Drama Casting & News
Hong Jong-hyun to romance Song Yoon-ah in Mama
by | June 12, 2014 | 37 Comments

Hong Jong-hyun, why you gotta keep doing dramas I don’t want to watch? (On that list: Heading to the Ground, Wild Romance, My Beloved, Her Lovely Heels. I like him so much—much of it is residual nerd-love from Vampire Idol, although White Christmas isn’t a bad one to have on one’s resumé—but wish he did more stuff I actually enjoyed, so I could watch him more. ‘Cause let’s face it, the painful days of watching uninteresting shows just for one actor are long behind me.)

He is looking to join MBC’s weekend drama Mama: Nothing To Fear, the drama starring Song Yoon-ah (On Air) as a single mother who learns she’s terminally ill and decides to create a family for her son before she dies so as not to leave him all alone in the world. Despite the overwrought-sounding premise, the drama sounds like it’s going for an uplifting tone as the heroine goes in search of her ex-husband and ends up becoming friends with his new wife, and the two ladies’ friendship becomes one of the central relationships.

Hong Jong-hyun is considering positively at the moment and is up for the part of the sweet younger man who loves her with a pure heart and utmost devotion. Their characters will have a ten-year age gap, which is a lot closer than their real-life gap, which is seventeen years. (He’s a 1990-er.) Well, it’s certainly the era of the younger man in dramaland, and by younger I mean much younger, what with Secret Love Affair’s twenty-year age gap and Witch’s Romance’s fourteen years. (I’m not complaining, I promise, but I’d just like a little more diversity and the younger man dynamic has become almost standard at this point.)

Meanwhile, Choi Song-hyun (Potato Star 2013QR3, I Need Romance) has also been cast to play a successful businesswoman, with Jung Jun-ho (Queen of Reversals) and Moon Jung-hee (Thousand Day Promise) previously confirmed. The drama will follow Hotel King and premieres on MBC in August.

Via Osen


37 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Saya

    ‘ ‘Cause let’s face it, the painful days of watching uninteresting shows just for one actor are long behind me.’


  2. mystisith

    It’s certainly a lasting trend, that younger man thing.
    I really, REALLY love both of them but that premise… *sigh*. Will wait for it to be over & then I’ll marathon eventually. You never know: Doctor with magic hands, time travel to find a cure, massive rewriting to please the shippers… 😉

  3. Lord Byron

    Will this be a category-5 crier? On the level of Terms of Engagement? I don’t do well with criers …

  4. Mandy

    When dramaland starts a trend, everyone follows for the year so every year we just get the same type of dramas. I’m so used to it at this point, it doesn’t even bother me anymore. *Tired sigh*

    But the story sounds quite promising. I love the idea of two women being friends instead of cliched enemies after sharing one man. If done right, it could turn out to be an uplifting family drama with emotions that actually feel close to real life. We haven’t had one of those recently – though I haven’t see WD.

  5. LeeSplash

    That premise sounds exactly like the 2010 Bollywood movie ‘We Are Family’, which in turn was a copy of the 1998 Hollywood flick ‘Stepmom’.

  6. windsun33

    I actually think the story has good possibilities. And I long ago quit watching shows because of what actors were in it.

    After being traumatized by Heirs with it’s load of “big name” stars that pretty much ended up as a pile of crap I came to the conclusion that the writer was probably more important as long as the actors performed reasonably well.

    • 6.1 alua

      I think watching for a specific actor/actress can work. It just depends on the specific person – some are very consistent in choosing good projects and they make the task of deciding which drama to watch a lot easier. With others, it’s hit and miss and sadly one has to skip some shows despite interesting actors being in it (like Kim Woobin in Heirs).

      And, of course, there are quite a few whose dramas I won’t watch (simply because the casting is already an indicator of lack of quality of drama / uninteresting storyline / terrible acting etc).

  7. crazedlu

    Wahhhhh. Seriously. Why’s he got to be in a drama I totally will not watch. K, I’m getting more used to this noona-dongseng thing (I’m totally noona status now too), but doesn’t mean I like it much. Meh. Can’t two people around the same age fall in love? Ugh. Waiting for that drama. While I’m waiting, hope a good high school drama comes along too.

  8. MariD

    By the way Her lovely heels was very cute and not painfull to watch considering the eps were less then 15 mins.

    • 8.1 Minitwin

      Oh my god it was so cute. I started when it was at ep 6 and marathoned to there and then the next week I was so excited for the next episode…and then it completely dragged until the end. It was really disappointing…

  9. mary

    Why did it have to be a noona-dongsaeng thing? :O

    I’m not against noona-dongsaeng (or ahjusshi-idol) dramas. I’m just curious why they had to include that factor when the premise: “woman wants to leave a loving family for her child before she dies” is already interesting for me.

    Does she think that younger=healthier=longer-lasting relationship (like what Granny believes in Dalja’s Spring?)

    I’d hate to think that they added the noona factor just to ride the SLA and WR high. :(((((

    • 9.1 mystisith

      Well, trend started with IHYV last year and since all the dramas with noona romances did well in ratings until now…

      • 9.1.1 mary

        I think it’s more like, IHYV and SLA had great story + acting.

        Then WR had a great start, great side-characters, lotsa skinship, fun (until Polar Bear came along).

        Oh, and YFAS, though not technically noona romance, had Le Goddess JJH in it. 😀

        • mary

          Oups, I meant, K-ent is making a wrong assumption about noona-romance ratings. They shouldn’t just look at the surface and assume it’s the age gap that sells.

          It just happens that the last couple of noona-romance dramas had great story or acting or both!

    • 9.2 John

      mary ~

      It should have been a noona- Song Jae-rim thing.

      The show might be good. Cross fingers for good script.

      • 9.2.1 mary

        Very interested in the story too. It sounds heartwarming. I like makeshift families in kdramas! They’re usually portrayed better than biological families.

        See:power-grabbing CEO cousins, debt-laden uncles, evil daddies, etc.

  10. 10 coby

    Sigh.. I can’t even finish “Her Lovely Heels” in as much as I want to see this guy on screen. I love him in Vampire Idol!

  11. 11 karecity

    I believe the noona-dongsaeng trend is largely because the industry severely lacks good young female actresses.

    • 11.1 captaincrunch

      Not true imo. Just that they’re aren’t many established ~big name~ actresses in their twenties, especially in comparison to popular young male actors. It’s not lack of talent, it’s just a lack of star power. There are alot of excellent young actresses in their twenties, but not many have much popularity, or have even graduated to leading lady status yet.

      • 11.1.1 glowry

        couldnt agree more.. i do see some young female actress is really good and has big potential.. but to gain more star power they need more to put in their resume.. what’s worse is idols (who some of them really sucks in acting) keep snatching their jobs..

    • 11.2 birdscout

      Consider, too, the fact that in real life, noona marriages are on the upswing in Korea.

    • 11.3 daktari34

      I also believe that there is a cultural factor at play. Lots of successful single older women in South Korea now who are making their own choices about the men they wish to pursue.

  12. 12 panshel

    The opening paragraph made me chuckle because I have sat through trainwreck dramas before just because I like the actors. Another character who fits Hong Jong Hyun to a T is Dating Agency: Cyrano’s Moo Jin. Moo Jin is how I picture Hong Jong Hyun to be in real life — won’t talk to you unless you talk to him and even if you talk to him, he still probably won’t talk to you. I had no plans to watch him on We Got Married, but I’ve been meaning to watch him in Style Log. I’ll likely skip this drama because it looks too melodramatic. I’m assuming Song Yoon Ah dies at the end?

    • 12.1 windsun33

      I used to sit through train wrecks also, but over the past year or two I have gotten a lot less forgiving. Perhaps one reason is that it seems like Japanese drama with subs have gotten a lot more available. Though not always “better” than k-dramas, they do have a much wider range of topics and themes.

      • 12.1.1 alua

        “they do have a much wider range of topics and themes”

        So true. And they aren’t as stuck on certain things, i.e. sometimes there’s no romance story line because it just isn’t needed or the supposed OTP doesn’t work out (or the hero/ine doesn’t end up with anyone). Many do paint by the numbers as well, but it’s much harder to find a kdrama that’s totally unpredictable or breaks the conventions.

  13. 13 Meg

    I have to say, I’m very tired of the younger man theme that’s been going on in Dramaland recently. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in diversity and I liked it at first, but now it’s everywhere.

    Maybe it’s harder for me because I just don’t find dating a younger guy to be all that appealing and have always been more interested in dating older men (my current boyfriend is 11 years older than me and he’s perfect and amazing and- I’ll stop before I get mushy), but still I didn’t mind watching it.

    Now I find that I’m starting to not even watch drama’s because of it. I won’t watch Witch’s Romance because for me it just seems so…familiar to other dramas with younger guys.

    It also feels like Dramaland is going out of their way to make the guy younger now. Like You’re Surrounded for instance, Go Ara is younger than Lee Seung-gi but they made her character older (not by much though which is nice I guess). But I don’t really understand why she needed to be older in the first place?

    IDK that’s enough of my ranting lol. It’s just something that has been bothering me recently with dramas.

  14. 14 selina

    it sounds lie that movie with Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon……’Stepmom’. That was a good movie.

  15. 15 sabelita


    • 15.1 grey

      Me too! I enjoyed it a lot! hehe…

  16. 16 Rosele

    Is he going to be the male lead on this drama? I like watching weekend family dramas but i feel weird none of the cast mention is familiar to me. I mean , they could at least add 1 or 2 popular actor or actress. No matter how good the story is, considering it has a long episode too , having a wellknown artist will help to get it recognize.

  17. 17 CFLH

    HONG JONG HYUUUUN!!! i loved him in cyrano…and watched white christmas because the cast of that show was awesome…and her lovely heels was was cute..but it was soooo cheesy at times i wanted to throw something at the monitor. haha

    guess i just have to watch vampire idol…and maybe his stint on we got married.

  18. 18 cheekbones

    Yet once again I share your sentiment, jb. And, I don’t particularly like a noona romance, much less an ahjumma romance. 🙁

    • 18.1 lh39

      I’ll ditto that. Most women hit menopause by late 40s or early 50s. Will their younger husband or lover still stay faithful ? In any case, I hope that we don’t see any more genius doctors and noona/ahjumma romances for rest of 2014 and even 2015.

      Now cable stations and even daily k-dramas have better scripts and acting compared to the regular prime time dramas. A good story with proper auditioning and casting coupled with strong production team is key, not star-power of the script-writer nor cast.

      YEH and Lee Da Hae used to be such good actresses because of the roles they had. Now, they are just let down by poor scripts. I really liked LDH as the anti-heroine in Miss Ripley which had pretty “exciting” episodes for a non-action drama. And poor YEH. “I Miss You” and “MHIYD” had good premise to be much better. How does a young rape victim grow up and recover from trauma and I think some of us would like to go back 20 or 30 years to change some of our life decisions so that our lives may turn out differently. This maybe contrary to many people’s opinion, but I feel MHIYD is better than DS and YAAS. Triangle is rather slow but there is a story and plot and its cast are making the characters engaging.

      I suppose it isn’t easy for the TV and cable stations either because ratings have been poor for many dramas. Audience is fickle and reality shows are becoming more popular and have lesser production costs. But I can’t understand this. Having watched some seasons of such shows and singing/dancing competitions, I become so jaded.

      • 18.1.1 lh39

        My firm favorite is A New Leaf which is such a standout. At least so far there is no crazy plot and characters with forced romantic lines. Hmm I suspect a renegade of ex-CHA lawyers will be forming.

      • 18.1.2 Tona

        “Most women hit menopause by late 40s or early 50s. Will their younger husband or lover still stay faithful ?”

        Maybe I should not be bothered by this statement but I am. Based on what is written here, because a woman is menopausal, a man will be tempted to not be faithful? Why would a younger husband/lover be less faithful than an older one or a husband/lover her age? Is it not about the person who is in a relationship with the woman?

        • lh39

          I have no doubt that there are exceptions and true love do exists. Apologies I don’t mean to insult anyone at all.

          If a 20 year youth lives with a 35 year colleague after knowing each other for 3 months, I would tell her to be on her guard. This is just my take in the real world where women and men are known to have been cheated of their possessions via poor business investments, having to send money to some poor family member etc after the other party takes off. Some are even conned by online lovers ?!

          Dramas can reflect a lot of reality but there are both horror and fairy tales which are likely only in dramas.

  19. 19 Kaybee

    I have a feeling that some actors in S. Korea are either very rich, well connected, has great PR Skills or has a great PR team. Hong Jong Hyun is pretty much stoic for me. He has limited range in acting, borderlining with no emoting at all. I have seen in in Her lovely heels, Vampire Idols, White Chrstmas and Wild romance and he is just sooo…. okay I get that he get roles but a lead role that too with Song Yoon Ah?! Errrr…

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