My Sassy Girl swaps out lead actress, courts Oh Yeon-seo to star
Wait, they’re changing My Sassy Girl’s sassy girl? Then what the heck was the point of that massive open audition with 1,800 hopefuls, plus reality survival show with top ten finalists, all in an effort to pick a fresh face? Well I guess it all seems moot now, because the finalist who was cast in the lead role — newbie actress Kim Joo-hyun — has stepped down to take on a secondary role in the drama, and an offer is now out to Oh Yeon-seo (Come Back, Ajusshi) to headline in her place.
The new SBS drama stars Joo-won (Yong-pal) in a sageuk remake of the classic rom-com movie My Sassy Girl, which will take the basic premise — rude, sassy girl meets nice, put-upon boy — and transplants the story to the Joseon era. I don’t even think of it as My Sassy Girl, to be honest, because Joo-won’s character is described as a cold city man, which is the total opposite of the beta male hero in the original.
It’s unclear why Kim Joo-hyun stepped down from the role voluntarily when she competed against so many to get the coveted lead character, but there’s some speculation about the pressure of a leading role on an inexperienced actress; on the flip side, there’s also speculation about SBS pressuring the production to re-cast with a bigger star. The latter seems much likelier to me, though if that’s true, I have no idea why producers bothered going through with the open auditions if they weren’t going to stick to their guns. I could’ve told you on day one that the network would want a star. When has a network ever NOT wanted a star?
That said, I don’t actually mind the casting change at all, since I like Oh Yeon-seo and know she’s got the comedic chops to be outrageously gross and sassy. She was hilarious as a gangster trapped in a woman’s body in Come Back, Ajusshi, and seems like a perfect fit to be the next sassy girl. She’s been offered the role of a bright, quirky princess who’s a nuisance to the royal family. Meanwhile, Kim Joo-hyun will take the role of the princess’s rival in love, the only daughter to the most powerful minister in the king’s court. She’ll have a one-sided crush on the hero.
The heroine is described as beautiful and innocent on the outside, but she’s actually a constant troublemaker who hops the palace walls as she pleases, gets drunk, and stays out all night. She hates empty formalities and vanity, and isn’t afraid to use the swear words she hears in the marketplace to argue her case. The princess happily enjoys eating things like chicken feet and live octopus, and loves her brother dearly. She sounds refreshing, just like a Joseon sassy girl ought to.
My Sassy Girl will be 100% pre-produced and plans to air simultaneously in Korea, China, and Japan sometime next year. It begins shooting in September.
- News bites: June 25, 2016
- The search for Joo-won’s Sassy Girl gets down to final 3
- SBS picks up My Sassy Girl, reunites Joo-won with Yong-pal PD
- Auditions draw over 700 hopefuls in search for Joo-won’s Sassy Girl
- Joo-won headlines youth sageuk remake of My Sassy Girl
- Come Back, Ajusshi: Episode 1
- Oh Yeon-seo courted for Rain’s afterlife drama Goodbye My Beloved
- Jang Hyuk and Oh Yeon-seo consider MBC historical fantasy
- My Sassy Girl aiming for double revival on big and small screens