After a week or so of speculations and additional casting news, the entire main cast of the upcoming drama 49 Days has finally been confirmed. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an entire cast of main leads comprised completely of sageuk veterans, except for when the drama in discussion is a sageuk. 49 Days is a modern fantasy melodrama, and I’m pretty pleased with the cast. Just for fun, I’m using only pictures from their sageuk roles.
This will be lead actor Jo Hyun Jae’s first post-MS project, and he’s no stranger to sageuks, having helmed Seodongyo as King Mu of Baekjae, and prior to that had been a prince in Daemang. Lead actress Lee Yo Won was last seen as the titular Queen Seondeok, and prior to that her last sageuk was also Daemang, opposite Jang Hyuk.
Jo Hyun Jae will be playing the ex-boyfriend to Nam Gyu Ri (the only relative newcomer in the main cast), who falls into a coma due to a car accident, and her soul goes into Lee Yo Won’s body.
Jung Il Woo, who will be playing an Angel of Death in 49 Days, got his big breakthrough starring in Return of Iljimae. Seo Ji Hye, who is one of the most luminous and excellent actresses of her generation, will be playing the evil bitch second lead. She was last seen and wasted in Kim Soo Ro, and got her first big acting break starring in Shin Don.
Finally, Bae Soo Bin rounds out the cast. After back-to-back dramas with Han Hyo Joo, he’s broadening his cast mates and joining the 49 Days team as the maybe-evil fiancée of Nam Gyu Ri’s coma girl. Bae Soo Bin has done multiple sageuks, from Jumong, to Painter of the Wind, and finally in Dong Yi.
I think it’s a testament to an actor’s range, depth, and skill when they take on a sageuk, which requires considerable more emotion and nuance than an average modern day role. The script for 49 Days will be written by the writer who did Brilliant Legacy and Prosecutor Princess. I’m hoping this pretty heavyweight cast can elevate the material and create a solid drama. 49 Days will follow Sign on Wed-Thurs on SBS.
Jo Hyun Jae is Han Kang – A seemingly cold on the outside type of guy, who lost his parents when he was young, and grew up without any familiar affection. He finds himself caught between Song Yi Kyung herself, and when Song Yi Kyung is possessed by the soul of Shim Ji Heon.
Lee Yo Won is Song Yi Kyung – Due to the death of her brother, she feels like there is no reason for her to go on living in this world. She tried unsuccessfully to kill herself before, which no leaves her angel brother looking down from above with worry. Due to circumstances, she is possessed by the soul of Shim Ji Hyeon, and lives two different lives during the day time and the night time.
Jung Il Woo is Song Yi Soo – The now deceased brother of Yi Kyung, he has become an angel who guides spirits after their death. Due to his error, he causes the not-yet-supposed-to-die Ji Heon to have an accident and fall into a coma. He has no choice but to let the spirit of Ji Heon possess his sister’s body.
Bae Soo Bin is Kang Min Ho – The fiancee of Ji Heon, am ambitious man with a graduate degree from the United States. He doesn’t love Ji Heon, and is marrying her for her family’s money. Later he grows to genuinely fall in love with Yi Kyung.
Nam Gyu Ri is Shim Ji Heon – A week before her wedding, she falls into a coma due to a car accident. She has 49 days to get three people (other than her family members) to shed real tears for her. Only then can she be revived. Her spirit possessed Yi Kyung’s body during the day.