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Film ingenue Kim Tae-ri cast opposite Lee Byung-heon for Mr. Sunshine

Interesting choice! The lead actress for star writer Kim Eun-sook’s (The Lonely Shining Goblin, Descended From the Sun) much-anticipated upcoming drama, Mr. Sunshine, has been cast, and it’s a rising film actress making her drama debut, Kim Tae-ri. She’ll be joining longtime industry veteran Lee Byung-heon (Inside Men), giving this TV drama a boost of Chungmuro starpower.

Kim Tae-ri’s acting debut came in the 2015 film Moon Young so she’s very much still a rookie, but she put in an impressive performance in Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden last year, for which she won new actress awards at both the Blue Dragons and the Buil Film Awards. It was very much a star-making turn—I thought she was remarkable as the handmaiden, who provided the eyes through which we entered the bizarre and mysterious world of that movie. And upon further thought, the casting makes sense in that it seems to echo the dynamic that made Goblin such a success, pairing a promising film rookie opposite a familiar leading man with oodles of screen presence.

Mr. Sunshine is set in the late years of the Joseon dynasty in the early 1900s, during the time when Japan was aggressively asserting dominance over its neighbors, particularly Korea (which it annexed in 1910). The human melodrama tells the story of “the righteous army that went unrecorded in history but which must be remembered.” Lee Byung-heon plays one such soldier, who as a child was taken to the United States following the Shinmiyangyo incident of 1871, in which an American expedition turned into armed conflict, resulting in over 200 Korean deaths. He returns as an American soldier to “the country that abandoned him” when he’s stationed in Joseon, and there he meets a young aristocratic lady.

Kim Tae-ri will play the last in the lineage of the prominent aristocratic Go family, which was one of the pillars of the Joseon nation. Kim played a lowly servant who fell in love with the aristocrat’s daughter in The Handmaiden, so it’s fitting that she’ll get to turn the tables and be the aristocrat’s daughter for Mr. Sunshine. (Ironically, her character in this drama is called simply “Aegisshi,” a term referring to a noble young lady that’s a variant of “agasshi,” which is The Handmaiden’s Korean title.)

Sounds ambitious and potentially epic. I have to say I have my reservations about Lee Byung-heon (I think he’s a powerhouse actor but his personal stuff icks me out), but I don’t know if I can stay away from this fighting-for-freedom-against-colonial-overlords storyline, especially since Kim Eun-sook is probably going to rip our hearts out, reduce us to sobs, and make us like it. Mr. Sunshine is being planned for an early 2018 launch.

Via Joongang, Hankook Ilbo

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They are amazing actors and that tempts me watch it. But the age gap...I cannot. With his reputation, it feels absolutely icky but I love the whole freedom fighters thing, the period, it sounds like a really epic romance...we will see. I will try out the first episode, if I believe in the romance then..if not then I am out.

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It does show the industry's preference for younger women, why can't his counterpart be in her forties too? Does the industry think that older women are less attractive, less worthy to be romantic leads? In all honesty I feel scared for her with his reputation, there will be so many rumours. I would be more receptive of this drama if the female lead was in his age range.

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What reputation ?!??

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just search " LBH scandal' and go on seoulbeats article, it is well summarized.

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Okay, just read about the scandal and am no longer worried for the actress. I thought maybe he got away with rape or something, but not even close. So I will be watching and giving it the same consideration I'd give to any show.

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Long story short, cheated on his wife and then got blackmailed for this.... the girls went to jail for blackmailing, wife forgave him, he continued his successfull film careee home and abroad.....I won't get into right and wrong here....all I can say is he won't disappoint acting wise

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Ugh. His overrated acting is just as annoying as his personal life. I will never understand why dude is considered to be a top actor after a few Hollywood roles even his overall acting is cringy throughout.

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He didn't "cheat on his wife" he was cavorting during his downtime with sluts for fun/bored and got blackmailed.

To be clear he didn't sleep with the whores, in fact he implictly refused to, which is what precipitated the blackmail.

To be clear some of the blackmail material was footage FROM A RESTAURANT lol there was no sex involved. He was just saying ungentlemanly things, which made ajummas and chicks freak out.

For background people generally care about this less than they care about Jay Z sleeping with strippers and whores... ie not at all. It's a small segment of Pann-type women and angry ajummas + a slice of the international dramafan community that is mad about it. It's really not a big deal at all in Korea which is why in the BUBBLE the surprise and angst about LBH being cast by the goblin writer is so funny. Not least because of the predictable, if myopic and insular reaction from international fans

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Calling women "sluts" and "whores" is not a good look. Ever, really.

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@joo Wow, based on the way you throw around the word "whore", you sound like a misogynist. The girls are a model and an idol. They are foolish and greedy for indulging the attention and gifts from a greasy married dude, but they pay much more severely than him for basically the same offense.

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I was hoping the female lead would be in her 30s or something, but I suppose it doesn't fit the character since she's supposed to be not married. Which is a ridiculous storyline btw. Goblin was not enough in terms of creepy age-gap and power imbalance between male and female. Now we have a 40+ years old soldier with a very young innocent aristocrat daughter..

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I kinda get the vibe of old romance novels where the hero is all matured and experienced and been to wars and stuff, and the lady was young and pretty and who would fall for the guy (it's her first love!).

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Yes. That's why they are old stories and not modern ones.

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They are old in my neck of the woods but doesn't mean they are old everywhere.

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I'm a huge Kim Eun-sook and I've always supported her in spite of how much flak she gets for her stories, and I've always admired her determination to get the actors and actresses she wants to work with. But this whole mess makes me severely disappointed.

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Originally, I wanted to say something about how weird that you would feel scared for her because of his reputation if it all begins and ends with what gem28 said. But, I've heard how harsh the Korean rumor mill can be especially when it comes to women. So while I'm not scared for her, I do hope that any negativity from LBH won't stick to her.

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Please, if you know anything about Hollywood, it will make you want to throw-up.

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And each in their own way, both of these actors have pimped themselves.

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Because she was in her 20s I assumed she had a longer CV pre The Handmaiden as, ditto, it was a deservedly star-making performance. Quite the cast for the new show - I hope the writing matches up (and tightens up).

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His personal stuff icks me out too

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OH NO. Show, why do you do this? I was so content with just skipping this one and then you go and throw Kim Tae Ri at me? Where's your humanity?!

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I know! Not a fan of LBH so kind of crossed this one off my "to watch" list but now Kim Tae Ri?! She was amazing in The Handmaiden. Sigh...I guess this is going back on my watch list.

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I'm intrigued too

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Same thought. But I will try to resist. Not even my bae Kim Tae Ri can make me watch a Kim Eun Sook's drama starring Lee Santa.

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I'm so torn, too!! ?

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Right? I was so looking forward to what her drama debut would be and am ticked it's this one.

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I dont know much about the scandals involving LBH but I would like to the drama for its writer. Currently afer Chicago Typewriter I am much intrested in such plots.

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*watch

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You will probably be disappointed if you think she will tackle the 30s the same way as Chicago Typewriter. In her dramas, the period will probably be just a setting. Nothing more.

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Yeah I loved goblin, but have to admit, though she started with great concept, but it lacked depth and went a bit makjang with the sageuk timeline. The story survived because of the awesome chemistry between gong yoo- Kim Go Eun, and of course gong Yoo, KGY and LDW's strong acting talent. Heirs was still watchable because the story was never short of dramas. The only drama from her which looked more classy was lovers in Prague, I started watching it, and was quite hooked from the get go. Anyway, I hope she gives more time and attention to her scripts. And respects public's opinions a bit too lol. It's obvious that we would like to watch a KES drama, but then did she really have to go with LBH? Is she trying to tell that what audience thinks doesn't matter? ? Anyway didn't mean any disrespect to her.

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I did read up some articles recently and this guy creeps me out. I feel bad for Kim Tae Ri... I hope her agency and the staff protect her. eek.

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You should give a shot at Gaksital ^^

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Watch Gaksital instead. I doubt KES can deliver greatness of the same calibre as Gaksital and Chicago Typewriter.

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Javabeans same! T_T. I was looking forward to this drama so much but I feel really weird about Lee Byung Heon. What to do sighhh

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I will only watch this maybe becoz of the cinematography and drama setting, plot wise not really sure, and not becoz of the actor. Sad but they should have pick a more mass appeal lead

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I'm intrigued by that - is there a better known Korean actor internationally than him? I don't mean people who go see Korean movies generally, but just any movies? I can't think of one. His name might even pre-sell to territories who don't generally view kdrama.

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Yea gotta agree here, his name alone will pull in much attention and probably rights to show overseas straight away.

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He's the best known Korean actor in Hollywood for sure but there's no evidence that he's a big selling name overseas nor a box office darling.

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Ugh, no! Get her away from him.

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Of course, she has to pick the current darling of Chungmuro. The one that is younger, newer and will be paid wayyyyy less than her leading man. Damnnnnnn you, writer!

It makes sense to pick her. It just hurt that a talented young lady will be in a shallow drama that will be watched by millions.

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I don't like KES dramas but I think it's positive that such a high profile writer is giving lead roles to young actresses and that too ones who have talent. She doesn't hire idol-actresses or people who are just cf stars and can't act.

Kim Ji Won and Kim Go Eun got much more popularity and good role offers after starring in DOTS/Goblin, think of it as a good thing that this girl will also have that chance to shine.

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That's true. Love her or hate her she helped boost a lot of actors' career (commercial and international fame) by casting them in her shows.

This industry is very competitive. Talents alone doesn't mean they'll get the job over popular actors. They also need to be bankable. At the end of the day, everyone wants to get paid.

Kim Tae-ri is growing actor in Chungmuro and this will be her first drama.
I'm sure she knows what she is getting into and the impact it'd have on her career.

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That's the only positive thing I can take from this mess. Hopefully Kim Tae Ri's career will reach a new high after this drama and get a a whole lot of new offers that help her advance further in Chungmuro scene.

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I still trust the writer about the storyline but the age gap looks very weird!

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it's not only the age itself but she has such a baby face that it looks even weirder....
The plot intrigues me so i'm going to watch it .Now I'm expecting news about the other characters.

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I don't like the age gap but at least she is an adult and not under 21.

I don't like Kim Eun Sook's dramas but that is because of the writing, she usually casts good or at least decent actors on lead roles (Jang Dong Gun, Kim Ha Neul, Song Joong Ki, Song Hye Kyo, Kim Go Eun,Gong Yoo) and she casts talented actors on second leads like Kim Woo Bin and Kim Ji Won.

It's because of her that Kim Ji Won's talent and beauty finally got noticed properly and she started to get lead role offers after being ignored for years while dramas kept giving roles to useless idol actresses. Her dramas may be cheesy but at least she pays attention to talent in casting. I hear Kim Tae Ri is really good, so I hope she's successful too.

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People were making such a big deal that I thought she is 18 years old but I googled and she is 27, Lee Byung Heon is 19 years older.
I would have liked if his co-sign was older but it isn't as creepy as people make it out to be.

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I don't think it's the age gap that really turns people off. A bit of it maybe, but more on LBH's reputation. And though she's older than most people assume, she's a rookie in the industry and that puts her in a quite vulnerable situation.

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If she says anything people would eat LBH alive, I wouldn't call her vulnerable.
Plus she got KES drama, let's not call her victim or feel sorry for her. It isn't like LBH is some maniac

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It's not the age-difference, I enjoyed Goblin in spite of it. It's the fact that Lee Byung-hun has a reputation for going after much younger women on top of being a disgusting man.

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Co-sign? Seriously autocorrect?
*Co-star

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I've been waiting for Kim Tae Ri's drama debut for so long! My emotions are all over the place right now. I'm so excited to finally see her debut on the small screen, and in a Kim Eun Sook drama about the occupation at that, but I'm still bitter about Lee Byung Hun playing the lead character. And this age difference! Like seriously, I was already put off by the difference in Goblin but this is at a whole new level.
When did it become so complicated to watch and wait for a drama?

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Ugh. Here we go with the painfully obvious and icky age gaps again. Come on Kim Eunsook, wth is wrong with you?

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Kim Eun Sook’s latest two dramas had this considerably younger baby faced (even though they are in their late twenties) female lead and considerably older male leads in their forties and fifties. On the other hand I ’m happy that young actresses are getting chances in big drama projects but on the other hand, I’m hesitant that they are paired with much older men. Is this a message KES wants to send to her viewers and the industry? Couldn’t she really find a younger male lead or a female lead closer to LBH’s age range? Or is a female lead in her forties ’'too old to romance’’ in her drama? Ugh I can’t imagine LBH spouting KES trademarked cheesy lines to a baby face newbie. (I do acknowledge that LBH is a great actor, but he suits movie villain roles, not romantic male leads..)

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<Kim Eun Sook’s latest two dramas had this considerably younger baby faced (even though they are in their late twenties) female lead and considerably older male leads in their forties and fifties

What do you mean? Latest two dramas were Goblin & DOTS.

Goblin had Gong Yo (who is 37 and not in his 40's or 50's). Age gap 12 years.

Descendants of the Sun had an age gap of 4 years (female actress being older, in her 30s).

It's only this one were you have an actor in his 40's matched with 19 year younger actress.

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ehh imo what was creepier about Goblin wasn't the age difference between the lead actors (that wasn't that bad to me) but between the characters. mainly it was creepy because she was a high schooler with a sad home situation and no real support system.

this drama just seems to be another weird power imbalance thing, but i guess we will have to see. i still think it would be better if they got an older female lead if they wanted to keep the male lead's concept the same. if they wanted an aristocrat, maybe she could have been a widow? dunno. just hate this experienced older man/naive younger girl pairing.

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But isn't that par for course for these supernatural dramas? Like Buffy or Twilight?

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Gong Yoo is nearing his forties and LBH is nearing his fifties, sorry, this is what I meant. I used exaggeration, but you still get my point that a considerably older male lead and a baby face younger female lead thing is off putting. There is a clear power imbalance in relationship like that. I’m more into healthy and balanced relationship.

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I feel like KES is shrewd in picking a young (but not too young...she's 27), very buzzworthy Chungmuro actress for whom this will be her first drama ever. The lure of Kim Tae Ri on the small screen will help counteract the controversial casting of LBH.

But yeah, I agree with you that it's going to be weird seeing LBH being romantic with a young woman. Maybe KES is planning to do a historical romance that will be lighter on the romance? People responded really well to the historical scenes in Goblin (which was not romance-focused) so she may want to test out branching out. It seems like she has written the main character with LBH in mind and she should be saavy enough to realize that he doesn't come off as romantic lately. But he has done a lot of historical movies in the recent decade.

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27 is already pretty old. In Asian culture in general, once you are over 25, then any age gap isn't that big a deal.

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I just had to google the scandal part...not nice at all.
Will maybe wait for the teasers/trailers to come out to make up my mind about watching it but I like the freedom fighters idea...

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LOL now I can finally accepted this casting afer was surprised earlier. This is Joseon period, so at least there will be no love story between high school girl with an ahjusshi lol ? Anyway I am curious about the netizens' reaction on this casting, and also who will be the second leads. Don't keep it secret too long Kim Eun Sook writernim!

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Regarding the casting of KTR, whats with this get her away from him (BHL) vibe all around.
One, she isn't a kid , she can well manage her life unless she is a damsel in distress or weakling or simply falls for actor, who knows. So its her responsibility.
Second, this actor does have scandals , ok fine, but he isnt the only one to blame , the woman involved is as well aware of what she is getting into. Unless he has been accused of rape or such forced assaults on women, which as far as what ive read, he hasn't.
So lets not make this all her being the potential viriginal victim and he the culprit. This simply isnt the case at all.

So if this is the casting and it helps the storyline or the marketing or whatever that the drama makers intend, so be it. There is nothing more to this.

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Thank you for this. l get the guy is a hound dog, but I have a feeling he isn't the only one in the Korean entertainment industry so it wouldn't shock me if this actress has had a few situations to deal with already. I actually think he'll be on his best behavior because of the scandals. (I'm a glass half full kinda gal.)

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Thank you. I couldn't have said it better.

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You guys should not worry about age ap, because no matter what, you'll still watch this drama eventually LOL it happened many times. In India, SRK in his 51 still romancing 29 years old Anushka Sharma in a movie, They did the same 9years ago and people loved the movie. I doubt you guys will miss this drama because it's from the writer that you all love. About his whatever image, eww didn't his movie do well even after the scandal. So no problem. Koreans don't care about LBH bad image

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when it comes to a story, important is how is story told if author manages to sell his characters, people will be drawn in..

not every old actor is a creep looking to mishandle girls

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I loved Kim Tae-ri in The Handmaiden. Do I love the pairing here? I don't feel much about it, having not seen Lee Byung-hun in anything before, although I am aware of his scandals. However, KTR is 27. There may be a large age-gap between her and LBH, but she can make her own decisions as a grown woman. Now, if the pairing was with a lead actress closer to 21, I would def be a little squicked out, but KTR is almost 30 in Korean age. She may be a rookie actress but she's far from being a minor.

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I see a father daughter pair, no offense.?

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Same. I don't mind the age gap so long as they have chemistry onscreen and I'm also late to the party in terms of the actor's past scandal so I'd rather not judge him for that... But visually, their pairing just icks me out.

The plot seems to be my kind of thing though, especially after I fell head over heels for Chicago Typewriter. At the very least I'll stick around til the teasers kick in.

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Totally lost all interest in this drama. She's young enough to be his Daughter !!!!

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That feels like ageism. I would say in most Asian cultures, once someone is over 25, they are full adults and we don't care about the age gaps anymore.

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LBH is just disgusting, I will never be able to watch anything with him in it. I suppose his PR worked his ass off to be able to have him in Kim Eun-sook drama hoping it will rehabilite him, ......V.v

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LBH is Korea's only truly "international" star who appears regularly in Hollywood movies in sizeable parts. His Korean films are huge in Korea and Asia. Koreans are not avoiding his work due to his personal issues, they are proud of his international standing and friendships with stars like Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren. Our personal feelings aside, the importance he lends to a drama is significant and I imagine if anyone had to work hard to get him to sign on to this show, it was the KES team.

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I don't think either side had to beg. It was a win-win for both sides, KES gets a high profile actor and LBH, although his box office number didn't suffer, his CF power sure did and this drama is his way back in. After every KES drama the actors involved get nonstop CF offers and I bet LBH wants that easy revenue back

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I'm sure you're right.

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Huge Yes to Kim Tae Ri. Will watch the drama for her.

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Oh goody. Another older man and teen (1990) young woman. This troupe with NEVER be my catnip. Will I even watch it? Nah. But I'm really excited about this other upcoming drama. I hear the story line involves a romantic triangle between Lee Deok-Hwa (The Best Hit), Lee Chae-Mi (Two Weeks), and Kim Soo-Ahn (Train to Busan.)
And I'm being sarcastic. So don't look for that drama.

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If she was born in 1990 then she is 27 not a teen. Almost at the age where she will soon be called an old maid because she is not married, at least by Korean standards.

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She being over 18 years, for me is not the problem, the question is the age difference that the industry puts before the woman.
It's an unfair and cruel standard, I put it as if only a girl in her twenties is enough for a man almost double of her age , let's be honest, she's old enough to be his daughter.

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LBH is 46. If he had a 27 year old daughter, that would mean he became a father when he just turned 19.

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Me and bad math. Sorry. (And I can't blame bad math on auto-correct, rats.) Still, I'm not a fan of this pairing.

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She has an air of Song Hye Kyo in that picture, next to Lee Byun Heon it reminds me of All In. Age-wise it is similar to Goblin, Gong Yoo and Kim Go Eun, she looked so much younger than him, although they were cute together! But agree with some commenters, here it might look like father/daughter, Lee Byun Heon is much older!

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No! I love her, but not the pairing. NO!!

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Okay, she is 27 years old and he will be 47 in some days, the age difference is 20 years.
She is an adult, I have no problem with that, many couples have this difference in real life. My problem is the film industry that loves to put much younger women to play romantically with older actors.
It has several beautiful women who perform magnificently and are in their 40s. This age difference for women is cruel. This industry is cruel.

I liked her in the movie The Handmaiden and welcome to the world of kdrama.

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I agree. I have no issue with Kim Tae Ri, but there are so many talented Korean actresses in their late 30s and 40s. Based on the character description, they could have cast older. Now I can only watch my favorite female actresses in weekend dramas.

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I am not going to watch this because I think KES is a trash writer, but I knew she was going to cast a young 20 something with LBH. The girl's character will be stupid because KES is incapable of writing a naive character. LBH will be a jerk and the girl will fall in love anyway. The plot will be shallow and at the end probably pointless, but millions will love and watch it. Sorry for the rant KES dramas upset my equlibrium. Lol?

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i totally get it.. when goblin was airing i was in love.. would wait for each episode.. and i think somewhere deep inside my mind thought it to be supe rpoignant meanningful drama.. i was fretting over how i will get over the withdrawal symptoms..

BUT THEN

and when last episode aired, exactly a second after it ended.. i was done.. no withdrawal symptoms.. and i was just wondering..w hat was the point of this drama.. why did it ever feel like remotely pensive

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LOL. I confess that's how I feel about KES dramas! I just steer clear of them, even when they involve actors I like (like Gong Yoo). No point getting myself worked up in total frustation over shallow plots and characters that I either hate or can't relate to at all! There's good stuff to watch that keep my equilibrium nicely balanced. ;-)

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How much power a writer in Korea have to casting the actors?
Many of these decisions are made by the directors.

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Certain writers can bring in big names because of their consistent successful work. I would say KES has more say and power than the PD at this point in her career. I am interested if she is going to stick with the PD from DOTS and Goblin (I think it was the same person). I think I got suckered into watching a few episodes more of Goblin than I normally would have because I thought the PD was so good at creating a mood.

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I agree that KES may have a certain advantage that several writers in Korea don't have, but is it really her that which casting the actors? because There are several writers who don't like to get involved with the production phase. It's just a curiosity

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I think she has a say for four main leads. Like what Yoo Inna said, it was Kim Eun Sook approached her for Goblin. Some writers will write the characters based on certain actor/actress' acting style as well. It depends. Even if the director will make a final decision, he will discuss with the writer as well. In some projects, investors might want to interfere in the casting decisions as well, especially if they are investing a large sum of money, that's why they cast some popular idols despite of no acting skill, so it will be easier to sell it to overseas.

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This isn't about KES but the writer for Two Weeks had multiple meetings with Lee Joon Gi to convince him that he could play a father character in the drama...the writer, not the director though he could have been involved also. She also is another well established writer though and I think that makes the difference.

Also LDW spoke of how long it took him to convince KES he could play the reaper; she didn't think he was right for the part (irony alert).

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Well, you're in luck because this drama will be another collab between Kim Eun-sook and Lee Eung-bok (aka Goblin and Descendants PD–you were right). Kinda cool that they're collaborating again. I expect this one to blow up just as much as the other two.

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She is 27. That is not a "young" 20 something.

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kew it.. so knew it.. she would be casted..

i don't know why maybe because maiden is similary era..

this should be fun.. i would be watching the lead guy for the first time when this series airs

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it is already giving me love story 1942 feels.. story wise.. i doubt it would go beyond the love story.. as iin no bigger picture.

but then as long as the sets r pretty, dresses are pretty, acting to the point..shud be fun

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The male lead gives a bad vibe. The type who coerces female employees to have sex with them to give promotions.

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and if the woman agrees to give in to gain promotions then who shares the blame?

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well if the question was put up for debate in hr, it would be logically him.

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why would you absolve woman of her share in the crime?

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because it is kind of bullying. it is similar to the situation where the class bully orders you to give him your pocket money so that he won't hit you. believe me this has happened in my office. the girls were under a lot of stress and their financial situation wasnt excellent. these guys target these girls.

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Thanking drama gods becoz it wasnt any of my fav actresses. Now i can pass it without worries.

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I was hesitant to even wonder if I could stomach watching it. But now with this casting, am definitely out. Wonderful acting or not, if I can't stomach seeing his face on screen, can't watch the drama.

People might wonder why. Ugliness exist in this world that's true. People make unkind choices ( him cheating on his pregnant wife who still stayed with him, so it's her choice ) but it doesn't mean a random stranger like me need to watch him and be reminded of the ugliness around. I would rather read of some injustice happening which I can support the person or cause for. Or some dog rescue centres where I can donate to.

Then watch him.

Well. That was a fast and quick end to my interest in the writer's latest work.

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Great answer! Thanks for sharing your thought of mind!

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alternative theory is (this is about the wife), she ain't any innocent lamb either... she joined entertainment industry at 26... and suddenly shot to fame ... the situations suggest she made a business decision too.. someone who can help her with the career, a rich man etc etc... so she compromised keeping her interests in mind... this has happened before, before her pregnancy too.. but she keeps on choosing to bear it (if at all) ..

My only point is that the wife may be doing things out of her selfishness too. ... when she married knowing all of it. BH has always been well known in the industry for being kinky adn what not

And lastly, people are gladly jumping in to blame one person or the other, but don't you think audience also shares that blame.. because a man is able to abuse power only when he has power.. and for an entertainer his power comes from his audience... if he has a bank balance, it is thnks to audience.. and that bank balance is being used to nefarious activities

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What? You talk as if women don't fall in love and believe that the person they choose to spend their life with feels the same. To make up "theories" about Lee Min Jung with no evidence is in such poor taste. Blaming the audience too?

Um..his personal stuff only belongs to and can be blamed on him. With his kind of career, he's not gonna fail overnight and I'm sure he has more than enough money to live comfortably even if he retired early. He's plenty old enough to take any ire he gets for any misdeed he's done. What is this handholding?

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to many fans, if oppa does something wrong they still have to find ways to divert some of that blame onto others.

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My impression is that LMJ didn't need a rich man unless you count her dad. She was from a prominent family and grew up in a mansion, like she was actually one of the students from Heirs and BOF. She majored in acting at a good school, and it's not like she's not talented and took on a lot of supporting roles in the beginning.

LBH is also from a rich family. Makes sense that they would feel a connection to each other - probably had similar rich childhood experiences, travelled in the same social circles (or just plain travelled to foreign countries), both are actors. Maybe their families only want them to marry someone of the same social status - so that would limit their choices of life partners. Maybe she really did fall in love with him and hoped LBH will be like the heroes in kdramas and romance novels who become faithful after marriage.

I agree that the audience can simply stop watching his stuff. But I think there is something to be said for separating the art from the artist. I have trouble doing so, but I don't blame people for being able to do so.

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"alternative theory is (this is about the wife), she ain't any innocent lamb either... she joined entertainment industry at 26..."

IF YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT LEE MIN-JUNG, ACTUALLY, NO, SHE DIDN'T. HER ASIANWIKI PAGE SAYS SHE WAS FIRST IN A MOVIE IN 2003. (SHE WAS BORN IN 1983, SO SHE WAS 20.) SHE HAS BEEN IN EITHER A MOVIE OR A DRAMA EVERY SINGLE YEAR SINCE 2003 EXCEPT FOR 2015. AND IT STARTED WHEN SHE WAS 20 !

AND TO ASSASSINATE HER CHARACTER, BY SAYING "SHE AIN'T ANY INNOCENT LAMB EITHER", ALONG WITH ALL THE OTHER REMARKS YOU MADE ABOUT HER, IS JUST PLAIN RUDE AND BASELESS.

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Personally, I don't watch his movies. But you can't blame the audience. And even if LMJ went into the marriage with her eyes open it doesn't excuse his behaviour to her.

By the way, what is with the down votes? I am not a sensitive person but if I don't agree with someone I just reply or ignore. Does the downvote serve any purpose? Are people not allowed to express their opinions here anymore? You don't have to like my opinion or even agree with it... but downvotes are kind of juvenile isn't it?

I work in an ED and also am used to plenty of flak from viki drama viewers so it's not as if I am paranoid. However downvoting expecially on a pretty supportive site such as this ( DB is supportive of viewers with diverse opinions ) just smacks of juvenile behaviour I see on many news articles or those Kpop sites with lots of trolls around.

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Weird. That's all I can say. Is he still relevant for drama viewers to watch him falling head over heels in love and pursuing a young girl where he is old enough to become her father? The idea as a whole is totally gross. And LBH is not that young looking to convince me that he is in his 30's, and still yet to experience true love. I am never a fan of KES as I always find her writings shallow but this casting and pairing....she certainly knows how to stir up loads of attention. Acting powerhouse....definitely but let's see how the age gap and his reputation can sell the story.

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I'm relieved that it seems the LBH role is written for a man in his 40s given the timeline. At least I hope so (assuming he went to the US as an older child with solid Korean, enough to be fluent upon his return. Am I overthinking this?) Nearly 50 IRL is a tough sell to convince us that he's in his thirties. I guess we'll see.

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1) please go read all the comments on Naver. Koreans do care about his scandals and have issues with him. They're willing to see his movies, but dramas are different. I still think this drama will do well however, because people are willing to ignore their moral compasses if it benefits them.

2) Please do not assume everyone here loves Kim Eun Sook. Most everything she's I've either hated, or thought was whatever. Not a single drama of hers has ever been a favorite for me. I personally despise how she writes. However I usually keep checking them out because she often comes up with unique plots and gets great star power, even if her dramas are poorly executed (in my opinion). Some of us genuinely do have an issue with her writing.

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I personally don't want to watch him in a romance because I feel really disgusted with a man who cheats on his wife and I'm still hoping they change him out because I've never missed a Kim Eun-sook drama. I know this isn't going to happen so, I'm now caught between trying to decide if I missed her enough to watch him. He's not on the same level as Park Shi-hoo or Kim Hyun-joong in terms of disgust for me though. Knowing that this is a Kim Eun-sook drama makes me even more disgusted, because I know there will be straight-up cheese (which is one of the things I come to her drama for anyway), but I'm going to be seriously uncomfortable watching him deliver those lines. I don't know about anyone else, just saying how it is for me. In other things, I might be able to watch him. But not in a romance and definitely not a Kim Eun-sook style romance.

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i'm with you on your second point. i've tried watching many of her dramas (Gentleman's Dignity, Heirs, DOTS, Goblin) and checked out within a couple episodes. and i'm someone who has sat through some objectively bad dramas before. i even love PSH but couldn't sit through Heirs for her (and frankly found her character very annoying). haven't been able to connect with her writing at all.

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Kim Tae-ri was fantastic in The Handmaiden.

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Unpopular opinion, the cast is solid regardless of, one of their personal choices and vice, I am interested to see how KSE handles their acting potential. I am more worried about her writing capability.

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unpopular opinion, lucky KTR. A best new actress rookie working in a drama with one of the most prolific and excellent actor, LBH.

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i dunno if anyone is under the impression that she's unlucky or that this is bad for her career. i think the people who object to this just find LBH a little gross or the idea of the large age gap pairing a little gross. most seem to agree that it's not a bad career move.

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Great choice! Kim Tae ri is the best choice and I'm so happy! I don't know how to express myself I just find her so suitable! :D

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Does anyone else think that she looks like Song Hye Kyo ? Which brings us to how LBH and SHK dated back in the day...ew. Anyway...SHK definitely upgraded with SJK...LBH is shady AF.
I'm not sure why society keeps rewarding his gross behavior.

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Yup, i'll skip this one..

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Gross, gross, gross. KES is just gonna keep finding new ways to up the creep factor of each of her dramas, huh?

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I'm wondering if Kim Tae Ri chose this as her drama debut solely based on the fact that she can ride on the fame of LBH and it also being a Kim Eun Sook drama and maybe not on the script... But who wouldn't take on such an opportunity?? Plot-wise, it makes sense to cast 2 leads with such an age gap because age gaps like these were very common in real life in the early 1900s era--women married, and were married off, young in those times DX

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What a gross thing to say. She already has plenty of her own fame; she doesn't need to ride on anyone else's. Curious how you don't extend this same thought process to LBH who has more of a reason than anyone to team up with a popular writer who's on a roll with the hits at this time. If there is anything I can bet on, it is that he's trying to win back some public favor by being in a popular writer's show.

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I agree that saying that Kim Tae Ri is planning on riding LBH's fame is gross. My impression is that the netizen response in korea to LBH's casting is pretty negative. I think Kim Tae Ri chose this drama in spite of LBH being casted because this is a KES drama. LBH has so much more to gain with a KES drama. He was strangely in a PSY video recently. Succeeding a rom-com will open him up to more endorsement deals which is apparently where all the big bucks are. And it'll be nice to leave a good public impression for the sake of his child.

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I think age gaps like this are also common now. Especially with divorces and second marriages. I have friends that married young and then when they had their second marriage, it was with someone much older.

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She will probably play a young heiress so will be closer to 19/20 anyways. Meh. I guess DOTS will be the one and only drama I have watched from this writer.

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I don't have a problem with Lee Byung Hun, I like him as an actor and am excited to see him return to dramas. But I'm not crazy about KES and Kim Tae-ri was great in Handmaiden, but she's still very early in her career and it's her first drama, so I don't know. I also agree with other's that it would've been nice if they cast an actress closer to LBH's age. The age difference doesn't bother me much since she is 27 and not like 18 and it's a period drama. Still there are many gorgeous and talented actresses in their 40's that would look great with LBH and unfortunately often there aren't many leading roles for actresses of that age. I get that a younger actress would be needed for the young naive aristocratic women that the female lead will be. But that sounds super boring tbh, would've loved to see what sort of female character they could come up with if the character was supposed to be late 30's-40's. If I watch this it'll be for LBH and the time period, the romance doesn't sound interesting at all so far (but sadly KES's greatest strength is the romance and I find her pretty weak in just about everything else, so I don't expect her to handle the time period well).

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Interesting period. I'm looking forward to it. There's an interesting article on CIA website about this period.

https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol49no1/html_files/first_attache_5.html

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Finally we get a new actress in drama field!

These days, dramas are so lackluster. Kim Eun Sook dramas may be storyless, but at least theres something worth watching for.

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Since she is not a high schooler I don't mind the age gap. She's 27 years old. I'm more curious to see if KES can create a memorable female lead this time - her male leads are always more interesting.

I don't like Gone with the Wind, but this drama sounds vaguely similar in several respects, and like her or despise her, Scarlett O'Hara was quite memorable. Here's hoping that Kim Tae Ri will play an intense aristocrat in a changing era... no demure “Aegisshi please!

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Thank you for the artcle, and telling us more about the drama. I agree that Kim Tae-Ri was fantastic in The Handmaiden. But I disagree in comparing her to Kim Go-Eun who already had a successful film career before she joined Goblin. Kim Go-Eun is very charming, and I do not see Kim Tae-Ri like that at all. I do see her as a young good melodramatic actress based on that on film (and I do look forward to seeing her in her next 3 upcoming films). Not crazy about this pairing even though I love each one of them individually.

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Man, I was so looking forward to her drama debut and am kind of ticked it's this one as I'd love to see her in this. I am just not excited about the co-star. My interest level dropped down to zero as soon as he was cast. I just can't picture him in any type of romantic genre at all anymore and would rather not, sorry to say.

I think Kim Tae Ri is wonderful and will be fine but I agree with the sentiments of some users here that this casting highlights the "shelf-life" of women, as if they are not attractive after a certain age. To be honest, I think Kim Tae Ri's age is just right but I also also had in mind that the male lead should be closer to his early thirties so there was nothing but disappointment on my end when LBH was cast for a number of reasons.

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