The entire situation with Park Hye-eun and the drama Return is beyond unprofessional. That “insider” and the journalist who thought it was a good idea to publish an exclusive saying that she was fired for “poor acting” should be fired. I don’t care if that’s the real reason (and I don’t) for her dismissal, but to publish an article like that about a rookie actress on literally her second project is straight up disrespectful. I cannot even imagine how she feels right now, it’s awful. That headline alone could sabotage her career.

The “poor acting” excuse does NOT stand up to scrutiny for me. For years, idol-actors who are downright unwatchable onscreen have been cast as main leads, simple because they want to try their hand at acting or something. Meanwhile, rookie actors with years of training and actual love for the craft get no opportunities or even the chance to improve because they don’t get cast. Park Hye-eun has only been in one project and she was completely fine in that. I don’t know why “insiders” are targeting her for supposedly bad acting when they have zero issues casting idol-actors who can barely emote. Not to put on my tinfoil hat, but something is extremely fishy here. There are many actors, idols or not, who have questionable acting talent yet have never been written about in articles in this manner. I just… cannot get over how rude and hurtful this must be to Park Hye-eun. No male actor would ever be written about like this. This whole article and firing reeks of misogyny, idc what anyone says. The industry has always had severe double standards against actresses and this was blatant and obvious sabotage.

Also also, the fact that Jung So-min, almost immediately within hours of the news breaking, got an offer for Park Hye-eun’s role leaves a bad taste on my mouth. I love Jung So-min with all my heart, but the fact that her, a 32-year old woman, is considered interchangeable with a 23-year old actress doesn’t make me feel all that positively about the role itself. Yes, dramas very often cast 30-something actors to play teens and early twenties, but the fact that this production’s response after getting rid of a younger actress was to immediately cast a woman a decade older for a seemingly early-20s role makes me deeply uncomfortable for reasons I can’t properly articulate (dramaland pls stop casting Lee Jae-wook opposite women a decade older than him all the damn time?? actresses in their 20s exist and maybe don’t fire them??). The fact that the casting replacement was so quick and with such a high-profile actress (in comparison) is also just so shady. I swear, the stepping down, new casting rumour and confirmation happened within HOURS. I don’t like the vibe around this mess. I think there’s something going on that’s a lot more complicated than just “bad acting”.

I don’t think I’ll be watching this one after all. I love Lee Jae-wook and was really looking forward to his redemption for subjecting us to Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol, but I really do not want to support a project that treats their leading women this poorly. Park Hye-eun deserved better and rookie actresses everywhere deserve better. This was long and incoherent but I had too many thoughts.

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    Only know what you said about this, but dropped by just to say that I really liked Park Hae Eun in School Nurse Files. To me she stood out in her support role, and it’s a shame that what looks like agency shenanigans robbed her out of a great opportunity

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      Park Hye-eun was really noticeable in The School Nurse Files despite being in a small supporting role. This is part of the reason why I refuse to believe the “bad acting” excuse.

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        I don’t agree. It’s kinda different to be a supporting role and to be a main role. There are some actors/acresses I really liked in a supporting roles but not in main roles. Now, it doesn’t necessarily mean bad acting but not good enough.

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    I think the reason should have been kept secret too.

    But TVN said it was because she didn’t feel ready and not because of her acting.

    But I’m happy they changed at the beginning the actress if she didn’t fit the role. It’s better to change now than to be stubborn and keep her. It’s better for her, she won’t have a bad project that will follow her.

    I don’t know why they often chose without really audition the actors or testing them. I like when I hear that an actor talk a lot with the PD before being chosen.

    They tried with 2 not very famous actors and it didn’t work and it’s sad. I don’t understand the choice of JSM when she’s too old for the same role, they should have tried to continue with a young actress.

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      I don’t get the choice to cast Jung So-min either. I get that she looks like she’s basically aging backwards these days but a woman in her 30s is still a woman in her 30s. I can’t help but think that even if she acts perfectly, it will feel a little awkward to watch, especially since I know that she’s replacing an actual 23 year old actress.

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        I wonder of JSM was offered the role because she’s worked with this PD before and also just cameo’d in Gumiho which the PD co-directed. If whatever happened was a last-minute thing, they probably were scrambling to find someone as a replacement and JSM was asked because she knows the PD well. I don’t think Monthly Magazine Home has even finished filming yet, and this drama is probably just about to start filming. That’s a real tight schedule for her.

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        this age and “woman in her 30s is still in her 30s”

        is so toxic and misogynist

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          It’s 2021 and women apparently still expire at 30 no matter how young they look. I don’t get the fixation with age when it comes to actors playing fictional characters, they can play older or younger it’s not like it’s real life. This situation is bad for Park Hye Eun but it’s not the fault of whoever replaces her, be that Jun So Min or someone who is 20.

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            Oh please don’t misunderstand. I have nothing against Jung So-min or any other actress and I certainly don’t believe that women “expire” in their 30s, that’s a such outdated and misogynist belief to have, especially as a woman myself. I didn’t word that very well and I’m sorry for that. I just thought that it might be a little awkward for Jung So-min to play a much younger character when most of her costars here are in their early 20s playing similarly aged characters. Also, I think Jung So-min is an incredible actress and can portray a wide range of roles. I’m sure she will act the hell out of this role as she does with all her roles.

            I truly am sorry that my comment came across as disparaging her age, that’s not what I meant at all.

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            age factor totally get it..

            even i don’t get people creating an issue out of that.. it is work of art, they are characters, its their profession to act.. and then there are all kinds of stories to tell..

            then why make age a limiting factor when it has nothing to do with skills. That way older women should just retire. i find that quite illogical

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            That is plain wrong and twisting the words of OP to fit the narration. If we go with the similar logic, I would say that it is mysognistic to expect women in their 30s to look like they are in their 20s.

            People here even displayed the same concern when actresses in their 20s were cast with a decade older actors to play characters in early 30s.

            I can’t be cast to play high schooler and I am definitely too young to play someone’s grandma. That has nothing to do with my gender or society’s expectations. It is simply a matter of good casting.

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          It’s about the original character. I have no issue with Jung So Min, she’s great in Monthly Magazine Home.

          Both Lee Jae Wook (1998) and Park Hye-Eun (1997) are pretty young, so there was a will from the production to have 2 young actors to play these characters, 2 new faces too. I was happy that famous writer gave the chance to new actors and didn’t choose A-list actor. Jung So Min is not old in itself, but she’s 9 years older than Lee Jae Wook and she’s pretty famous.

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          @nerdy

          You are contradicting yourself. Precisely the point, go by skills.. not by age..

          you are already projecting your bias of what 20s should look like and what 30s should look like.. and you can’t pretend the negative connotations with age in the context the actresses are being evaluated on..

          This has nothing to do with OP.. but you are totally offtangent

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            I am saying that if you go with mysogny card, it can be rotated.

            I am also saying this card is not needed here. People age and it shows. That’s normal. 30s is not even old, it is just not 20s. That’s is.

            I would have also preferred if Lee Jae Wook was paired with actress his age. 10 year age gap is not something I am especially fond of.

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            How do you rotate this?

            The OP is better in terms of clarifying. You on the other hand clearly are found of labelling women and rating them based on their whatever

            you are no better than others who value sycophancy over skills, or some random parameter over skills.. why bother

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        Sorry if I misunderstood your comment, it’s just that people have to keep in mind this was likely a last minute replacement. I admit my reply to you was a bit harsh. I haven’t seen Park Hye Eun acting and only saw one or two dramas with Jun So Min before so I don’t have a preference as I can’t compare. I know this has got nothing to do with what you said but whoever gets the lead role now will have a harsh time, there were people on other sites making comments dragging So Min for coming from a rich family implying she somehow stole the role and making assumptions saying Park Hye Eun probably rejected advances from a sponsor/ production and was fired because of that, which kinda implies that the actresses that keep their lead roles do other stuff. We don’t know what happened behind the scenes, I hope Park Hey Eun has a good acting career in the future and this doesn’t set her back.

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    I have no idea of the drama or the actress but i did see the headline & thought it was weird reason to highlight esp for a rookie, considering the bad acting viewers have endured, be it from idol-actors or others.

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      Exactly. And what’s even weirder is that the cast of Return actually has two relatively inexperienced idol-actors alongside LJW and (now) JSM as main characters. Was Park Hye-eun really that much worse than them??

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    And aren’t the Hong Sisters known for being a bit of a terror themselves and that is why their careers slowed down or their power did a bit?

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      I actually didn’t know that omg. That might explain it too. I’ve only heard good things about their reputation before.

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    I liked Park Hae Eun in School Nurse Files.

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    I liked her in The School Nurse Files. I don’t know what happened. There may have been shenanigans. There is a lot of pressure with a lead role, and she may not have been ready for it. Maybe her acting wasn’t up to snuff, but there shouldn’t be headlines about it. There are a lot of bad actors out there that get chance after chance, but this “insider” could very well end her career.

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    That article was low and unnecessary. Hope she gets a better opportunity soon.

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    I couldn’t have said it better. In comments section I found out that the same thing happened when they were shooting My Sassy Girl ( remake). Oh Yeon Soo accepted the role so the female lead, the upcoming actress who was chosen after casting, was dropped.

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