Beautiful Mind holds test shoots without lead actress
I’ll try not to be alarmist about this, but it’s difficult to follow the news of KBS’s upcoming Beautiful Mind and not think it’s going worryingly awry. Recent reports have stated that the drama, which is set to premiere next month and hasn’t secured a lead actress yet, went ahead and held a test shoot and an initial script read without one. Eek, right?
Quick summary: The drama took a while to find a leading man in Jang Hyuk (Master of Trade—Merchant 2015); previously titled Dr. Frankentstein, the many names tossed around as contenders to headline include Kim Soo-hyun, Yoo Ah-in, Lee Jong-seok, and Choi Jin-hyuk. But once Jang was finally in place, it seemed the production was charging full steam ahead, securing second leads and supporting cast members. “Monster rookie” and It Girl Park So-dam (Because It’s the First Time, The Priests) was announced as a contender, but never confirmed. With the clock ticking, KBS scheduled a four-episode mini-drama, Baek-hee Has Returned, and bought two more weeks for Beautiful Mind.
According to a source with the KBS drama department, test shoots were held with the main and supporting cast, minus a leading lady, and a teaser was shot as well. KBS quickly countered with a statement that they do have an actress unofficially selected (“But we’re not yet at the stage where we can disclose it”), and that “everything is proceeding smoothly,” and “there will be no problems with shooting schedule.” A high-ranking executive with the drama department stated the drama would begin filming at the end of this month. (The drama premieres on June 20! How can you start filming in late May? How is this not a problem.)
Meanwhile, a representative with Park So-dam’s agency stated that she has not yet confirmed Beautiful Mind. Part of the hold-up is due to the fact that Park is currently filming a different project, youth romance Cinderella and the Four Knights, which stars Jung Il-woo and will be a fully pre-produced drama series.
Jang Hyuk is likewise also juggling other work; he is reportedly busy with activities in China and will be back in Korea mid-May, at which point the series will hold its official script reading with the full cast. I hope that includes a leading actress.
Beautiful Mind follows a brilliant neurosurgery expert (Jang Hyuk) with a brain injury that renders him unable to feel emotions or empathy, who then becomes healed through love, while also working through the mystery of the sudden and curious deaths of his patients. It airs on KBS as a Monday-Tuesday drama beginning June 20. Probably.
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