Jo Hyun Jae Cast as the Leading Man in the Period C/TW-drama Rouge Hegemon

Buh? My newsfeed is usually brimming with rumors, gossip, and confirmations that rarely does any casting catch me off guard only after it’s been verified. And especially about my handsome Jo Hyun Jae, no less. Well, newly minted fans of Jo Hyun Jae after watching him as the perfect white knight Han Kang in 49 Days, wait no longer because he’s coming back to dramas!

Too bad it’s not a K-drama (if you live in Korea), and lucky for his C-fans, he’ll be in China for the next few month as he’s just been cast as the leading man in the China-Taiwan collaboration period drama 胭脂霸王 (which I shall tentatively call Rouge Hegemon, the literal translation of the title).

My first experience with Jo Hyun Jae was actually watching 56 episodes of him in period costume as the titular Seo Dong of the sageuk Seodongyeo, so him in modern garb actually was odd for me. He’s got the quiet presence that really fits in a period setting, so I’m thrilled he’s branching out and trying new projects. Plus he has an incredibly huge fanbase in China, which will most likely expand after this drama. Rouge Hegemon started filming already on August 12th and the entire cast and crew, including Jo Hyun Jae, is already on set in China.

The leading lady will be Andy Yang (楊紫), an up and coming C-actress. The PD and scriptwriter are both famous Taiwan veterans, the former directed the pan-Asia 90s hit Justice Bao, and the latter did the screenplay adaptation for Qiong Yao’s novel which became the 2000 hit Romance in the Rain with Zhao Wei and Ruby Lin. Below is Andy Yang and a sneak peek at her character’s costume for the drama. Rouge Hegemon is scheduled to complete filming in the beginning of 2012, with a broadcast date to be set thereafter.

Here’s a plot synopsis (warning spoiler-heavy):

At the dawn of the Republic (the years right after 1911), in a small crossroads town, Lei Er (Andy Yang) was born with supernatural powers and has always vowed to become a female biao shi (a biao shi is someone tasked with transporting goods within China, who must have martial arts skills to safeguard the goods from bandits on the road – imagine an old school Fed Ex). But the gods seem to want to thwart her, and her road to becoming a biao shi is fraught with considerable obstacles.

Xiao Wu Kue (Jo Hyun Jae) is the son of the owner of the Xin Yi Biao Ju (a biao shi works for a biao ju, which means transportation company) and was born on the same day as Lei Er. But he was born with a weak constitution so he cannot learn any martial arts skills.

Ou Lang, a bandit leader, is enchanted by Lei Er’s optimism and kindness and pursues her, except Lei Er only has eyes for Wu Kue. But Wu Kue, who loves learning about Western culture, has a crush on the aloof and haughty Ya Ge Ge (a Ge Ge is the Qing Dynasty title for a princess of the royal family). The four youngsters will find their lives intertwined because of a threat to the Xin Yi Baio Ju and a secret treasure map.

The legendary treasure map attracts the attention of a former Lord of the Qing Dynasty who possess a key, a blind eunuch who survived the end of the Qing Dynasty and is the only one who knows the secrets of the map, a police captain, and so on and so forth, everyone desiring to possess this map. Their arrival throws the little town into a state of upheaval.

With everyone harboring their own agenda and wanting to find the treasure, to protect the goods entrusted to them, Lei Er and Wu Kue finds themselves caught up in this maelstrom. When the treasure is finally found after a considerable effort, it turns out the treasure is not gold and jewels. After enduring a harrowing adventure, Lei Er and Wu Kue finally get together and inherit Xin Yi Biao Ju, continuing the family legacy.

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Jo Hyun Jae Cast as the Leading Man in the Period C/TW-drama Rouge Hegemon — 19 Comments

  1. Hi Ockala, sorry this is out of topic. I want to donate but somehow it doesn’t work. It says the server has some problems or something like that….Please help. Thanks.

  2. I always find it really odd when Korean actors star in Chinese dramas and are then dubbed over … like Jang Nara in My Bratty Princess. I mean, how do the actors communicate? AS a result, I always find that in a drama with foreign talent that don’t speak Chinese the actors seem more stiff and awkward …

  3. He’s one of my fav actor, he’s so handsome and has a own charming, hoping he’s drama will become popular overseas…

  4. Pretty indifferent to JHJ (don’t love him, don’t hate him) but period cdramas are my favorite kind so will definitely be looking for this one.

    Speaking of period cdramas, any news on when Home is coming out?

    • Returning Home 1945? With ZaiZai? Yeah, completely unable to air due to Chinese censor unhappiness with the way “history” is being portrayed. Hopefully issues will get resolved soon.

      *rolls eyes and bitches at evil censors*

  5. ASA! Whoot! Whoot!
    I can’t wait. I love me some Jo Hyun Jae. I was just wondering what he was doing, if I was going to have the privilege of seeing him again this year and VOILA! I’ve been saying “voila” alot this week and I love it!
    Thanks koala. I’m so grateful for this news.

    • And um, (scoots closer to whisper in unni’s ear, eyes glazed, glass in hand, clutching chest), this Eric header is killing me! Killing me dead! How are the rest of us supposed to live, knowing that exists in the world?

  6. OMG, Seodongyo is one of my pet projects to eventually subtitle because the English subtitles for the large majority of them suck. I refuse to delete that series off my hard drive even though plenty of series will come and go. I blame it all on JHJ.

    • Kainee, I’m lorac from the Seo Dong Yo English subtitle project, episodes 1-17. I’ve always wanted to work on more episodes but no longer have a Korean collaborator. Perhaps are you fluent in both English and Korean? Let me know.

  7. Kang ahhhhhhh my love!!! i thought he hides forever after 49Days..C-fans are so lucky this time..gonna watch this once it’s out..i miss JHJ so badly. i like him since only you days and i love all his drama especially the ‘love letter’ which until now can’t get over the ending story, sighs.

  8. wow wow wow
    JHJ in a cdrama with PD and scriptwriter of Justice Bao and Romance in the Rain?? Very interesting combo indeed. It’s been a while since I last watched a period cdrama and perhaps it’s a good time to start watching again 🙂

    Thanks so much for sharing the info!!!

  9. Thanks for the update, koala! Been moping around like a lost puppy since 49 Days ended and I blame it on JHJ aka Han Kang. Love him in all his dramas and looking forward to this one too. It’s a C-drama, does that mean I won’t be hearing his beautiful voice all throughout the drama? Waahhhhhhhh! Will still watch out for this….

  10. hi there! i have also read articles about jhj in china and his fans were saddened with the surprise. i am also. 10 months filming in china. i hope to see some pics of him soon. but what’s good about it is that an actor must really open himself to many more opportunities outside of his country so he can grow more and immense himself in the int’l scene. hoping and praying for the best!

    • i read from his english fansite that he’ll be in china for 3 mos. only. the 10 months mentioned includes filming, editing, etc.

      it is not confirmed yet but accdg to some tweets from production team the drama will be aired around Feb 2012, not sure yet about the station.

      the chinese production team and actress call him Mr. Handsome!

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