Well, this is a shocker. A few days ago, news broke that rookie actress Kim Joo-hyun (Modern Farmer) has stepped down from the titular role in My Sassy Girl. According to reports, she is troubled by the amount of public attention she’s been getting because of the role, and by the pressure of starring in such a big project. In light of this development, it is said that the production is now offering the lead role to Oh Yeon-seo.
My Sassy Girl is an upcoming SBS sageuk based on the classic hit movie of the same title (let’s not talk about its sequel), about a beautiful but troublesome princess in the Joseon dynasty. Joo Won (Yong-pal) has long been confirmed as the show’s leading man (his last project before military enlistment), but it seems he’s going to wait a little while longer before he’s finally joined by his sassy girl.
I personally think Oh Yeon-seo is an excellent choice, as I loved her performance as Jang Hyuk’s leading lady in sageuk Shine or Go Crazy, and much more as a gang boss in a woman’s body in Come Back Ahjussi. She’s definitely got the looks, sass, charm, and comedic skills needed for the character.
Something is fishy here though, as it was only a little over a month ago when Kim Joo-hyun bested around 1,800 candidates in a publicized open audition for the part. Netizens even had a say on who ultimately makes the cut, as the final round was an online poll selecting the winner from a set of finalists. If this was a case of cold feet, all that effort was done in vain, and it simply wasted the dreams of the other hopefuls.
Some can’t help but wonder if SBS had put pressure to cast a more popular actress to headline the show, given the scale of this production (which is supposed to air internationally as well). The drama business is no stranger to these kinds of moves after all, and a bigger celebrity could secure a higher chance of success. Frankly, it’s hard to imagine that a newcomer actress would let go of such a big break that she obviously earned (and in a publicized way at that). Knowingly going through the audition process should have already given her a glimpse of what she was getting herself into.
Whatever the real reason is, this production definitely already has the buzz going – both positive and negative – even before it starts filming. The excitement from the open casting call sort of backfired with this development. As much as I want to see Oh Yeon-seo in a drama again and slay this role, part of me feels she’s better off not getting dragged into the mess.
What happens to Kim Joo-hyun? I see conflicting reports: some articles say she will stay in the production taking a supporting role (…awkward), while other sources say she’s been cast in a different drama (confirming this bit made me take a while before posting this news, but until now I don’t have clarity on it). Must be hard to deal with this kind of publicity at such an early stage of one’s career.
We’d have a few more months before seeing how it all turns out, as the 100% pre-produced drama is slated to air in 2017.