Drama Casting & News
Shim Eun-kyung confirms Nodame Cantabile remake
by | July 28, 2014 | 133 Comments

FINALLY. We have a heroine! After multiple rounds of casting news and false alarms, the Korean drama remake of Nodame Cantabile — called Cantabile Romance — has secured its leading lady. The fantastically talented Shim Eun-kyung (Miss Granny) has at last signed on to play Nodame, opposite Joo-won (Good Doctor) who has been attached to the project since April. Shim was an early favorite to play the heroine, but bowed out due to scheduling conflicts for her movie Waiting For You; fan outcry during subsequent casting rounds left the role unfilled, and once her movie got pushed back, producers successfully wooed her back.

The fall KBS Monday-Tuesday series is a university campus drama about classical musicians. It’s being produced by Group Eight (Boys Before Flowers, Tamra the Island, Goong, Pretty Man) and will star Shim Eun-kyung as Nodame, a savant pianist who can replicate a piece after hearing it but struggles to read music. She’s a quirky, adorable slob who can’t manage to clean up after herself, which I can already picture Shim Eun-kyung pulling off without breaking a sweat — if any young actress has cornered the market on quirky, it’s her.

Joo-won will play the star pianist who secretly wants to become a conductor. He’ll help the heroine with everything from music to cleaning up her messy place, and naturally she falls in love with him. I mean, he cooks and cleans, plays the piano brilliantly, and is played by Joo-won. What else is there to know? Baek Yoon-shik (Gu-am Heo Jun) has been cast as the genius conductor and mentor who’s also a pervy womanizer, and Do-hee (Answer Me 1994) will play a supporting role as a member of the orchestra.

Sometimes Group Eight’s manga, anime, and Japanese drama remakes end up feeling more cartoonish than I would like for a drama adaptation, but I’m hopeful that this one will live up to its buzz. It’s clearly a beloved story with fans who are protective of its core characters, and a show driven by its love of music. Besides, I’m beyond excited for the Shim Eun-kyung/Joo-won pairing. They’re going to be SO CUTE. I can’t stand it.

Cantabile Romance follows Discovery of Romance in October.

Via TV Report

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133 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Mrs. Jang guem suk

    Well she was pressured enough lmbo……. Hahahahahaha still ain’t feeling joo wan as Chakaki but I will deal with it *Fighting*😉

    • 1.1 mwg

      I hope the casting for Mine Ryutaro (the rocker violinist) makes up for the Joo Won casting. I’m curious to see what Joo Won does with it, though maybe it’s an opportunity to hear more from the supporting cast.

      • 1.1.1 Carolies

        Oh me too!!! I love Eita and I’m so ansious to know who will be…

      • 1.1.2 Viki

        Seriously…someone who would look great playing a rocker hehe

  2. Aya

    **Dancing like crazy** this is the best news in dramaland ever!!

    • 2.1 Danna

      lol…me too….literally jumped out of my seat and started to doing a happy dance the minute i read the headlines!…YESSSSSSS~~~
      my prayers have been answered..no the only thing left is for this show to actually be good…PLEASE BE GOOD SHOW!!!!!

    • 2.2 gg

      Now this, I will watch!!!!

  3. crazedlu

    Omgosh!!! WIIIIINNN!! Worth the wait!!!! So psyched for this!! Hehe. Shim Eun-kyung and Joo-won? Oh yeahhhh.

    • 3.1 skez

      Joo Won’s character in King Of Baking sucked, made me dislike the guy…i dont know why but i cant bring my self to watch any other thing with him in it…JW’s fans abeg spare me ur lectures! lol

      • 3.1.1 whitechocolatte

        Really?! I LOVE him in that role; it was that role that I became his fan!
        As much as I love Yoon Shi Yoon as Kim Tak Gu, I love the side story with Gu Ma Jun (Joo Won) & Yoo Kyung (Eugene) much more.
        I think JW did great as GMJ.

      • 3.1.2 koko

        try to watch his another dramas or movies, you’ll fall in love with him for sure.. i was like that too .. i didnt like him so much at the beginning. but when i happened to watch drama ojakgyo brother i fell in love with his charm immediately… and you know what, he’s such a talented actor and singer as well.. i wish he can portray chiaki senpai character so well >_<

      • 3.1.3 maryam

        Really? You have to watch Bridal Mask!

  4. Nancy

    Still iffy about this remake but with Shim signed on, I am however a bit more hopeful and excited. She and Joo Won have big shoes to fill but I believe that they will work hard and bring their own charms to the beloved characters.

    It’s pretty big and necessary for KBS to sign Shim considering that it’ll go up against SBS’ powerhouse sageuk, Secret Door. It’s been a great summer of dramas so far and hopefully fall will be just as great if not better. :)

    • 4.1 Nodame fanatic

      That is exactly how I feel. I am not keen on this remake at all but seeing SEK being cast, I am a bit more hopeful.

      Is it strange that,as a Joowon fan, I am more excited about SEK’s casting than his own as Chiaki? I can just about maybe-kinda-sorta see the quirky SEK being Nodame, whereas Joowon is more of a powerhouse of emotions than a stony-faced, cold-hearted conductor wannabe with a subtle vulnerability to Nodame. If he does manage to pull off Chiaki senpai, then he would officially be my favourite actor in dramas.

      Oh Chiaki, how I love thee.

      • 4.1.1 Mohammed

        No problem for the uber talented Joo Won in playing cold hearted, stone faced. His biggest drama Bridal Mask he played a cold hearted villain like character in most of the drama.

        • 4.1.1.1 Nodame fanatic

          IMO, Joowon acted out a character with a wide emotional spectrum in Gaksital; he wasn’t stony faced at all! Chiaki is more of a ‘I can’t be bothered to care for anything or show any kind of emotion’ kinda person. It’s a different kind of cold-hearted, stony faced to Kang To.

          ^In my head, it makes a lot more sense than what I wrote down here, I swear! :P Just..not…good…with…words…Aaaargh!

          • 4.1.1.1.1 Mohammed

            Of course this Chiaki sounds more stone faced but i think Joo Won is good enough to play different than Kang To.

            He is a teater actor too, he isnt like several in 87 generation who live on their idol looks.

            Give a chance to play this type of character when he has shown range of characters earlier no matter how different from Chiaki.

            Not saying the remake will be as good in writing, acting as the original. Korean remakes of quirky japanese drama from producers of Boys of Flowers no matter they have two really talented young actors in the lead.

          • 4.1.1.1.2 Dafuqwhat

            Agree. Rather than cold, I will say Kang-to is more likely hot. Hot-headed, full of emotion, growl and stare like nobody bussiness. But I’m positive he can pull Chiaki. He is talented actor. And now with Sim Eun-kyung as co-star, I really hope this drama will be good. Please be good, please be good!

            October is so far away. I miss Joo-won on my screen.. (already rewatching Gaksital and all it’s bts, although I know they will make my heart and brain bleed. Now rewatching 1n2d…)

          • 4.1.1.1.3 sogazelle

            I think Park Hae Jin would be perfect for Chiaki’s role…

            He’s got similar look and the acting chops to pull it off.

          • 4.1.1.1.4 Mohammed

            Dafuqwhat :

            Im a big fan of Joo Won who also miss him on the screen. His last drama Good Doctor was not good enough in writing and waste of his talent. It was Disney family drama, sappy Hallmark story.

            Im glad he got an acclaimed young actress he can shine with. Not some limited pretty girl.

  5. bliss_namaSTE

    Yay! Great pairing Joo Won and Shim Eun-kyung. I’m so excited for the Csntabile Romance:) So happy:) Fighting:)

  6. Renee

    My birthday is in October! If I can have one wish granted this year, I hope the drama gods make this drama a great one. I haven’t seen Shim Eun-kyung act yet (trust me, I’m looking up Miss Granny now) but I LOVE Joo-won.

    • 6.1 Danna

      you could see her in Sunny first where she is really funny or the first few eps of Hwang Jinyi (if you dont wanna slog through the whole drama)…even her performance in Romantic Heaven was wonderful

    • 6.2 eny

      i just saw miss granny n i think her charracter in there a bit like nodame so i believe she can do it

  7. MedMe

    Finally a great actress for Joo won, it’s been awhile. Looking forward to it ;)
    I would like to thanks Yoona for stepping aside from the casting offer. Very wise decision.

  8. tebz10

    This calls for a celebration! Drinks for everyone!

  9. Uj

    Oh my gosh! FINALLY!
    Praise the heavens!

  10. 10 dmohican14

    Lol, I can’t imagine what the producers would have done if she didn’t sign on. I’m not crazy about Group 8 projects myself and I can see so many ways this can go wrong, but at least they got the right actress, so I’m hoping this will be good.

  11. 11 ultramarineblue

    WOOOHOOOO!!!! Thanks so much for sharing the news!! SO EXCITEDDDD!!!!!! I loved her in sunny and have always loved Joo won lol

  12. 12 HS

    Stupid mediaplay smh -.-

  13. 13 jae in

    Our wish come true. Our prayer got answered. Thanks.

  14. 14 maknaee

    I wish this drama will turn out to be great. ‘Pretty Man’ made me scared. Just wanna forget that drama.
    Seeing how hard to get Shim Eun-kyung’s confirmation , better not waste her. Shim Eun-kyung fightinggg! :D

    • 14.1 trisha

      Well think I’m the opposite. Pretty Man had good premise, the story of someone turns into beautiful inside. It was great but had its own flaws, I could say many. But the hidden messages, if you did watch in detail, there were many of them. And I dont regret to watch the drama back then.

  15. 15 ana

    I hope she got a huge freaking paycheck for this soon-to-be mess.

  16. 16 lemonicricket

    GYABOOO~~~~

    • 16.1 haruka

      Ah, brings back the memories <3

  17. 17 pigtookie

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH YES thank you oh thank you shim eun kyung. I’m slightly nervous about Joo Won now but the guy seems like he’s a very hard working actor and he gets to act against a talented girl so maybe there’s nothing to be worried about?

  18. 18 maddragonqueen

    This is the best news ever, really. I’m actually tearing up a bit in my excitement. I think both of them are soooo well cast to play Nodame and Chiaki. Aahhh!!!

    I. CANNOT. WAIT.

  19. 19 Danna

    I almost forgot she will be with Joo Won…OMG…yes girlfriday, they are totally going to be ridiculously cute

  20. 20 Cindi

    YIPPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! I LIKE THEM!

  21. 21 coffeenlucia

    OMIGOSH I cannot contain all the FEELINGS I have right now <3333333333

    Thank you Shim Eun Kyung!

    Thank you Joo Won!

    Thank you Nodame Cantabile for existing!

    This is a DEFINITE WATCH FOR ME.

    :DDDDDDDDDDD

  22. 22 Cindi

    YIPPPEEEEEEEE!! I LIKE THEM!!! <3<3<3

  23. 23 Momoi

    I never liked the original, but I’ll check this out. I feel like I’m the only one who didn’t like Nodame, Hana Kimi, and Hana Yori Dango. Not that their remakes are better, or that the shows aren’t cute and funny here and there, but something with them never clicked with me.

    • 23.1 trisha

      you’re not the only one :)

      • 23.1.1 Quiet Thought

        Really, too much slapstick for my taste. Hoperfully the Korean version will have less Three Stooges.

    • 23.2 sammi

      You know, I never liked Hana Kimi or Nodame either. Hana Yori Dango when it first came out as a manga was a story/concept that hasn’t really been done before. Even if there were similar stories before it, there’s never been a manga heroine who is both resilient and vulnerable at the same time. I guess I fell for the newness of that story as a young teen. However, I disliked the Korean remake, Boys Over Flowers. KHS just fell completely short of the Japanese version for me.

      Nodame felt like a try-hard at being so different that I never got into the story. BUT the Nodame’s Japanese drama adaptation is pretty entertaining in that I find the live-action anime aspect of it interesting. They’ve manage to replicate anime emotions and expression with actual actors and cinematography angles without make it look like an episode of the Power Rangers, and THAT was new at the time.

      I don’t blame anyone who’s not one to like the cartoonist and outlandish overtones in these manga-adaptation dramas, though. I have my doubts with this one, but I fell in love with SEK, so I’m excited to see how she’ll transform this character.

    • 23.3 Windsun33

      You are not alone. I gave up about 1/3 through. It just too much over the top silly for me.

    • 23.4 alexis

      Yup, definitely not the only one. I could not make it through the Nodame live action dreck.

  24. 24 Suzi Q

    Can’t imagine anyone else could could pull off playing Nodame part other than Shim. She was great in Miss Granny and Sunny.
    Loved the classical music and now 2 of my favorite leads…
    Happy Dance! Can’t wait until October!

  25. 25 locki

    She’s the female lee kwang soo xddd

    she’s 20 years old but seems 32 years old

    lee kwang soo it’s 29 years old but seems 42 years old

    congratulations for the role

    • 25.1 ssixfile

      That’s so rude to say that. I wonder how you feel when people say the same thing about you.

  26. 26 coffeenlucia

    Oh, and amidst all my fangirling I forgot to mention that Nodame Cantabile is one of my favorite mangas of all time, after Detective Conan. :)

  27. 27 Camille

    yes yes YES YES YES YES YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

  28. 28 daniella

    why do some people not like joo won as chiaki? since i’ve never read or watched the original stuff, i was just wondering. i love joo won as an actor, and i’m happy that she finally confirmed, it’s something to anticipate at least for me, since SEK is obviously so talented.

    • 28.1 SS

      There are some who are genuine Tamaki Hiroshi fans or can’t imagine anyone else playing Chiaki. And then there are some who will not like Joo Won as anything. Despite him proving himself as a versatile and bona fide actor from Ojakgyo Brothers to Gaksital to Good Doctor. I think the truth is that it’s not so much to do with his ability or talent but they just dislike him for whatever reason.

      • 28.1.1 snow

        Well, I’m a genuine Tamaki Hiroshi fan and thought he was superb as Chiaki. So far I haven’t found one Japanese actor who could have been a Chiaki other than Tamaki.

        I don’t think people who don’t like Joo Won as Chiaki are disliking him personally. I think he’s a decent actor and I’m sure he’s done well in his roles. But he just doesn’t have the look and feel of Chiaki. It’s like how you know some actors just aren’t suited for certain roles – that’s how it is with Joo Won and Chiaki. It’s got nothing to do with the actor personally.

        • 28.1.1.1 akamiso

          “But he just doesn’t have the look and feel of Chiaki.”

          This exactly.

          I’ve only seen JW in Good Doctor, and I believe people saying that he’s versatile, but this is an adaption of an existing series, and the feel of the character is well established through manga, anime, and the Japanese live-action. I personally think JW is too baby faced and doesn’t have the cold authoritative aura of Chiaki.

          I admit to being completely biased though. I like JW just fine as a person, but I dislike this whole project already. I like Lee Min Ho too, but I hated Korean HYD (love hyd, also love nodame, in japanese). It’s not about the actor, it’s about the fact that these things don’t work nearly as well in Korean than they do in Japanese. To this day I’ve yet to understand why Boys Over Flowers is such a popular thing (to answer myself, it’s probably because most of the fans hadn’t watched/read the originals).

      • 28.1.2 Thea

        I’m totally agreed with you SS. Maybe not all person like snow said. But I can read from some comment, most of them are the same person whos also comment negative when theres article about Joo Woon in this blog. Not just Nodame, but all article and drama review (7GCS, GD). They didnt like JW personally and I’m not sure they watch Nodame too. But they wrote JW its not good. I’ve been watching Nodame, and I think Tamaki was a great actor. Even they said JW its doesnt looks like Chiaki (because his baby faced or else) but I trust with his skill in acts, he could made a new version of Chiaki. I dont want JW immitated Tamaki. Because JW is JW, Tamaki is Tamaki. They have different way to act.

    • 28.2 Mrs.Jang guem suk

      Well because Chiaki had a certain gruff personality that was awesome I personally think that Joo wan can’t really capture that essence of that Character…. But he can definitely prove me wrong and kick some Chiaki butt we will see 😉

      • 28.2.1 Nodame fanatic

        Gosh, I just said something similar in a comment above! It’s not just Joowon, I can’t really see anybody playing Chiaki other than Tamaki Hiroshi. I will try to be totally unbiased and have a fresh mind for Joowon’s portrayal though.I am hoping that Joowon can pull off Chiaki coz that’s definitely a feather you want on your cap.

  29. 29 DDuk

    LAWL. I literally screamed out YES! when my sister told me.
    I’m SO HAPPY!! yay!

  30. 30 jaded14yaoi

    At this point I don’t even care how this drama turns out. I’m just glad I get to see Joo Won on the small screen again!

  31. 31 Jenny

    I like her so happy about the casting but still not convinced that this adaptation will be as good a the jdorama.
    My questions are will Timpani still rock a afro and be in love with Chiaki and please no angsty triangle dramas. Mine’s relationship with Miki was sweet so don’t make a triangle drama between Mine, Chiaki and Nodame.
    Will Stresemann be just as perverted as in the dorama (in outtakes it hilarious to see Tamaki loose it every time Takenaka Naoto starts talking)

    • 31.1 Danna

      yes I’m praying that they stick closely to the original too…the thing i hate the most in kdrama adaptations about anything is when they put too much weight on love triangles and on the mommy/daddy drama and all the angst that they entail…I hope they cast someone with great comic chops for Mine too

    • 31.2 Mrs.Jang guem suk

      My thoughts exactly because in Korea when they do remakes of show they usually veer off (ex. Fated to Love you,You’re my pet (seen that today smh so much of my hubbies time gone to waste)and Boys over flowers)…. This is not a show u can veer off on ….. U have to stay on point right to the tee …. Hopefully they do that 😊

    • 31.3 Mandy

      I think comedy just isn’t Joo Won’s forte, you know? He only did one which was the atrocious Level 7, and have mostly done dramatic roles. So I can see why there are a lot of fans doubting him.

      It’s a bit of a wait-and-see on what he does with this role. I haven’t seen the original so I’m not one to compare. But they’re all going to be in a lot of pressure to perform as per expectations.

      • 31.3.1 Mandy

        Omg, my phone’s playing tricks I swear. That was a reply to daniella. Apologies, my comments have been all over the place today!

    • 31.4 snow

      The outtakes are hilarious, Tamaki had a hell of a time controlling his mirth whenever Takenaka Naoto started on his lines. I think the cast overall had a ball of a time filming the drama and it was really lovely to see them all chummy with one another.

      I’m not hopeful they will stick closely to the original given the title change. It’s like an instant red flag.

      • 31.4.1 Mawu

        Can you share the link? Would love to watch that :)

        • 31.4.1.1 snow

          Of course, happy to share :)

          Have a watch here:
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRQ3RDJgAS0 (pls copy and paste link if it doesn’t show up as a proper URL)

          There aren’t any subtitles but the scenes are pretty self-explanatory. They start with the original, then the fluffed takes. The Takenata Naoto scenes appear towards the end. The outtakes by Ueno and Tamak are especially adorable, I always break into a huge grin when I rewatch.

      • 31.4.2 akamiso

        Well it’s not like they can call the Korean character Nodame?? :) (although when you think about think, No Da Me could be a quirky Korean name, no? hehe) That’s really the least of my worries about the adaptation.

        • 31.4.2.1 snow

          Heh, well even then that would be wrong. Chiaki never calls her “Noda Megumi” ever – it’s either Nodame or Garbage Woman (and that, only once). Besides No Da Me takes away the uniqueness of “Nodame”.

          My beef is with the emphasis on “romance” in the title and descriptions of the remake I’ve read. It’s just so wrong to put any sort of emphasis on romance when there’s close to zilch in the original. You can just tell where producers are going with this. Actually I’d be surprised if they even understood the “Cantabile” aspect of the title.

  32. 32 Quiet Thought

    Food Monster Eun Kyung! She should have a wonderful time with this one!

  33. 33 JulieSean

    Now I’m nervous, reading the dramas that were produced by Group Eight. Only Goong is good from that long list, although I heard good reviews about Tamra Island.

    With such a great cast, I hope the script and directing doesn’t disappoint….Boys Before Flowers was so badly made although it garnered incredible ratings in Korea and overseas.

    Also, please have better editing and insertion of appropriate songs in appropriate settings. Not another “Almost paradise……..” I can never hear this song without cringing. It’s grating to my ears. Firstly this song is atrocious, both singer and the song. Secondly, this damn phrase is played whenever possible in the scenes.

    • 33.1 Mrs.Jang guem suk

      I literally put my hands over my ears and started screaming Not Again when I heard that song in marriage not dating *shivers* 😣

    • 33.2 kathy

      I loved Tamra the island..I watched it two times and is one of my fav with Gaksital and Queen In Hyun’s man.

    • 33.3 Quiet Thought

      I still need to finish my slasher film script in which the villain is an out of work musician who assassinates anyone who uses that “almost paradise” cut in any drama in any language anywhere in the world.

    • 33.4 Sam

      Yep, the Group Eight thing is terrifying me. BoF is awful and I hated Goong more. It was the first two Kdramas I watched (friend’s recommendation) and looking back I’m surprised I decided to carry on watching dramas after them. I kinda get the appeal of BoF, but I honestly don’t get why people like Goong. The storyline, cast, everything was boring and irritated me. Well to each his own.
      They better not ruin Nodame though! I’ll never forgive them if they do!

  34. 34 LOVE HS&SH

    YAY!!!! HAPPY dance ***

  35. 35 Civ0726

    I guess I’m what you call a purist before I ever watched any dramas wether korean or Japanese I was a anime fan since my days in college. I’ve read the manga and seen the anime. Now joo woon is one of my favorite actors so I’m hoping it’s good and shim I’ve never seen her act but all the rave reviews here then no reason for me not to believe she’s not the right actress. All I know they have big shoes to fill. But I’m hopeful.

  36. 36 maldita

    They have an amazing actress in Shim Eunkyung. I’m not really a big fan of Joo Won, but he’s pretty good, too. I just hope the writing and everything else about the drama works.

  37. 37 redfox

    let´s switch Joo Won for Sung Joon and we have a deal.

  38. 38 Rou

    Thank the lord! I am sure she will be a good Nodame. Anyway, anything is better than Yoona.

  39. 39 chasen8888

    I am all in for the this talented cast, now lets hope that the writing actually matches our expectations. It better be darn good.

  40. 40 june_rain

    Yes x3. If this is to happen I’m so happy it’ll be with Shim Eun Kyung. Cute couple alert. I can’t wait to see her with Joo Won.

  41. 41 coffeenlucia

    adorable cheeky couple :D

  42. 42 OhSoEnthusiastic

    I have not seen the original or read the manga it’s based on, but I’ve wanted to check it out for a while now. Now I can watch a Korean drama version!

    Shim Eun Kyung just has the face for quirky characters. I’ve only seen her in one thing (Sunny), but she just Looks the part of this kind of character. I will definitely be checking this one out when it airs.

  43. 43 Lorac

    great choice in the female lead…I don’t think Joo Won is the right actor to play Chiaki. IMO

  44. 44 puri gorota

    meh..why did they do a remake anyway?? It’s like a piano piece that is intended to add it by extra notes and plan to modified the rythm.. SOUNDS AWFUL!!!
    Gyabo~ nothing can beat the original tbh

    *Moja Moja Suite, Kazuo, Shin-chama, Baby-chan..
    BE STRONG*

  45. 45 Minah

    SOO EXCITED!!!

  46. 46 ssixfile

    Perfect!!

  47. 47 VanillaSalt

    I literally did a fist pump when i saw the headline! I just hope they don’t make Nodame, Sakura, and Chiaki a love triangle bc in the original i was nothing close to that. It’d make more sense to have that Rui girl from the movies and specials into a love triangle characters. I wonder how they’re gonna combine that drama, specials, and movies into one drama? Like, i feel a lot of the character development was in the movies idk

    • 47.1 coffeenlucia

      I hope there’s not that much focus on Rui because that’s something about the manga I didn’t really like. Though I sorta felt bad for Rui…

  48. 48 pogo

    oh well, if they had to do this remake, I’m glad they at least got an actress who’s proven her talent. I’m far more optimistic about her casting than Joo Won, truth be told.

  49. 49 givemekimminjong

    PRAISE THE GODS!! HUZZAH!

  50. 50 kanz

    I don’t understand the hype over original drama and I never watch it. However because SEK is cast my interest has been raised. I really love her as an actress. If it’s another actress, I don’t think I will watch it.

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