What horrible timing following Choi Jin-shil’s shocking death, because now it’s hard to get that excited about news I/we have been waiting forever to hear, which is the announcement of the “F4″ guys in the Korean Hana Yori Dango, aka Boys Before Flowers.
Although it was floated around that the casting would comprise mostly pop idol stars, it turns out (for the better, imo), that we’re split half-half between idols and actors (the two rising actors at least have a decent amount of experience — for their age, I mean).
- First is F4 leader in the Tsukasa role, aka actor Lee Min-ho (above left).
- Kim Hyun-joong, idol singer of pop boy band SS501, takes on the role of Rui.
- Kim Bum (!!!), at above right, is most recently of East of Eden and the biggest surprise for me — and a pleasant one at that, since he’s proved he can act. He’s Soujiro.
- And, finally, Kim Joon is the least-known of the F4 boys, as Akira.
Lee Min-ho takes the lead as “Doumyouji Tsukasa,” renamed for the drama as “Gu Jun-pyo”:
Lee Min-ho, born in 1987, has a decent amount of work behind him, having done several TV shows and a couple films, including I Don’t Know Either, Run! Mackerel, Public Enemy Returns, and the recent Our School E.T.
A least they gave Doumyouji to a “real” actor instead of the crossover newbie in his acting debut. Not that that’s bad (we all have to start somewhere?) but considering that he’s the most crucial F4 role, he’d damn well better know how to act.
Kim Hyun-joong takes the character of “Hanazawa Rui,” renamed “Yoon Ji-hoo”:
Kim Hyun-joong, a 1986-er of boy band SS501, is currently paired with Hwang Bo on variety show We Got Married, and was the first name to be floated around earlier this summer. He’s taking over the role following Oguri Shun’s excellent portrayal — that’ll be an uphill climb, particularly given that the boy doesn’t have a lot of acting experience. It appears he was cast because he fits the image; we’ll see if his skills measure up.
Kim Bum is cast in the “Nishikada Soujiro” role, renamed “So Yi-jung”:
I’m a bit disappointed that Kim Bum, the young’un of the bunch (a 1989-er), is being used in a lesser capacity here, although since the series is set for 24 episodes, hopefully Soujiro’s and Akira’s roles are given more attention than as mere sidemen for Tsukasa and Rui. I also hope he’s given a chance to expand on his recently demonstrated melo acting skills. Hey, at least Soujiro was given a bit of a “deeper” story line than Akira in the J-version, yeah? What I’m saying is: You’ve got this budding “serious” actor, so don’t waste him.
Kim Joon as “Mimasaka Akira,” aka “Song Woo-bin”:
As the guy I’m least familiar with (as in, not at all), this is the best pic I could get; Kim Joon (full real name Kim Hyung-joon, a 1985-er) is the guy on the right. And when I say “newb,” I mean this is his acting debut. He is, however, a member of the newish pop boy band T-Max.