted when I first read of this news.
    On one hand, Infinite is my favourite Kpop group, and additionally, Woohyun is my ultimate favourite Kpop star. So from a fan’s point of view, I’m naturally excited for this drama.
    But on the other hand, as a K-drama fan, I must admit I am rather wary of idol actors. There are decent/good ones around, but not every idol/singer actually suits acting.
    I am also more worried for Woohyun than Sungyeol; after all Sungyeol has more experience as an actor and I actually thought his acting performance in the web drama ‘Love Potential’ was quite natural. As for Woohyun…he hasn’t proven much for himself in terms of acting. Since the casting is already confirmed, I just hope that his acting will be okay and at least bearable. As a big fan of his, I really, really hope that everything turns out to be okay/good.

  18. 18 L

    YES! Finally a casting for Sungyeol, the boy deserves it. He really is the best actor in Infinite.

  19. 19 Crazyredhairmireu

    I’ve seen Sungyeol act and I think he deserves a chance to prove himself. I mean no one was expecting much from Hoya in Reply 1997 and he outdid himself! Honestly, there are idol actors that honestly need a lot of work but as I see it the list of good actors who were singers before is growing. For instance, Baro, Siwan, Dong Jun, Han Groo, the members of Shinhwa, Seolhyun and etc. There’s a whole other list for idol actors who haven’t won me over yet but have potential including Suzy, Yoochun and Jaejoong. There’s also 5urprise who pride themselves for being actor idols! And they’re great! Anyone who’s seen After School Buk Bul Bok or Cunning Single Lady with Kang Joon can attest to that. And from past experience an idol cast in a high school drama can be satisfying and great or terrible.

  20. 20 Crazyredhairmireu

    For anyone who’s saying there are no good idol actors here’s a list of actors who were/are singers and are pretty good: Lee Seung Gi, Yoon Eun Hye, Sung Yuri, Eric and Dongwan (Shinhwa), Kikwang and Doojoon (Beast), DongJun andSiwan (Zea), Hoya (Infinite), Minhyuk and Jonghyun (Cnblue), Yoona and Sooyoung (SNSD), IU, Hongki (FTIsland), Joon (Mblaq), Dahee (Glam), Baro (B1a4), Han Groo and all of 5urprise (they pride themselves for being actor idols and they’re great!).

    Here’s a list of actors who I think have potential but haven’t won me over completely: Eugene, Suzy (MissA), Yoochun and Jaejoong (JYJ), Kim Hyun Joong, Daesung, TOP (Big Bang), L (Infinite), Seolhyun and Mina (AOA), Taecyeon and Wooyoung (2pm), Yonghwa (Cnblue), Taemin (Shinee), Siwon and Heechul (Suju), Seyong (Myname), Jaejin (FTIsland), Minwoo (Boyfriend), Dohee (TinyG) and Krystal (FX).

    I won’t deny that there are a lot of very stiff idol actors but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give them a chance. I can name plenty of actor actors who can’t emote too. I think we should look past the labels of ‘idol actor’ and ‘actor’ and judge according to performance.

    • 20.1 ys

      Yes, judge according to performance. We could say that idols keep getting parts even though they can’t act or aren’t that good, but so do actor and actresses. Bad acting is bad acting, and it’s not done only and always by idols.

      From your not-yet list, Mina from AOA did very very well in Wonderful Days playing the younger version of Kim Heesun’s character and Siwon nailed it in King of Drama.

  21. 21 Abbie

    I’m not a HUGE fan of Infinite, but I do like them. So, this should be interesting. And, the show sounds cute, but already I’m already disposed to like Woo-hyun’s character, because it just sounds more interesting. But, I’ll be interested in seeing how the rest of the cast shakes out.

  22. 22 windsun33

    WOW! I have been waiting months for yet another high school drama starring as many over-age flower boy idols as possible. I mean, it worked SO well in Heirs.. :/

  23. 23 Miky

    Well i’m a fan of Infinite and this news is new and i loved it:I’m shallow but i love the guys….the drama sounds cheeky and fun the only part that i’m rolling is the old same theme with the lead:innocent,pure and maybe stupid as well…It would ahve been cool to make a trio of guys with Hoya added…and all fighting to see who is the TOP 1 in the school as popularity ,that would have been hilarious

  24. 24 Lully13

    Sure, they’re both idols, but One thing : Sungyeol is originally an actor ! And I waited so long for this moment! Sungyeol in a drama … I can not wait longer !

  25. 25 Gabby

    I’m eye rolling too at the “pure high school girls” description. So the female characters are going to be uncomplicated, passive, and unrealistically naive, basically.


    • 25.1 windsun33

      Basically it sounds like Candy Girls in training.

      You left out “hard working”, but I guess that is a given.

      • 25.1.1 Gabby

        Yep, lol.

        I left out “screams virgin from every pore of her being” too, but that’s also a given.

  26. 26 mika-chan

    im an inspirit but WHY THE PURE INNOCENT I HAVE NO HORMONES lead female whyyy
    cant we have a blair type character ( rachel does not count not at all even if i like kim ji won )

  27. 27 Viki

    I’m an Inspirit as well and I really hope our boys can prove everybody wrong that idols can’t act. Yeol is trained for acting and hopefully he will be able to show it off! 🙂

  28. 28 Richie Kim

    Though I’m impressed with the music INFINITE makes, I’m not gonna agree with this cast-type that happens all of a sudden. I believe this drama is produced by SM Entertainment (since INFINTE’s company joins forces with SME), right? Hence, if I think this drama is being produced by SME or SM C&C (Culture & Contents), then surely the ratings won’t do them a favour.

    I’ve seen the SM-produced dramas that I dare not make a review (though I’m not always right on whatever I review) on them. Hence I’ve to agree with those opposing this type of casting & hopefully there’ll be some talented rookie actors (just actors) to shine in some 2014 dramas later on.

    Plus, I also agree with Kim Gura whose saying goes:
    “SM Dramas tend to somewhat trendy; despite being a massive agency, they still seem to be a bit lacking in terms of drama production since that is an industry that they are relatively new to.”

    Nevertheless, I can’t neither say this drama will be a flop nor a success. I’ll leave that up to you, especially Inspirits, and wow. I’m impressed with the endless support you give. And to show this sincerity of mine, I’ll (perhaps) watch the drama’s teasers and post it up on a blog of mine. TQ

    Sincerely, Richie Kim

  29. 29 Sakura

    Am I the only one who started laughing at this line?

    “It will follow the daily lives of Woo-hyun, a transfer student and Casanova-type who loves to date but draws the line at falling in love, and his rival Sung-yeol, whose character is honest but calculating, and whose gentle manner is also popular with the ladies.”

    Woo Hyun as a Casanova. Oh Woohyun, you’re the Casanova among Inspirits and now you’re gonna be acting as that too?

  30. 30 Karen

    While I’m thrilled to see Sungyeol getting a lead role (I’m a fan of Infinite and he was quite good in Love Poten, he and Jihyun were super adorable together too!) I’m kind of wary of this type of genre and am a bit more scared to see how Woohyun’s acting pans out ahahaha. To put it simply, I’m looking forward to this but keeping my expectations low :’)

  31. 31 wazzap

    With Sungyeol I’m a bit confident, Woohyun… If Woohyun’s role is going to be a Casanova-cheesy version, then I think he can pull it off XD hahaha

    I think they didn’t get the famous teen actors for this since it’s too small of a production for them (correct me if I’m wrong), and maybe newbie actors like Woohyun and Sungyeol are just right for this, maybe?

  32. 32 ladygaga

    I’m happy that they finally saw Sungyeol’s potential. He’s waaay too great as an actor than L. Not an inspirit, but I loved how heand Hoya act before.

  33. 33 lee mika

    excited for this two, hope all the members of infinite were there!!! ^^) (why there’s so many name of my hubby Hoya?? haha!)

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