Kim Yoo-jung replaced on Secret Door
girlfriday: Uh… so apparently Secret Door is suddenly replacing Kim Yoo-jung with… Yoon So-hee (Marriage Not Dating, Let’s Eat)???
javabeans: What! Why? That’s the stupidest thing. The articles are saying that this is a “baton pass” between child role to adult, but my bullshit meter is flying up to 11, for so many reasons. First of all, the role was described from the outset as just being Kim Yoo-jung’s, from start to finish.
girlfriday: Right? They went on and on about how she’s all grown up now and she’s getting her first big-time lead role.
javabeans: Do you think this was a last-minute thing due to (a lack of) viewer response? Because nobody is buying the romance, and yet, you can’t exactly sizzle it up any more than what it is right now (a very pure attraction based on righteous ideals) because of the actors’ ages. While the characters are only a few years apart in age, the actor gap is a little uncomfortable — he’s thirty, she’s fifteen.
girlfriday: It HAS to be, because the actress change at this point in the game makes no sense otherwise, not that it even makes a whole lot of sense in this light either.
javabeans: This just strikes me as fishy because the producers spent so much time before the show assuring us that the age gap didn’t matter and Kim Yoo-jung was debuting in her first non-child role. And if you switch her out for someone barely a few years older saying that Kim’s “child part” is over, then you obviously lied.
girlfriday: It’s so ass backwards because they spent so much time and effort trying to make Kim Yoo-jung and Lee Je-hoon’s pure idealistic relationship believable, at the expense of developing his relationship with his wife Princess Hyegyeong until much later in the story. Plus, if you were planning this from the get-go, then why wouldn’t you have cast a high-profile actress from the start?? I’m trying to wrap my head around it, but it seems dumb to me.
javabeans: I feel like it HAS to be a last-ditch effort to either salvage the role or minimize it, just because of the (upside-down) order/logic of the decision. Why would you replace Kim Yoo-jung with someone unknown? Either Kim Yoo-jung’s character should have been a few years older (actresses play older all the time), or cast the other chick from the start.
girlfriday: That’s what i don’t understand. Yoon So-hee is an unknown rookie with just a few projects under her belt, and really, onscreen she doesn’t seem that much older either.
javabeans: I guess Yoon So-hee seems like she could play the character more “mature” — in that she would be less innocent? Kim Yoo-jung has the wide-eyed purity that just makes her seem actually younger than her years, whereas I kind of wanted to slap Yoon So-hee every time her Hyun-hee character was onscreen in Marriage Not Dating. Although… I guess making Ji-dam unlikable isn’t exactly the way to save her.
girlfriday: I would be angry if they rewrote the whole character all of a sudden. I will admit that Ji-dam doesn’t really do it for me in her current incarnation, so in that sense, changes aren’t necessarily all bad. It’s just… this is not a change I get.
javabeans: Right, I actually think swapping the actress might be good if you’re trying to build up the Sun-Ji-dam loveline again, which has been nonexistent because it didn’t seem to be working, and viewers weren’t buying it. And Kim Yoo-jung just doesn’t do much against Park Eun-bin’s intensity. What confuses me is the WAY they’re doing it, and also, the person they cast. Will she actually be better? Erm.
girlfriday: I already feel like Ji-dam is less interesting than Hyegyeong, and I’m concerned that’ll only increase. Which would be fine if the show would just focus on Sun and Hyegyeong, like they SHOULD. Ahem.
javabeans: I wish the drama would focus on Sun’s relationships with Hyegyeong and Yeongjo, which are fascinating on their own merits, but if you’re going to shove a loveline down my throat I should at least believe it. Or feel like THEY believe it. You know, I would really have preferred someone like Yoon Jin-yi. She has that innocence that could carry over from Kim Yoo-jung, and the sprightly energy, but can also emote and be more intense. Or even Jung So-min or Kim So-eun (yes I know she’s busy, this is fantasy casting!).
girlfriday: They would’ve been great. Maybe they actually couldn’t get them because this was clearly some sort of mid-season freakout and replacement that was unplanned.
javabeans: Because who announces sudden mid-drama switches on a Saturday morning? On the other hand, signing on a newbie actress at this late stage might indicate that Ji-dam is taking a backseat now. In that case, I can see why you wouldn’t get a higher-profile actress, if they’re just going to be background wallpaper.
girlfriday: That might actually be better storywise, though in that case I would’ve preferred them to at least give Kim Yoo-jung her due and fast-forward and kill Ji-dam off while she played her. Why not make a dramatic exit out of it, instead of confusing people?
javabeans: God I know. Ji-dam really didn’t do much for me alive, but she could have really done something in her death.
girlfriday: Right? Heung-bok 2.0! And then Sun goes mad from the heartbreak!
javabeans: We should just write Secret Door fanfic, which is all dark and angsty and heartbreaking.
girlfriday: I think they just call that history.
- Secret Door: Episode 1
- Secret Door’s enthusiastic press conference
- Web drama Love Cells scores Jang Hyuk, Kim Woo-bin and more stars
- Secret Door doles out love, punishment, and tragedy
- Hidden tears in Secret Door’s character posters
- Kim Yoo-jung on the set of Secret Door
- Kim Yoo-jung scores leading role in Secret Door
- Marriage Not Dating: Episodes 1-2
- Han Groo stars opposite Yeon Woo-jin in tvN rom-com
- Let’s Eat: Series Review