Drama Casting & News
Han Joo-wan drops weekend drama Bluebird, joins MBC sageuk Hwajeong
by | January 5, 2015 | 32 Comments

Interestingly, Han Joo-wan (Joseon Gunman, King’s Family) has turned down a leading role in favor of a supporting one: He was due to headline the KBS weekend drama Bluebird’s House, which is set to follow the network’s current ratings hit What’s With This Family in mid-February. Though he did share the main loveline with Lee Yoon-ji in King’s Family (his first drama, by the way), Bluebird would’ve been his first headlining lead role in a drama.

In a surprise move, he dropped the weekender in favor of a supporting role in Hwajeong (or Splendid Politics), the MBC sageuk starring Cha Seung-won (You’re All Surrounded) and Lee Yeon-hee (Miss Korea). It’s not a move that upsets me in the least, since I like Han Joo-wan in historical dramas, and felt like he was underutilized at times in Joseon Gunman (though he did have his moments of second-lead glory). I’m just curious what the reasoning was, because taking Bluebird would’ve primed him to become a go-to leading man on KBS weekend shows; perhaps he’d rather have a small part in a project he’s excited about?

Hwajeong is the historical drama that retells Prince Gwanghae’s story with Gwanghae as the central villain — Cha Seung-won plays a dark version of the illegitimate prince who usurped the throne and ousted the legitimate heirs from the palace (the usual interpretation is to make Gwanghae the hero, a la Seo In-gook in King’s Face).

Lee Yeon-hee will play Princess Jeongmyeong, Gwanghae’s half-sister who gets banished from the palace and plots revenge on behalf of her family’s rightful line of rule. She shares a loveline with Seo Kang-joon (What’s With This Family), and Lee Sung-min (Misaeng) also co-stars. We’re not told much about Han Joo-wan’s role other than it being “important,” but what character description would call someone unimportant to the story? If he’s going to be important, can HE have a romance with Lee Yeon-hee then? She’s a princess; she should have multiple suitors, amirite?

Bluebird’s House is now on the lookout for a new leading man, and follows What’s With This Family in February. Hwajeong will air on Mondays and Tuesdays following Shine or Go Crazy this spring.

Via Star News


32 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Ella

    I love Han Joo Wan and would prefer him and Lee Yeon Hee over Seo Kang Joon any day. Or I’d be happy to see him have loads of scenes with the great Lee Sung Min and/or Cha Seung Won. It’s a win-win for me.

  2. ck1Oz

    Maybe he’s qn evil plotting minister?

    • 2.1 Fab

      You can never have too many of those. :/

  3. Coolrepublica

    He is really good. I hope there is great reason for turning down a lead role because that is just stupid.

    • 3.1 applelona

      He is essentially giving up a guaranteed ratings hit, a 30+ at least drama, for something unproven. I hope he made the right decision. What’s With This Family is already at 40+ with a chance at 50% rating 0_o, at a time when other dramas are struggling to reach double digits.

      • 3.1.1 AJ

        Weekend dramas are different from the weekday dramas. Other weekend dramas are not struggling to reach double digits lmao

    • 3.2 mihdgubg

      I don’t think it is stupid. The shows are only guaranteed ratings because that is a popular time for watching t.v. but the shows themselves are pretty much the same formula over and over again. He wants to take the risk because he must have liked what he saw. Don’t know why people are so cowardly about things like this. Let the man make his decisions without giving him lip like you are his wife or something.

      • 3.2.1 pogo

        Not every weekend drama gets ratings that high though…..weekend dramas seem to need ratings in at least the high 20s/30s by the end before they can be called successful.

        They don’t all get Jang Bori/Wang Family-like ratings just because of the time slot.

    • 3.3 cheekbones

      He may admire Cha Seung-won and Lee Sung-min and think that this is a very good opportunity for his growth as an actor. I don’t think it’s a stupid decision.

      • 3.3.1 drea

        Plus, shorter dramas are usually better quality than weekend dramas– and he might not want to fall into the weekend drama actor role. If he wants variety in his resume, then he made a good decision. At least in my humble opinion.

  4. Annie

    Can he replace Seo Kang Joon? Pretty please? I don’t blame him for jumping ship on one of those bloated 50 episode weekenders TBH especially if there’s an extended family set-up involved.

    • 4.1 pogo

      I can’t speak to his movie work, but in all his tv stuff he’s come off as far blander than Seo Kang-joon despite all my efforts to like him.

      And let’s not bash on the weekend dramas, good ones can be 50 episodes of breezy, good watching with way more room to tell a story than the miniseries format (and more room for senior actors too).

  5. Mandy

    Maybe he’s aiming to eventually be a leading man in weekday miniseries instead of headlining weekenders? Or maybe he feels this drama will be a challenge and he has a good character to play. Whatever his reasoning, I really like him so I hope it’s a good decision. I wouldn’t mind them casting a separate female for him. I’d rather see less of Lee Yeon-hee in a drama that has some great actors.

    Mostly I’m excited for Cha Seung-won’s sageuk comeback!

  6. houstontwin

    Could he have been pressured somehow to drop the weekend drama?

  7. Robin

    Well, if the weekender was going to be penned by the King Family scribe, I’d take a pass on it too! He was dreadfully underutilized even if he was a rookie, and his role went from charming to less than vanilla by the end of it.

    Now what would get me all excited would be to see him cast as Hyun Bin’s younger brother in something/anything because he reminds me so much of younger Binnie!

    • 7.1 houstontwin

      King’s Family was shockingly bad and I felt sorry with the actors. Despite it being a big hit, it must have been embarrassing!

  8. CutiieAngiie

    This decision doesn’t surprise me at all. After watching his episode on Happy Together, he really seems passionate about acting so him choosing to be a supporting character instead of leading role is really admirable. Of course, it would have been much better for his career and popularity to stick with the KBS weekend drama especially when you know that most of them are huge hits but yeah’, he is really pretty cool 😀

    • 8.1 mihdgubg

      His popularity yes but not his career. There are many actors who only star in “guaranteed” hits and believe me in a decade no one will remember who they are. If you want to be great you have to take risks.

  9. Nesma Kazem

    i think that will be the right Decision for his career fighting

  10. 10 Sour Grapes

    Maybe he just wants to increase his credibility as an actor rather than gaining popularity with ajummas. Weekend dramas do not leave a lot of room for acting improvement.

    • 10.1 mihdgubg

      Thank you!!!!!!! Not too hard of a concept to grasp.

    • 10.2 tt

      So true about weekend dramas.

  11. 11 kanz

    So Hwajeong must have great potential right, seeing the line-up of actors now?
    Cha Seung Won, Lee Yeon Hee, Lee Sung Min, Seo Kang Joon, Han Joo Wan.
    It would be a waste of acting talents if the drama sucks.

  12. 12 Abbie

    There are probably multiple reasons for why he could have dropped the chance at a lead role, and I’m not about to speculate. However, if it were me, I would have dropped the lead role just for a chance to work with Cha Seung-won. That man is awesome!

    • 12.1 Cray

      And also Lee Sung Min a.k.a Chief Oh

    • 12.2 soprection

      I thought that’s what he was going to say (that he wanted to work with Cha Seung Won).

    • 12.3 eny

      i think he wanna try different charracter in sageuk, i never see him in anything but i think he take good choice

  13. 13 FlyingShoebox

    Oh drama on dramas, somehow reminds me of King of Dramas and Anthony. Jokes aside, he probably has his reasons for making what appears to be a weird decision.

  14. 14 piggy68gal

    After watching Han Joo Wan’s appearances on 2 episodes of Happy Together, he gave off that feeling that he has great passion for acting. And also that he has a lot of his own thinking in terms of acting. So I’m actually not really surprised by his decision.

  15. 15 mary

    If the “important role” is another face reader, I will laugh.

    Hear that, Drama Gods? I WILL laugh! *giggles threateningly*

    • 15.1 Ella

      Ha. I laughed.

  16. 16 pogo

    Frankly, Lee Yeon Hee in Miss Korea/Gu Family Book >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> this guy in Wang Family/Joseon Gunman, he just underwhelms me consistently.

    If he wants to come across as a better actor, he has to take something other than those bland ‘perfect guy’ roles, but he’s certainly not a good enough lead to justify bashing either weekend dramas or LYH.

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