Drama Casting & News
Jung Da-bin and EXO’s Kai headline KBS coming-of-age drama Andante
by | January 11, 2017 | 67 Comments

Child actress Jung Da-bin (Flower in Prison) and EXO’s Kai (Seventh First Kiss) have been confirmed as leads for a new KBS youth drama called Andante. Andante is a coming-of-age story about a young man who moves to the countryside one morning and discovers a real live ecosystem. Kai plays the protagonist, a high school student named Lee Shi-kyung, and Jung Da-bin stars as the female lead; details about her role have not been released at this time.

Directed by PD Park Ki-ho (Ad Genius Lee Tae-baek) and written by Park Sun-ja and Kwon Ki-kyung of the popular youth series Sharp (which starred early-career Go Ara, Yoo Ah-in, Oh Yeon-seo, and Seo Joon-young), Andante will be fully pre-produced with an episode count of sixteen. The table read already took place, and cameras will roll shortly. The production company behind Andante is the same one that made High School: Love On, so pretty sure they know a thing or two about adolescence shows.

This project would be Kai’s first broadcast network show. His previous works were web dramas Choco Bank and the Lotte Duty Free-backed Seventh First Kiss. Andante is also a first for Jung Da-bin; it’s her first leading role, where she won’t be playing the younger version of an adult character for once. The “ice cream girl” has grown so much since her Baskin Robbins CF days, and though she’s still quite young at age sixteen, it seems she’s transitioning into leading lady territory. I can’t say much regarding Kai’s acting since I’m not very familiar with any of his work, but he and Jung Da-bin do make one pretty pair.

Andante is aiming to premiere in the second half of the year on KBS.

Via Newsen


67 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Lea

    Jung Da Bin YEAS!!! So good omg.

    Kai…..he was okay in that 7 kiss thing but a lead??? Already? Okay SM ent….

    Anyway hoping it’s good ~

  2. Chi

    So basically all the 99-00 girls are getting their graduation by 16-17, first leading adult role.

    Kai was quite bad in Seventh First Kiss (there was no kiss >.<)

    • 2.1 Chi

      the competition is getting tougher for the girls while not many good young actors yet. we gonna see the romance go full circle in the next few years.

  3. Grapes

    Jung Da Bin is 2000 and he’s 94 hich means 7 years age gap, also she’s a talented child actress he will be eaten.
    When this trend will die

    • 3.1 Rene

      I heard that she might be his sister

  4. Zia

    These idols gotta stick to webdramas for a little longer…

    Also this hiring of actual high school girls needs to stop.

    • 4.1 Adal

      I feel you.

      Though I had no problem with casting the lead of Solomon’s Perjury as a real teen actress because it’s a murder/mystery drama. Her so-called “love interest ” is also a 19 year old boy in real life. So it’s one of the few truly age appropriate teen cast I’ve seen lately.

      I find it ironic that netizens were perfectly OK with the Kiss scenes in Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, where the actress is 16 -17 years old, but were in an uproar with Goblin’s back hugs and kisses which are being done by adult actors. Smh. Talk about double standards!

      • 4.1.1 wapz

        Agree with you guys and that was obe of the reasons I didn’t prefer to watch or continue both mirror, bring it on ghost and mdbc. Plus many people complain when minors are cast but I hardly remember people complaining about those scenes in mdbc. Maybe the story and chemistry takes over everything for them.
        Moreover I too had once thought that Jdb deserves a lead role when girls her age are getting it but in all honesty I don’t want those roles to be romantic yet.

        • Sera The Ms Temper

          That’s the reason i skipped most of these drama. i am OK as long as no love interest.

      • 4.1.2 Nutini

        I saw articles on NB where korean fans were not o’k with that kiss and age gap?

        • Amy

          A kind reminder dear, you can not really make netizenbuzz as your source, hardly.

      • 4.1.3 ia

        It’s not actually double standards but different perspective views.

        Drama watchers immensed deep into the drama tend to refer to the actors by the characters they play. Some forget about the actors/actresses and take in whatever their drama roles and story give them. The characters in MBDC are of the same age (both 18 years old) and the story is told without citing any age difference between the 2 characters. The female character in Goblin is a high school student (despite the actress being an adult) and the Goblin is centuries old, so some viewers who forget about the actors/actresses and take in the story at face value may be uncomfortable and may question the writer’s choice in making the female role a high school student. This perspective is especially often seen with people not knowing more about the actors/actresses. Case in point: no one complained actively about the kiss scene between Suzy (16/17) and Kim Soohyun (22/23) – same age KYG and PBG in MBDC – in Dream High because Suzy wasn’t a child actress like these upcoming actresses are, and Soohyun was not popular back then.

        The opposite perspective to this is similar to yours. Some people tend not to forget about the actual actors/actresses when seeing their characters and the story, so it is quite the opposite: the Goblin couple is seen in a better light because the actor’s/actress’ real ages trumps over their characters’ ages, and the mbdc couple is seen as less acceptable because the actress is a minor and the actor is not, even if the characters they play are of the same age.

        • ia

          *same ages as KYJ and PBG in MBDC.

          I wish there was an edit option in here. >-<

    • 4.2 stedens

      why is it bad to have actual high schoolers portray high schoolers? i think it just gets weird when they get paired romantically with adults.

      • 4.2.1 Zia

        Obviously her get romantically paired with an adult is the issue.

        • Rene

          I heard she will be his sister in this drama

        • ia

          Then why is it that you said “hiring of actual high school girls needs to stop” when the roles in question fit the girls’ actual ages, and when the real issue is with hiring adult actors opposite them for roles much younger than their real ages?

          I don’t get why the hiring of the actresses get this much criticism when it is the actors, in this cases, who had to act younger. Wouldn’t the more appropriate request be that for romantic on-screen partners to be closer in age when one of them is a minor? Why question the teenage girls getting roles that are in their age range?

  5. redfox

    so is it the environmentalist theme I´ve been asking for dramas to tackle… (I know, I know, the setting is just a painted window…)

  6. alpha

    Say whatever, but I’m pissed with underage actresses headline lead roles in a romantic series. Just wait few years you little girls.

    I cant even watch them. Its so wrong and offputting. And I end up with one less drama to watch.

    When Im watching romcom, I am also looking for adult-romantic scenes. But with these teenboos, I have to watch like a baby being coddled.


    • 6.1 alpha

      Thank god Weightlifting Bokjoo has perfect aged actors.

      Imagine that being played by young underage girls. SUPER FUCKING CRINGE.

    • 6.2 A

      Um how about your precious male actors and idols stop taking on roles that doesn’t match their age then? Because all of these child actresses are playing age appropriate roles and these male actors who are in their mid to late twenties come and play student roles. That’s not fair to these actresses who aren’t even doing anything wrong but these male actors insist on playing roles much younger than them

      • 6.2.1 Ari

        Some fan girls are so ridiculous… no logic. I feel bad for these child actresses to get flack even though they’re the one taking on age appropriate roles rather than these guys who are already past college age

      • 6.2.2 Purple Owl

        But the original poster didn’t say anything about males. So your counter complaint is off balance.

    • 6.3 TrinPie

      My problem is not the lead actress but the lead actors. This is a coming-of-age drama where the heroine is a high school student. She matches the roll perfectly. It’s him that doesn’t match as well. He is still fairly young but there are other young actors who would be more age appropriate.

      A lot of the issues is not the actresses, but that these productions keep casting actors much older then the actresses, and the rolls they are supposed to be playing.

      For example, Mirror of the Witch, had the actress playing an 18 year old (Kim Sae-Ron is 16) and the actor also playing an 18 year old (Yoon Si-Yoon is 30). So out of those two actors, which do you think fit the roll better? Yes, YSY did an excellent job, but that’s not part of this debate.

      Or another example. Let’s Fight Ghost. Taecyeon plays a 23 year old in the show (he is 28) and Kim So-Hyun plays a 19 year old ghost (she is 17). Again, who fits the characters better? The one 2 years younger then her character or the one 5 years older?

      So the problem ultimately isn’t that they are casting young girls as leads. Most are playing characters around their actual age, it’s that these productions are casting men MUCH older then these girls and even the characters they are supposed to be playing.

      • 6.3.1 Chandler

        I do want us to acknowledge when an actor signs on first though. While I ultimately agree with you, Yoon Shi-yoon had already been cast in Mirror by the time Kim Sae-ron signed on. That show also aged them up to early twenties fairly quickly, and, out of the two, I found it harder to believe her in that age range. So I actually do think she was the miscast one there. Not that I blame her or anything. I blame the casting director the most for all of these situations. Though the actors who sign on after an underage actress is attached do bother me because they have the option to turn it down and opt not too.

        • paroles

          I agree. It’s not uncommon, especially in sageuks, to cast overage female actresses too. Yoon Shi-yoon couldn’t have known that he was going to act opposite Kim Sae-ron when he signed on. It’s really the fault of the production company on deciding to go ahead with the casting. The thing about these dramas is that they are mostly decidedly male centric, and I think that’s why they go with older male actors for the star power and take risks with a younger female lead. However, in this case (Andante), I cannot imagine the show doing well at all. Personally, Kai does nothing for me in terms of looks and acting, and I’m pretty sure a lot of people think so too.

        • TrinPie

          Oh, I’m definitely not blaming any of the actors for signing onto these shows. Even if an underage actress has been cast first. These actors live by what roles they get so if they are given a chance for a lead role, unless they are at the top of their game, they will take it. So I have never blamed the actors or actresses, it’s the production companies that I blame for casting these actors or actresses in incompatible roles. Even actors and actresses who I don’t like I don’t blame for taking roles. I might not like that they took it but I fully know why they do.

    • 6.4 Sera The Ms Temper

      Seems like many misunderstood you. But i agree with you, what with this trend for these underage actressess leading a ROMANCE drama .I dont mind they are taking leading role in non-romance drama, since mosf of them are capable to do so.

      • 6.4.1 Chandler

        l understand wanting that for a mature romance, but this is a youth drama. What, we shouldn’t have any dramas depicting two (actually) high-school aged characters in a coming-of-age romance? Kim So-hyun was perfectly cast in Bring it on, Ghost and had someone like Kwak Dong-yeon been cast opposite her, we could have had an adorable pair to root for. Taec was the problem, not her. That is the point many of us are trying to make.

        • Sera The Ms Temper

          Not exactly mature romance. Yes this is youth drama, but cannot someone with at least at the age of 20 y.o headlining the drama instead of someone underage? It applies to male lead too, not necessarily female lead only. That’s my point.

          Maybe I am in minority who dislike the idea of underage actors / actresses (talking about the real age) headlining the romance drama.

      • 6.4.2 ari

        these young actresses are more than free to do youth romance dramas… why do they have to stay clear from romance dramas when they’re playing age appropriate characters. funny how people here never blame the guys who are playing characters way younger than their actual age.

        • Sera The Ms Temper

          “funny how people here never blame the guys who are playing characters way younger than their actual age.”

          I never mentioned this.

      • 6.4.3 stedens

        i don’t understand what the big deal is? they’re teenagers, not five year olds. teenagers fall in love and lust all the time; it’s part of growing up for most people. i only see an issue with teenagers being paired with adults like in MDBC or suggestive scenes between minors being portrayed. teen k-drama romance is as tame as it gets so i don’t see what’s wrong with teen girls participating as long as the male lead is not much older.

    • 6.5 stedens

      hm i disagree. if i look at a romance between teenagers or high school roles, i just see a youthful romance. maybe it’s not weird for me since i’m 21 so only a couple years out of those teenage years, but i don’t see what’s wrong with portraying teenage romance as long as it’s not done between adult and child actors/actresses. why should teenage girls not portray feelings that are very natural and common at that age?

    • 6.6 Sakura

      Calm down. We’re not even sure it’s a romantic-themed drama. It’s mainly a coming of age story set in school and while romance does happen at school, Kai could be playing the girls’ sister for all we know.

      She’s a sixteen year old playing as a high school student, its a role that suits her. If you want to be angry, complain at these casting directors for casting older actors to be romantically paired with a high school girl (and that’s ONLY after we confirmed that the drama will have it’s two leads with a loveline)

      • 6.6.1 Sakura

        *brother i mean

  7. Truhurts

    So, so many talented actors and actresses out there barely working or stuck in thankless supporting roles and these bland, no-talent idols get fast tracked straight to lead roles…

  8. potatodrama

    You’ve got me at “coming-of-age”. Love it!

  9. Tom

    I loved kai in choco bank, and I think he’s got something, maybe it’s too early for a lead role, but let’s give him a chance.

    And acting alongside underaged girls have always been a ‘thing’ in K dramas. why the surprise??
    anyways, am still gonna watch.

    • 9.1 silentbeluga

      I’m with you. I’m seeing potential. Potential that still needs a lot of work, time, patience and dedication before it blooms but I’m interested to see where it leads.

  10. 10 Jolly

    Kai is a terrible actor. What makes it worse is that he’s an adult man acting opposite a teenager. You’re telling me they couldn’t find another, younger actor who can actually act? I find that very hard to believe considering how terrible Kai is. They could find pretty much anyone.

    • 10.1 stedens

      i don’t understand why there are very few college dramas. it’s like it goes straight from high school to mid-twenties in k-dramas, or maybe i’m just not finding the college centered dramas 😡

      • 10.1.1 Vivi

        Yea, I guess it’s true in a way. I hope there’s more. College life can worth an interesting storyline if written well.

        Although lately there’s been an increase with Cheese in the Trap, Age of Youth, Twenty Again, Answer Me 1994, and Weightlifting Fairy. Although among the four I mentioned, I think only Cheese in the Trap truly revolved around college life.

        There’s some other dramas revolving around college life – but they tended to be very specific like What’s Up or Hearstring.

  11. 11 hyanggi

    I love Kai as an EXO member, he’s sweet and super talented, but he’s really bad in acting. Both Choco Bank and 7 First Kisses were not satisfactory imo, albeit being very short.

    How about putting him in a Drama Special or something huh, KBS and SM? They say KBS is SM’s channel.

  12. 12 mk

    When will the trend of pairing underage actresses with adult men DIE.

  13. 13 katasu1996

    Anyone who saw Kai in 7 kisses will know how mediocre he was. He isn’t particularly anything, he’s like the male krystal when it comes to acting (except Krystal I think is better than him shocker). I would rather see him be a supporting actor then ruin a perfectly good show by being a main lead when he isn’t ready. If he wasn’t in EXO, there’s no way he would be getting a lead so quickly. The power of being a global idol I guess? I will sit this one out. Too bad because I really like Jung Da Bin.

  14. 14 cat

    Isn’t the actress playing his younger sister? saw this translated on twitter “Shin Kyung’s (Jongin) one and only younger sister. A year younger than him but enter the school early– because she is super smart and now in the same grade as her brother.”

  15. 15 TrinPie

    I saw Kai in Chocobank which was a cute show but nothing special. The character he played was pretty 1-dimensional so it’s kinda hard to judge his acting skills off of an already bland character. I didn’t think he was anything special, but I also didn’t think he was bad. It does seem a jump to go from little web dramas to a full drama though.

  16. 16 realiti

    Looking forward to this for Jung Da Bin. Have loved her since Wonderful Life and have been waiting forever to see her take on a lead role (10+ years, wow).

    I am reserved about Kai. Have never seen him act. Have only seen him in Running man and he’s the guy that’s with Krystal yeah? I almost thought he was the teen in 20 Once Again (Chinese version of Miss Granny) but googled to double check and it was actually Lu Han.

    Fingers cross this drama will do well for JDB’s sake.

  17. 17 jaded14yaoi

    The production company behind High School: Love On is enough for me to say no to this one.

  18. 18 Omomo

    “…and discovers a real live ecosystem.”

    This part got me. I’m not sure what that even means or how it’s gonna play out? Any ideas?

    Anyways Kai was okay-ish in 7 First Kisses. He can play the cute and loveable guy well. If that’s how his character will be here then I can see it working out for him.

  19. 19 Chichaloca

    Da bin so cute in wonderful life.

  20. 20 Dd

    I’m surprised Kai is getting a lead role so fast into his acting career. Other than webdramas, he doesn’t have any acting experience (correct me if I’m wrong). I would have thought that he would start with supporting roles, like the other EXO members. I wasn’t impressed with his acting in Seventh First Kiss, but then again, that was only a 10-ish minute role so I guess I shouldn’t judge.

    On the other hand, I LOVE Jung Da Bin and I’m glad she got a lead role instead of being on my screen for only a few scenes 🙂

    • 20.1 Vivi

      I think he did only have experiences with webdramas – which tended to be shorter.

      I also am not sure why he’s cast as the lead – probably one of the perks of being in EXO. But there’s also DO who started in supporting roles before transitioning in bigger roles like he did in his latest movie (tho I can not also judge since I only watched him in It’s okay, it’s love). But again, his movies/dramas are also more in the ‘serious’ genre, so there’s that too.

      But anyway, there’s always idols like Kai who get lead roles this quick in his career. The result is not always bad like Yoochun was decent in his start in Sunkyunhwan Scandal. So, we can only wait and see. Tho, I’d probably pass this one too. Haha.

      • 20.1.1 lulutatu

        I don’t have an issue with young actors playing love (as someone said above, teens do fall in love etc). I also don’t have an issue with idols trying out acting in general. Micky was great in SKKS and I think DO was amazing in I remember you–totally gave me the chills as the young version of the psychopath. But what little I saw of Kai’s web series left me completely untouched. And I say this as someone who absolutely loves Kai as a dancer, including his expressions of emotion. I do not think that this is his medium.
        However, I remember thinking how little UEE could emote in You’re Beautiful (skipped all her scenes in every rewatch), and even in high society (but that may have been her character being incredibly dull). Then I watched Marriage Contract and she blew me away. So who knows? Some of this kids develop to greatly surpass all expectations, and improve considerably. Everyone deserves a chance. I just hope he got his chance because he performed well in an audition, and not because he already has a fan base. Otherwise it is just too unfair to people who do have the talent.

  21. 21 silentbeluga

    Well, I’m happy to hear that. Though I agree with other commenters that the age difference is much bigger than it needs to be (really, you couldn’t find any male actors in their late teens? really), and though I do hope that all romantic scenes will be treated with appropriate delicacy (they did a great job in Moonlight Drawn by Clouds), I actually think Kai has potential as an actor. I also think he’s the kind of actor that needs to be directed well, especially at the beginning of his career. He wasn’t great in 7 kisses but the improvement from Choco Bank was undeniable. He was present, he was listening to his partner and he reacted in a way that was natural. Is that enough to make him good? No, but it shows that he put work into it and actually did better than he did in Chocobank where he looked adorable but didn’t seem to connect emotionally with his character. I’m not always crazy about these idols who act but anyone willing to put in work to do better will always have my support.

    Not to say that there aren’t a gazillion young actors that would have killed to get this opportunity and would probably do a better job than Kai. But I don’t think that’s his fault.

  22. 22 Cozybooks

    Hm… wasn’t this the name of Namgoong Min’s Beautiful Gong-Shim at one point? His character still ended up named Ahn Dan-Te at least. Awkward…

  23. 23 Cher

    Shouldnt we first see what role she is portraying i heard that in the original she is his sister unless they change that it should be fine

  24. 24 miiko

    I find myself skipping everytime aro appears.. I just couldn’t connect with her character..
    I fell in love with park hyung shik, he’s so charismatic, I squee like crazy everytime he appears, those winks, oh my god!! >_<

    and anyone notice banryu laughing when sunwoo dance?? haha.. I ship banryu x su yeon and banryu x suho.. please makes banryu smile more..

  25. 25 Purple Owl

    Well, I’m delighted for both parties.

    Jung Da Bin had been on my waiting for list forever. She will own this!

    I liked Kai in EXO:ND. He was the best after D.O. and I’m a Chanyeol fangirl, and I really wanted to like Baek & Sehun. He was his character in Choco Bank. As long as I believe this person exists before and after, I’m content with acting. But 7 First Kiss was definitely his element.

    Yes, I’m a fangirl.
    Yes, I believe there’s real actors who should be up for this.
    Yes, this is his 4th professional acting project and his first real one.

    However, I’m hoping this will be as exciting to watch as it is to hear about.

  26. 26 Zah

    I love Kai, I really do. But his acting is just not good, I wish he would stick to cameos and supporting roles until he improves or he would become another Suzy. As good as Kyungsoo’s acting is, even he isn’t ready for a lead role, so Jongin is far from it. Jongin please reconsider.

  27. 27 royal

    When I look at Jung Da Bin, there’s this automatic sigh that comes out of my being because she reminds me how much I have aged. That cute little kid in those Baskin Robbin cfs~!

  28. 28 Cody

    Wtf??!! Production team behind High school love on!! And the lead dude, he doesn’t have any acting experience… Under age lead actress for romantic role.. Hmm I will sit this one out.

  29. 29 Tender

    I thought after the MLSHR disaster production companies would have gotten the memo that casting untalented idols with many fangirls won’t bring in more ratings. It’s actually counter productive and their bad acting makes a drama unbearable to watch.

    It’s a shame Jung Da Bin has to act besides a terrible idol actor like Kai in her first leading role. The guy is nothing but awful. He will get eaten by her miles away.

  30. 30 Sakura

    Kinda iffy about Kai playing the lead, but since he’s gonna be playing a high schooler, maybe he’ll be able to pull it off even with mediocre acting. He’s been a high schooler before, at least it’s not such a demanding role for a first lead role compared to other roles.

  31. 31 V

    UGH. Big agencies getting their “talents” roles that should have been given to budding (and better) rookie actors.

  32. 32 Liza

    Kai will be playing Lee Shikyung. Dabin will be playing Lee Shiyoung, his sister. If there’s a romance, it won’t be them.

    He’s also been getting acting lessons 3 hours a day since September. I hope everyone can give him a chance 🙂

Add a Comment

Stay civil, don't spoil, and don't feed the trolls! Read the commenting policy here.

 characters available. Comments will be truncated at the word limit.