During our journey in Dramaland, we watched too many popular dramas, because of their absorbing storylines, different settings, intriguing genres and most of all because of their lead actors. It’s true that other elements are important, but if the lead actors aren’t good enough then the drama may fall apart.
Have you ever wondered who producers’ first choice in some popular Korean dramas was? That’s what brings us to this article’s topic. Enjoy!
Joo Won was supposed to play Jung Il Woo’s character in The Moon That Embraces The Sun but he had to drop out after the extension of Ojakayo Brothers, which forced producers to cast Jung Il Woo as their second choice.
I haven’t seen The Moon That Embraces The Sun, so I have no idea how well Il Woo portrayed the character. However, I am so glad that Joo Won dropped out, because if he didn’t there wouldn’t be a masterpiece titled “The Bridal Mask”, in which I believe he snatched the lights and raised as a star.
The F40’s leader in A Gentleman’s Dignity was first offered to Cha Seung Won, but he refused it just like he refused many other dramas, since he’s known of his picky taste. Therefore, Jang Dong Gun was casted for the role.
I am not a Cha Seung Won’s hater, but I am not very fond of him either. I liked Dong Gun in A Gentleman’s Dignity,and I found its cast quite fitting, so it’s not a big deal that Cha Seung Won refused this.
Another famous role that Cha Seung Won declined is of Prince Lee Jae Ha. He was the producers’ first choice for King2Hearts, but he refused it and Lee Seung Gi was cast instead.
I don’t mind Cha Seung Won declining this drama either, because I found Seung Gi pretty good in this role, even though I was very skeptical at first about him pairing up with Ha Ji Won, who’s obviously older than him.Thankfully, they were able to pull it off in a good way.
Who didn’t watch Secret Garden? I am sure the majority did! At first, Jang Hyuk was chosen for Joo Won’s character in Secret Garden, but he refused. As a result, Hyun Bin got the role. Later, after the big success that the drama achieved not only in South Korea but also world-wide, Jang Hyuk was asked: “Do you regret your decision?” he replied “Not at all, this type of drama doesn’t suit me and I was right in declining the offer”
I must agree with what Jang Hyuk said, this drama doesn’t suit him. I can’t imagine him in such a role, plus Secret Garden is all about Hyun Bin. It’s a given that many people got to know Binnie after this drama, and I frankly wouldn’t like it the same if it wasn’t him. Thus, I believe Jang Hyuk did the right thing by rejecting it.
He also refused The Bridal Mask’s male lead’s role, but not because it didn’t suit him (for he’s an action actor), but because he didn’t want to take part in a historical drama and portray a hero’s character, because he did a “similar”(the time difference is quite huge) role in Chuno. As a result, Joo Won was cast.
Another wise turn down from Jang Hyuk, not only because of his reasons, but also because I got to meet Joo Won in The Bridal Mask. I actually can’t imagine anyone in Lee Kang To’s character except Joo Won. Also, Jang Hyuk feels a bit old for this, even if he’s an amazing action actor.
Jang Geun Suk was the producers’ first choice for the F4 leader in Boys before Flowers. However, he was fascinated with and insisted on playing Kim Hyun Joong’s character, but since the latter was already cast, Geun Suk declined the offer and chose Beethoven Virus instead. Hence, Lee Min Ho was cast as an alternative.
Boys before flowers was the drama that introduced Lee Min Ho to me, and I liked his portrayal of character so I am not so sure if I would’ve liked Jang Geun Seok in it. Even if he can do arrogance well, I doubt if he can do stupidity as good as Lee Min Ho.
Me Too Flower’s lead role was supposed to be Kim Jae Won, but he had a dangerous back injury during shooting so he had to drop out. Therefore, Yoon Shi Yoon got the role.
No comment since I haven’t seen the drama.
The Woodalchi’s leader in Faith was originally Lee Jun Ki’s role, but he had to give it up because of the army. The second choice was Kang Ji Hwan, and he even shot a few scenes, but he had to drop out because of internal problems with his agency. After that, Lee Min Ho got the role.
Lee Min Ho was great in the drama; I even think that people overlooked many storyline flaws and continued the drama because of him. It’s like Min Ho holds the whole drama together. However, I am sure I would’ve liked it too if Lee Jun Ki was the male lead; he has greater acting skills, and I am sure he would’ve pulled it off, but I am not so certain about Kang Ji Hwan.
Are there some dramas that you can’t imagine without their lead male actors? What do you think? Would it have been better if the first choices accepted the offers?