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Jang Hyuk, Seolhyun join JTBC sageuk My Country

This year is definitely going to dominated by some strong sageuks. JTBC has announced that Jang Hyuk (Bad Papa) and Seolhyun (The Great Battle) will be joining Woo Do-hwan (The Great Seducer) and Yang Se-jong (Thirty But Seventeen) in sageuk epic My Country. I’m much more excited by the male side of this cast, and I’m sure I’ll be checking the show out just for them, despite my reservations about Seolhyun.

My Country will depict the dramatic events leading to the fall of the Goryeo kingdom, and the birth of Joseon, with an epic love triangle at the center of it all. Woo Do-hwan and Yang Se-jong will play best-friends-turned enemies, though we’re not told of the circumstances surrounding their fall-out. I’m sure it won’t help that they both fall for Seolhyun’s character, who’s described as resourceful and way ahead of her time. Armed with her intelligence and information, she’s known to be quick on her feet and able to get out of the most dire of emergencies.

Jang Hyuk will be playing the infamous Yi Bang-won (future King Taejong), a historical figure he’s actually played once before in the film The Age of Innocence. We’ve seen various iterations of this particular tumultuous period in Korean history in recent years, most notably in Six Flying Dragons, so while I’m feeling a little period fatigue, I’m also looking forward to how My Country will differentiate itself from its predecessors.

JTBC’s My Country is slated to premiere in the latter half of this year.

Via Seoul Kyungjae (1), Seoul Kyungjae (2)

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YASSSS to Jang Hyuk in a sageuk with PD Kim Jin-Won!

That is all.

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It would be damn awesome if they cast Kang Ha-na to be Jang Hyuk's queen. Totally seeing her as the politically savvy Wongyeong.
Taejong and Wongyeong didn't get along well so it'll be something different with this power couple.

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Or a reunion with Honey Lee? I loved their dynamic in SHINE OR GO CRAZY.

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And...she stole the show from the female lead.

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I'll still watch it for Kim Jin Won. And Collaboration Jang Hyuk with Kim Jin Won. Happy dance! Hope tge script at least stay interesting until the end and i will be fine i guess.

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Woo Do Hwan and Yang Se Jong better be consulting Yeo Jin Goo for his advice when they are acting alongside Seolhyun in lead roles ... they may very well benefit from his experience.

Or maybe Woo Do Hwan might want to recall the exposure he had not too long ago when he was working with Joy, he is a leg up on Yang Se Jong who last worked with Shin Hye Sun.

I don't know ... of all the actresses ... ARGH

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Oh man, ikr! Why in the world out of all actresses they chose idol, and out of idols that can acting they chose seolhyun. Im quite excited before because yang se jong, woo do hwan and pd kim ji won, but the moment they announced its seolhyun who will be the female lead, i was like ... ARGH.

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All my favorite sageuk actors are back in sageuks this year, it's unbelievable. I would be tempted to say no one could play Bang-won like Ah-In in Dragons, but then you had to go and say Jang Hyuk and I'm sure he'll put in a charismatic performance. With plenty of slightly unhinged and toothy cackles, of course.

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"Woo Do-hwan and Yang Se-jong will play best-friends-turned enemies, though we’re not told of the circumstances surrounding their fall-out. I’m sure it won’t help that they both fall for Seolhyun’s character, who’s described as resourceful and way ahead of her time." *yawn*
I've seen Seolhyun only in Orange Marmalade. She was bland, and in each scene she was like a deer caught in the headlights. Her acting can be described with an innocent look and slightly open lips on her face.

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Yes that part about "Armed with her intelligence and information, she’s known to be quick on her feet and able to get out of the most dire of emergencies" seems pretty concerning. She will literally need to do a 180 degrees acting wise to fullfill that role. She's young and hopefully her management company provided her with more acting lessons.

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I'm so excited for this. Six flying dragons is one of my favorite sageuks of all time and Yoo Ah In's portrayal of Lee Bang Won was so on point so I hope this show wouldn't disappoint.

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If anyone can put a new and interesting spin on Lee Bang-won, it is Jang Hyuk. And yes, I too am a fan of SIX FLYING DRAGONS and Yoo Ah-in's performance. ;-)

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Hm. Tricky. Excited for Jang Hyuk, but not for Seolhyun... and I feel like I've watched too many saguek's where the FL didn't work well (to me, anyway), so I don't know... I don't know...

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Yay Jang Hyuk!!! Seolhyun was recently in a sageuk film last year... idk if she improved any but at least she has some sageuk experience. Casting very green idols in main roles in fluff dramas is one thing, but in a sageuk? hmm. This show sounds very male dominated and I feel like her role will be less prominent but still. Fingers crossed she will surprise us!

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Crossing each and every fingers I have, already~~
Any update about Seolhyun's acting skill post-Orange Marmalade, people??

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That's the only drama have also seen her.... Why not a better actress

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LOL. Well, I don't like the writer, so I guess that's just another reason to pass. Too bad, I like jang hyuk. Oh well.

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Jang Hyuk! Yay! Saguek? Nay.

I hope it turns out well though given Woo Do Hwan, Yang Se Jong and Seolhyun have little to no saguek experience.

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@missh miss h,
Yang Se-jong acquitted himself well in SAIMDANG, LIGHT'S DIARY playing the vounger version of Song Seung-heon's role as the artistic royal, Lee Gyeom. He looked great in hanbok, too. The modern timeline of the show was a mess, but I enjoyed the Joseon segments. His turn in crime thriller DUEL was noteworthy as he subtly portrayed two clones, their donor, and one clone impersonating the other. His chemistry with Seo Hyun-jin in TEMPERATURE OF LOVE was fine when her character wasn't being an obnoxiously ageist twit -- but the real fireworks were between him and Lee Mi-sook as his seriously warped mother.

I don't know what to expect from Woo Do-hwan in a sageuk, but I'm willing to give it a shot after he caught my attention in a minor role in SWEET STRANGER AND ME and then turned in a mesmerizing performance in MAD DOG. I prefer not to be reminded of the train wreck that was GREAT SEDUCER.

There was a Joseon timeline in ORANGE MARMALADE. I don't recall a whole lot about Seolhyun's performance other than that epic scene on the subway, but I wasn't grinding my teeth and tossing my laptop in frustration, either. I haven't seen THE GREAT BATTLE / ANSISUNG yet.

I'm excited that Jang Hyuk is joining the cast. Here's hoping the younger actors have a blast learning from one of the masters.

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Saimdang was a mess, which is a shame, as her life was rather interesting . I wish they had just shot it a straight bio pic.

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@john,
I agree that a true-to-life biography would have been much better. As it was, the show was a mish-mash of genres -- with a heaping side of makjang -- that didn't gel. I was alienated by the conspiring chaebol art counterfeiters and horrid mother-in-law in the modern timeline.

On the other hand, I did enjoy the papermaking segments of the show. The 2005 film BLOOD RAIN with Cha Seung-won also included footage at a Joseon paper mill. I worked in a related industry, and found both productions fascinating from a technical standpoint.

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Yasssss Woo Do Hwan all the way😍😍😍 getting ready for some sexy hanbok Woo Do Hwan😫

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Thanks for the official word on Jang Hyuk's joining the cast of MY COUNTRY, @tipsymocha. I've been jonesing to see him in another sageuk, and figure we'll be in for some epic hacking and slashing with him portraying Lee Bang-won. It will be interesting to see his take on the future king of Joseon in this drama. I loved SIX FLYING DRAGONS and Yoo Ah-in's portrayal of the future king.

@ally-le sparked a spirited discussion of MY COUNTRY (and other forthcoming sageuks) on her fan wall a couple of days ago, wherein @kiara broke the news of JH's casting.
http://www.dramabeans.com/members/ally-le/activity/724367/

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This will be my first sageuk watch this year, and looking forward to it! I tend to like this time period better than Joseon too.

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I imagine Jang Hyuk swishing around in his sageuk robes and I get all excited. At least I won't have to see weird hair this time round. He gets the oddest haircuts in his modern dramas. I don't get it.

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I was so good at my Island cameo that I am seriously considering playing Country this time round. What do you think?

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From island to peninsula, eh, @yyishere YY?! What's after that? Mountain range? East Sea? (Watch out for Park Il-do!) Volcano? Coral reef? Continent?! You're turning into a geographical features monster! LOL! -- Ya done great in TOP STAR YOO BAEK. ;-)

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First time we’ll get to see Jang Hyuk playing an antagonist on TV !!

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Chae Seung-Dae (screenwriter)

Wrote Eps 1-10 of Inspiring Generation ⁉️

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But that was the halfway decent part of that drama, so...not so terrible, really. People forget that that show actually started out okay. He also wrote Master: God of Noodles, which was good, though! If that makes you feel better :)

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The childhood part was the best part of Inspiring Generation.

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I've never seen Seolhyun in anything, but from what I've heard she's pretty bland... hopefully she surprises us all, though, because I love the rest of the cast and I love me a smart, badass female lead <3

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Orange Marmelade was not the best drama and Seolhyun cleary not the best actress, but it wasn't all her fault, the writing was pretty bad too.

For now, I watched her in movies and she was good, it was not stellar performances but she didn't bother me neither. But it was minor roles, so it's hard to judge with a more important role.

At least, she looks very natural and not too modern. Because sometimes some actors look weird in historical dramas.

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I'm happy that I get to see Jang Hyuk on my screen again but does this mean he has transitioned into second male lead territory and antagonist roles? Sobs!!! I really hope not, he is an amazing actor who still has years of leading man status ahead of him.

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He is a workaholic who works non-stop. I think there are probably not enough leading male dramas suitable for his age now, so he is venturing into supporting roles when there are suitable ones that interest him. He is one who just cannot rest haha... Anyway I should think we will still see him in leading roles soon.

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@ ralisa,

As long as someone continues to write dramas and films with age-appropriate roles, Jang Hyuk and other actors of his vintage (he's 42, but looks younger to me) will be able to continue gracing our screens. The entertainment industry is ageist as all get out, and churns out tons of teeny-bopper fare. But just as it's important to have good roles for young rookie actors, it's equally important to have worthwhile roles for mature and elder performers such as Lee Soon-jae, for instance. (He says some interesting things on ageism with regard to theatre and the movie LATE BLOSSOM here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Soon-jae.)

If we're lucky, we all grow older. That should be reflected on screen. Otherwise how can we look forward to the coming generations of Sir Laurence Oliviers and Dame Judi Denches? I was encouraged when SHOULD WE KISS FIRST aired because it provided a vehicle for the excellent Kam Woo-sung and Kim Sun-a to portray middle-aged romantic leads.

Jang Hyuk played a supporting role in TREE WITH DEEP ROOTS because the character was expanded into a more interesting role that he found appealing. One of the things I admire about him is the way he goes whole-hog in portraying his characters, many of whom are non-glamorous and even off-putting. He isn't hung up on his image, and I find that refreshing. He performs and designs his own stunts and action, as does Lee Joon-gi, which is another thing that won me over as a fan of both of them.

There's a dandy interview with Jang Hyuk from when CHUNO / SLAVE HUNTERS was airing that I found fascinating because of his approach to martial arts and the development and interpretation of characters, among other things. A passing comment on eye acting as his main means of conveying emotion made me pay particular attention to it from then on as a viewer of dramas and films.

https://www.hancinema.net/interview-actor-jang-hyeok--part-1-22564.html

https://www.hancinema.net/interview-actor-jang-hyeok--part-2-22563.html

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I love CHUNO. Thank you for sharing these interviews! He's one of my favourite actors for a reason: he pours everything he has into his roles. The part about conveying emotion through the eyes was interesting, and also how he pays attention to dialects and historical context.

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@wishfultoki,

You're most welcome! I thought the interview was fascinating. I'm really impressed with his meticulous attention to detail and the way he goes about preparing for his roles. The BTS of him learning to tap dance for PLEASE TEACH ME ENGLISH is great. He's having a blast in it. I don't recall whether that was before or after DANCE OF THE DRAGON -- in which he plays a kid from the boonies who dreams of becoming a competitive ballroom dancer -- for which he moves to Singapore to learn to tango.

I'm pretty sure CHUNO was my first Jang Hyuk show. I loved him in it. Dae-gil slayed me when he invested in real estate for his partners.

And the soundtrack! I cannot recall whether I saw CHUNO or FAITH first, but they both had OSTs with MC Sniper rapping. I don't even like rap, but I love Sniper's. It made the fight scenes extra epic.

It must have been after I read this article that I started picking up on eye acting in general. Ryu Deok-hwan as King Gongmin in FAITH caught my eye (har!), so I watched him in the film MY SON with Cha Seung-won, and the two of them blew me away with their eye acting. This is why I get turned off by actors who feel as if they're blank behind the eyes. It's all Jang Hyuk's fault -- he has raised the bar -- and my expectations -- to the stratosphere. ;-)

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So if Jang Hyuk isn't even part of the main triangle, he is most likely side character. Again? What is happening? If you have Jang Hyuk in your drama, use him. Is this the end? No more lead roles?

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