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TOP and Ueno Juri to headline Korean-Japanese drama

It’s an interesting pairing, but not one I’m averse to: TOP (Tazza 2) and Japanese actress Ueno Juri (best known in Korea for Nodame Cantabile) are teaming up for a Korean-Japanese drama to be produced by CJ E&M.

The project has no title, no scheduled timeslot, and no decided format (they’re tossing around multiple possibilities, from web drama to television), but both actors have confirmed their participation. How you get two stars of their level to commit without any of the above is beyond me, but I’m intrigued.

The plot: TOP plays Woo-hyun, who harbors pain from his first love but still wants to believe in love. Ueno Juri will play Haruka, and they’ll help each other overcome their past hurts as they grow into a new love. The description is pretty vague, but perhaps they’re still hashing out the narrative while they’re also working out the format details. I wish we had more to go on, but I can see a project like this — a simple love story traversing two cultures — working well if done in a low-key, thoughtful way, such as in the Won Bin and Fukada Kyoko drama Friends back in 2002. That drama was sweet and pleasant (if a little too placid, perhaps) and showed the two working to bridge very real-life obstacles, like language barriers and distance.

I have no idea if this as-yet-unnamed project will be like Friends or something entirely different altogether (with these names attached, I expect big budgets and high profiles, certainly), but I loved Ueno Juri in Nodame Cantabile and would love to see more of her; she strikes me as a sensitive and thoughtful actress, full of nuance in a way that reminds me of Jung Yumi, perhaps. TOP’s been steadily improving on the acting front, and goodness knows he’s got plenty of screen presence. I’m eager to see who they match up together.

Via IS Plus

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I can't wait for this. Euno Juri was amazing in Last Friends, and I love her desperately. This is a really intriguing pairing.

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I second Last Friends.

Jb, that's a recommended drama if you're looking into watching more Ueno Juri.

Looking forward to this.

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Her latest drama Alice no Toge aired last year :)

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She is also in Ouroboros which ended recently...I like her but I don't like her recent dramas.

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I KNOW. You know how much I LOVED Last Friends. She's amazing.

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Not too much interested in star power anymore. And I'm not familiar with TOP as an actor. Looking forward the possible plots or teaser released before deciding I'm in or out. However, good luck for the project.

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I agree....seeing the recent string of high profiled actors in sinking ship dramas has made me decrease my anticipation level for pretty much everything.

However, anything Ueno Juri does is pure gold. Like seriously.

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Top is not a high profile actor, he's a high profile idol. But his acting talent is not that important since this is just a web drama.

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well no offence to his fans but his acting just pretty much looking cool and poising..lol Still more famous actors have gone futher with less I guess. Perhaps this is the drama he breaks out and shows he has more to offer as an actor.

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Ueno Juri isn't only star power. Ueno Juri is acting talent. She's got about four times more experience than T.O.P., with a great variety of roles.

She'll forever be the perfect Nodame, but she can totally transform into other characters. Last Friends is a good suggestion (it's a heavy drama though, be warned), most recently I also watched her in Alice no Toge.

I do fear she'll end up acting circles around him.

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i love TOP as a rapper for BB but i haven't watched his other movies except for Iris.

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I love him in Commitment. :)

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TOP also goes by 최승현.

I don't dig K-pop, so TOP the idol matters not to me. But the actor? Rarely does a Korean male exude so much personality (in so many layers), even when he does nothing on screen.

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I love Juri…currently watching her in Ouroborus!

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Heads is at the TOP of the list of recappers for this...

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This is a web drama

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I love them both so I would definitely watch this drama.

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TOP the most boring guy on earth, and the most overrated guy too and seriously

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I love Big Bang but agree with you, as an actor TOP is mediocre at best. He's getting all these great projects but nothing has made me sit up and go "damn boy you got acting chops".

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I don't understand why you call him boring. But I agree he's overrated. Personally, I don't think he's extremely handsome. He's good looking but many of idols or actors are more handsome than him.

Not a fan of Big Bang, but I found G Dragon is the most talented one in their group and still on the top without branching their life by becoming an actor like most of idol did.

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How is TOP boring, do you mean as an actor?

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i have just one answer for you "71: Into the Fire"

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^ THIS

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Hmm, he's pretty funny in variety and definitely handsome, but his acting talent is kinda missing.

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Agree, fan of bigbang for many years and Top is my bias too.

However, his acting in Tazza2 kind of let down.

But being a fan, I somehow does not give up hope yet lol

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TOP is good looking but not good looking enough to be called one of the world most handsome guys... seriously,though he does not seem to have done PS on his face. As for his acting, I have no idea but even his acting is not good enough to be in par with Ueno Juri, he can get the lead,, his agency is quite powerful!

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Really like them both, so I hope the story and direction is there.

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This is a web drama, Top doesn't have time for a tv drama because according to every article out there, BigBang's coming back soon.

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May I ask which Jung Yumi is mentioned here? I know two of them but I've only seen dramas with Jung Yumi from Discovery of Romance. The other Jung Yumi I have only seen on We Got Married, so I'm not quite sure about her acting.

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I think it's Jung Yumi- Discovery of Romance. She's one of the great actress who is totally underrated but glad everyone start to recognize her after DoR.

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Though many people dislike Que Sera Sera, Jung Yumi was great in it. Her vulnerability was so raw.

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I would say 'not many watch the series' instead of 'dislike' since the drama was heavy, intense and dark. It wasn't the taste of many but whoever watch the drama would be addicted and enjoy it till the end.

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But I mostly enjoy watching the hottie-sexy young Eric Mun and kept drooling over him through whole series..lol

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Hmmm, Ueno Juri is so much stronger as a actor then TOP who can only look intense and broody.
We'll see if she'll have to be pulled back also another thing TOP does not speak any Japanese. Unless he suddenly will start to learn which I highly doubt as his group has been promoting in Japan for years and only 2 member have bothered to learn.
Luckily apparently Juri speaks a little Korean.

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It's 3 members. Taeyang, Daesung and Seungri can speak Japanese fluently.

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I would say Daesung's is the best, he really makes a effort to use it. But Taeyang's isn't bad, but it's weaker then Daesung's and Seungri's.

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Juri worked with Jaejoong in Sunao though of course they probably spoke in Japanese mostly.

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Jaejoong's Japanese is very good or was in Sunao. I think the long hiatus affected all of JYJ's fluency. I know, my Japanese is so bad as now I don't use it daily.

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For a good low-key romance without borders, you still need some sort of nuance in acting. TOP ain't that deep. He can work the brows but that doesn't quite fit for this type of man-pain. if not nuance you need a really strong emphasis on mood, setting, and writing. Hopefully the production is strong. We'll have to ride on that and Ueno Juri's acting.

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I enjoy them both; this is something I'd love to see. Ueno Juri is lovely and I think her and TOP could hit a nice balance. They both work well with others. Nice to see TOP picking things with more emotional range, too.

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I will def watch this! Tabi and I love Juri-san~~~ She can play so many diverse characters. Nodame is my fave and I am currently watching her as a detective in Ouroboros (great drama, btw!!!).

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love TOP I think I will watch this

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i feel like her career has not been quite the same after nodame and last friends. she's not as popular in japan in comparison with some other actresses. yes, she's in ouroboros with two famous actors right now, but tbh it's kind of mediocre since it's based on a manga and the script is a bit lacklaster. i don't think the ratings are high either. i wonder if she's planning on entering the korean market instead.

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Thank you so much for sharing the information I really appreciate it! I was wondering will the drama be a web drama or a television drama and how long is the web drama?

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