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Average user rating 3.5
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Cha Seung-won dons his villain’s hat for Hwajeong

There was a time in my life when envisioning Cha Seung-won playing a future king or dignified gentleman would have been obvious—the default setting, really. I think of that time as Pre-Three Meals a Day, before he was the home-cooking badass Chajumma who could whip up gourmet meals in a flash, without recipes or breaking a sweat. Before I saw him make ketchup out of whole tomatoes, before he jerry-rigged a baking rack in an ancient outdoor oven and made fresh bread from scratch, and rather than strangle Na PD for demanding fresh-made marmalade to go with it, he merely glared. And then made marmalade.

So now it’s actually kinda weird seeing his first stills for his upcoming political sageuk drama Hwajeong, in which he plays Prince Gwanghae. Sure, I get why you cast him to play a cold, ambitious, savvy politician who usurps the throne away from his half-brother, the legitimate heir; he’s got hauteur and gravitas in equal measure. Just, you’re gonna have to give me a minute to erase the images of Chajumma owning the kitchen and taking care of Yoo Hae-jin like a naggy wife, okay?

In this drama, Gwanghae plays the villain of the piece, while Lee Yeon-hee is Princess Jeongmyeong, the half-sister ousted from the palace when he claims the crown. (Gwanghae was historically seen in an unfavorable light despite being recognized for accomplishing a number of achievements, though that’s changed in modern times; a number of cinema and drama depictions have offered a much more sympathetic portrayal, some recent examples being Gwanghae, the Man Who Became King and King’s Face. This drama re-twists the narrative by making him the baddie again.)

Jung Woong-in, also pictured in the stills below, plays the supporter who helps seat Gwanghae on the throne and thereafter wields great influence in the political power game. As you can see from the faces at the script reading, which was held last week, the drama has lined up a solid cast, which include Kim Jae-won, Lee Sung-min, Seo Kang-joon, Jo Sung-ha, Han Joo-wan, and Lee Jae-gu.

Hwajeong is directed by PD Kim Sang-ho of Arang and the Magistrate and Can You Hear My Heart, and written by Kim Yi-young of Yi San, Dong Yi, and Horse Healer. It is scheduled to follow MBC’s currently airing historical fantasy series Shine or Go Crazy, premiering in April.

Via Ten Asia

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Wow that's one solid cast. I don't normally watch saeguk but I'll be keeping a lookout for this drama.

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wow you took the words right out of my mouth. or rather ,i thought the exact same thing !

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What an incredible cast, with all the great actor ajussi's.
I love fun sageuks. Looking forward so much. Thanks for the news. It's made my day.

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So anyone knows whatever happened to Unprecedented? I totally forgot about it and remembered when I saw Cha Seung Won in these stills.

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My my my!!!!! Now this I have to watch!!!!!

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SOGC renewed my love for sageuks. The last few were lacking in some way. Now I feel like going on a sageuk spree so I think I'll be jumping on board with this one.

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Gawd, isn't Chajumma just the most awesome thing ever?! WHERE did the man learn to cook like that? Over a wood fire too. He should quit dramas and do cooking programs. "Three meals" got better ratings than a lot of the recent dramas. On cable too.
Yeah, trying to see him as a badass villian is going to take some adjusting. Maybe he could do Dae Jang Geum-the Male version?

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I want to like your comment * 1000

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LOL at male Jang-geum. Somehow I wanna see that too ^^

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Is there a chance to watch it subbed?

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after watching 3Meals, i only have 1 question: "is there any thing that Chajumma cant cook?"

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I asked the same question and came to the conclusion that: No, probably not, given how he succeeded in making bread that looked like store bough dinner rolls. Awesome!
I'm go going to rewatch this series just to learn how to cook like that!

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do you have a link to watch it? is it with eng subs?

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Chajumma was hilarious in his impromptu "cooking challenge" against Hyori on FO.

This has some of my fave character actors, so definitely will give this a shot.

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Yes that cooking challenge is one of my favourite parts in the entire FO! Super childish, those 2 adults.

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3 Meals a day w CSW is just hilarious, for the way he cooks and how he relates to the other guys. In the latest ep, he brought the actor who played the white-haired baddie he fought with for a good 10 mins in the public toilet in Athena. They are tight buddies.

He also appeared in a film w Hae-jin many years ago, and with Trash too. And everybody remembers their experience filming w him fondly. Must be a nice guy.

If I wasn't married, I'd make it my life's goal to marry sb like him! He travelled 10 hours to Seoul and another 10 hours back, just to spend 2 hours at his daughter's BD party! What a guy!

Badass villian? I'm so going to laugh lovingly when I watch that.

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Hopefully this gets subbed so I can watch it.

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dont worry. this drama will get subbed. the power of yoochun!!!!

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What does Yoochun have to do with this drama?

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Lol

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Bwahahahaha

The Power of CSW puhlizzzz :D :D

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Yoochun? He's in the neighbouring thread.

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Lol. That was meant for @kdramamaniashan

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SOGC is so so great right now that I really don't want it to ever end at all. My supply of Jang Hyuk is going to run real low in a few weeks. But looking at the positives, this one looks like a worthy successor. Cha Seung-won is so awesome in everything he ever does. Cooking, acting, it's all pie lol.

Other than Lee Yeon-hee being the titular Princess and having never ever impressed me, I love everyone else in the cast. Here's hoping the villains and everyone else gets lots of screen time so I don't have to watch LYH for 50 episodes.

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where do you watch 3 meals a day? I have not been able to locate it anywhere.

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You can watch it on http://www.dramacool.com

Chajumma rawks! ?

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Thanks for this. It's not subbed but still makes for an interesting watch! CSW is such a cool cool cat

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Argh, javabeans, you make me want to watch Three Meals a Day so bad! All of your Chajumma details have me even more interested. But I just gotta wait for subs. x3

I've really been turned off by sageuks lately... My last one was Secret Door, but I couldn't even finish it. UGH OTL

I was gonna give Shine or Go Crazy a try since I heard good things bout it though.

I might give Hwajeong a try if the story isn't boring.... CSW isn't enough to save it if it turns out to be bad. ;-;

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Yes, Secret Door killed my love for sageuks too that I couldn't even bring myself to start Shine Or Go Crazy at all... sigh...

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I think we should check it out, at least the first episode... I heard the main focus is more about the romance than politics.

I'm trying to hold off right now until after I finish my taxes. xP

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Really? Please, please, please Dramabeans let's not start down this road of not being able to separate reality from fiction. I have no idea why discovering CSW can cook would change the fact that he can also act and be a total bad ass while doing it. It's also not like some of his earlier acting jobs didn't include things like being attacked by a sofa. So he can cook. So can Christopher Walken but he's still one of the most bad ass actors in Hollywood. Frankly I think it's make CSW even sexier.

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I don't get what you're upset about. JB didn't say anything about CSW's cooking skills somehow invalidating his acting skills or ability to be a badass. She just said that thanks to (recently) watching him in all his Chajumma nagging-wife-like glory, her default perception of him has changed, and "she's gonna need a minute" to readjust her perception. Um, that's how our brains work. Once she's immersed in the drama, I'm sure she won't have any trouble "separating reality from fiction".

But even if she (or someone else) did, who's to say that their subjective experience is wrong? I'm one of those people who have a hard time separating reality from fiction when it comes to watching an actor who has done something that I find morally reprehensible. There are plenty of other people who can (and/or choose to) compartmentalize more easily. It's a matter of different sensibilities and preferences, not that one way is inherently better than the other.

I still get a momentary shiver down my spine just looking at a still of Jung Woong-in because he did such a good job of creeping me out in IHYV. A second or two later, my brain reminds me that I'm reacting to the character Min Joon-gook, not the actor Jung Woong-in-- but it happens to me every time. Perceptions that are anchored in strong emotions are particularly powerful, but like all perceptions, are subject to change.

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"But even if she (or someone else) did, who’s to say that their subjective experience is wrong?"

But... are you saying TJ's subjective opinion is wrong? ;-)

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I'm not upset. I don't think my post sounds upset.

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Oh please. JB an GF are such experienced recappers that you didn't seriously think they can't differentiate between the actor, the variety show and real life?

If they couldn't they wouldn't be able to write coherently.

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No I didn't but I do see a lot of this kind of attitude out here on the internet especially talking about Korean entertainment. I get why some people think they need to means test their favorite actor's private personal behavior even though I think it's an effort in futility. You could go for years loving an actor or celebrity only to find out later that in their real lives they are not the kind of person you'd really want to endorse. I also see some things that do get me riled up like slut shaming actresses for appearing in nude scenes and implying that some actor's wife should be jealous of the onscreen chemistry or even simple things like kissing another actor. I just wouldn't want to see Dramabeans change from a site that is mostly straight entertainment news. Don't get defensive I did say please.

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Clearly, CJW needs to be cast in a drama where he gets to show off his hotness, his mad cooking skills, and his no doubt untapped but surely there MacGyver skills -- and the ratings would go off the charts!

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My primary feeling is that I just don't enjoy seeing Cha Seung Won be the baddie because I loff him so much in comedy. Also, that I really wish I could find Three Meals a Day with subtitles somewhere because hilarious!

But after seeing CSW's long long ago episode of Family Outing, I am not remotely surprised by his housewife skills.

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Oh? Where would one find the aforementioned episode of CSW on Family Outing?

Mucho kamsa!

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They have an amazing cast here, but then we have Seo Kang Joon who stands out like a sore thumb.

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A very attractive sore thumb....it's sageuk so it shouldn't be to hard for him to stand around and look pensive. It's not like his real personality is any more animated.

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Haha-- yes, he's a very attractive sore thumb. I'm hoping he won't suck too badly (however, I'm also not overly optimistic). He's such a space cadet on Roommate, but at least he's a lot more focused when he's in character.

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Lol, that's just what I was thinking. Hopefully he'll improve working on a serious project like this surrounded by more experienced actors (and Lee Yeon Hee will continue her improvement too).

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Sounds like he's McGyver in the kitchen. Love it!
I should check it out. :)

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I find myself rooting for Lee Yeon Hee. I understand why people have reservations, but i feel liked her a lot in Miss Korea and Gu Family Book and think she has improved. Working alongside CSW will either work in her favour or show her weakness. Time will tell, but i'm willing to reserve judgement...

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LYH was awesome in MK.

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Yes! I've only seen her in Gu and MK so I've never seen her act poorly. She was so incredible in MK I find it hard to believe. I hold her up as the gold standard of hope that any actor or actress can get better. One of my favorite female characters and actress performances in a Kdrama of all time!

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Watching it for Kim Jae Won. His smile is so fucking adorable.
Can you hear my heart is a drama that has stayed in a corner of my heart for lots of years. I remember the raw feelings I had when I watched it for the first time. A drama that tugged my heart right from the start.
<3

I am ready to watch this drama!!!! Bring it on!!!

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totally loved this drama too , KJW has a charming smile

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Is it possible that Cha Seung-won gets more goodlooking as the years go by? How is that even possible? I haven't watched 3 Meals a day, but his description reminds me so much of Mama Shin in the first season of roommate, that guy could make a gourmet meal out of anything and they both look like the manly man, don't know my way around a kitchen type. Sagueks are my kryptonite but I hope this drama does well. How many episodes is it going to be?

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Aw, is there still no subs for Fishing Village? From that description, it sounds so good.

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need to see reviews for this before i commit myself to watching it or not.

it's all your fault, KIM JAE WON! you're the only one who can make me watch such a long drama...

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No one, and I mean no one, can ever go wrong with Cha Seung Won! Whether or not you can understand what he is saying or not. You can just sit there and admire the view that is him, and remember to wipe the drool off your chin. I would not normally invest the time is a 50 episode presentation, but get real . . . . I am waiting with bated breath! (remember to breathe - remember to breathe - remember to breathe)

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Can't wait for this one. I love sagueks. Well, with a good cast and good story.

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I'm still on the fence to commit for 50eps and my last is Empress Ki..
But then it has Kim Jae Won!!! <3 Cha Seung Won and Lee Sung Min! Jung Woong In is also good actor that I always remember him as his characters, Min Joon Gook in IHYV and Yeom Byeong Soo in EK.
Seo Kang Joon is pretty too. So this one is one heck of pretty + talented casts! The PD and the writer look solid too

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love Cha Seung Won since City Hall and milky white oppa Kim Jae Won after watching him in May Queen. Now, i'm excited for this <3

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Excited for both Cha Seungwon /and/ Jung Woongin because I do love a Woongin-brand villain (slightly less than Sungrok's definitely) and Jung Woongin has a surprisingly inexplicable way of making his villains very personable. Can't wait to see what he does during this round~

Also is it me or do I feel Lee Sungmin might accidentally on purpose channel his inner Manager Oh and be all 'impress me' to his ancient Jang Geurae? /shot

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It's Arang PD.. i heart this guy.

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Ahhh...segeuk... my kryptonite tbh. I should tell my mom about this. She just like segeuk too much. I just ask her to tell me the gist of each ep later on.

And not trying to rub to y'all but 3 meals a day fishing village (with subs!!!yay) is airing at my country. Chajumma is totally awesome. He cooks everything effortlessly. And they (chajumma and heajin) are really conplement each other. 1 is quick temper 1 is mild.

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LEE YEON-HEE, LEE SUNG-MIN, JUNG WOONG-IN, Cha Seung-won & Kim Jae-won!!!!!!! OK OK BE STILL MY HEART...

Sorry... My heart really jumps just at the sight of Lee Yeon-hee and Lee Sung-min... NOT to say JUNG WOONG-IN too!!! Cha Seung-won, too and Kim Jae-won!!! This will be a great ride! Pleaaaase I want to watch Episodes 1-100000 of this drama right now!!

(LEE SUNG-MIN huhu you're soooooo hot!)
(I'm thoroughly and desperately loving Lee Sung-min AHJUSSHI FOR REAL!!!!)
(I super respect and LOOOOVE Lee Yeon-hee too, she's even my wallpaper right now!!!)

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Excellent cast - only actor I'm a bit cool on is KJW.

One of the 1st K-films I saw was "100 Days With Mr. Arrogant" and it was godawful (thank goodness I saw some better K-films so I wasn't totally put off by K-cinema).

Doesn't help that he has that plasticky smile and in 100 Days, he was supposed to be some stud with the females fawning over him at the swimming pool, but he was just pudgy and pale - so that scene was inadvertently ridiculous.

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'Pudgy & pale'....LOL!!! But I still love that movie. And Kim Jae Won because of it.?

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This is such a solid casting! I can't wait to see this.

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totally love CSW since city hall

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Dokko Jin meet Chief Oh....
I can't be any happier than this..

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