Han Ye Seul’s No-show for Spy Myung Wol Filming Temporarily Leaves Production in a Lurch

[Update: as of midnight Sunday night, Han Ye Seul was still a no-show for the entire day’s filming, and representatives from both sides have been in a closed door meeting that ended with no agreement. Tomorrow’s episode may be replaced with something else in the worst case scenario that filming can’t resume on Monday morning.]

This is not good. In fact, the behind-the-scenes insanity with Spy Myung Wol (already pretty crazy with the writer additions) just went from bad to Defcon 5 level production crises emergency. Once the media is actually being informed via public announcements about issues going on that normally only come out via whispered rumors, you know shit is bad. On August 14th, lead actress Han Ye Seul missed a 7:30 a.m. filming call, leaving the entire cast and crew waiting for her until 11 a.m. and still unable to commence filming. Because, you know, she is the main character and needed for pretty much every scene. Apparently only 40% of the broadcast footage has been shot for the upcoming two episodes and a representative for KBS stated that they might not have enough to air on Monday.

What makes this story even more salacious is that earlier on August 12th, Han Ye Seul also didn’t show up for a filming call scheduled for 6:30 a.m., instead showing up 9 hours later at 3:30 p.m. What tha? SMW has been confirmed to be an 18 episode drama so a public spat between Sidus HQ (Han Ye Seul’s agency) and KBS really throws this already beleaguered production into even more of a mess. And if anyone claims the added two episodes is not to give it’s follow-up drama Poseidon more time to film then I will eat my shorts, and your shorts, too, because the ratings for SMW are so low it would never merit an episode length longer than the standard 16 eps for rom-coms.

I honestly feel bad for the entire cast and crew, Han Ye Seul included, because SMW is clearly turning out to be not what they signed up for. Sidus HQ released a statement that she was sick (but obviously didn’t bother to call the production since KBS professed not to know why she didn’t show up), and since the filming for the previous day went until 5 a.m., clearly she would not be able to make a 7:30 a.m. filming call (but the other cast and crew which filmed until 5 a.m. as well somehow could make it). See, doesn’t that explain it all?

Apparently Sidus HQ and KBS has been in a stand-off for days now over the production being unable (or unwilling) to accommodate Han Ye Seul’s schedule for other engagements during the filming of SMW. Rumor has it Han Ye Seul did in fact inform the PD she was NOT showing up the first time she didn’t show up on the 12th. Which doesn’t make it any better, but at least she was upfront about it. Sigh. Could it get any messier? We have 8 episodes left to see. But I reckon the cast and crew will likely be very pissed with Han Ye Seul, regardless of her reasons, because this impacts them as well. Which makes me worried about the upcoming plot and chemistry between the leads.

My thoughts? I dunno. I think Sidus HQ is playing hardball, leaving Han Ye Seul looking mighty unprofessional, and leaving every other cast and crew member of SMW screwed by conflicts unrelated to them. As for Han Ye Seul’s other engagements? When she accepted the drama, she should expect the normal (insane) Korean drama production schedule. I’m not sure where it was stipulated the production would accommodate her other engagements, when everyone else pulls all nighters and lives and breathes the drama for 8-10 weeks straight. Nevertheless, I hope this issue is resolved because there are four more weeks of filming left.

[Credit: Nate news]


Han Ye Seul’s No-show for Spy Myung Wol Filming Temporarily Leaves Production in a Lurch — 54 Comments

  1. Given Sidus HQ’s ‘impressive’ background, it’s such a shame, really. Spy Myung Wol did well to put me to sleep, I pity Eric for getting caught in this mess after Poseidon. And the fact that poseidon is back, makes me pity him more ;(

  2. She even has her character name for drama title but look what she did for the production:(. Too bad since I like this drama but it’s really unprofessional move from her and I wonder if other production will want to cast her in future.

  3. really such an irresponsible person ! how funny she game an interview when the spy started saying that she was very serious about her work and that was something what made her scare true shit it makes you scary that you leave everyone hanging thinking that the world evolves around you and to think i had such respect for her work! Erick is a star no matter if she is irresponsible she wont blurt him its not his fault! its really fascinating watching him act so well i really enjoy his work!!

    • Irresponsible?
      If she was exhausted and could not work, it’s her call.
      She had been warning the production for some time, so it’s not like it’s out of the blue.

  4. Sidus playing hardball? Nah. You can play hardball with up-and-coming stars who need the exposure and would face problems if they didn’t follow management’s diktats, but not with A-list stars who bring in over a billion a year in CF contracts and other paraphernalia. Han has pretty much carte blanche. She’s playing the diva, that’s what. The bitching about the production environment would sound a little more plausible if it had come from someone with a better track record, but this is not the first time she misses shoots or acts batty on the set. Set aside the fact 이김프로 should be kicked off the business (look at the list of productions they’ve been involved with, and the endless accidents on set and with the press), and that the production environment DOES need to change, fault here is pretty much 99.9% on Han’s side. And this is from talking with reputable sources about it, not allKpap. ㅋㅋ

    • Actually you can only play hardball when you have a top name actress. If you play hardball with with an up and comer actor the PD’s won’t really care about your actor and just do what they want. Now if you play hard ball with and A-lister, the PD’s would try anything possible to get that A-lister back. Also while its possible Han’s playing the diva, I think the real issue is between the production company and Sidus HQ. I think its completely possible that Sidus is telling Han to not show up.

      • he he, hapacalgirl defending HYS, I was lol looking at your comments at Javabeans -ehmmm Lee Da Hae? Ring a bell?

    • Thanks for the low down, Kitteh. Sigh, just what I figured it was. I didn’t want to call her a diva, but where there has been lots of smoke (from all her previous projects), there is bound to be a fire.

      While I don’t think Sidus is calling the shots, doesn’t the agency have to a duty not to let things escalate to this point?

      And the demand on her side to FIRE PD Hwang? o___O WTF? Just finish the damn drama, then write a tell all and sue the production company for contract breaches.

      • As I said above, that’s beyond their spectrum when it comes to huge stars like Han. She’s got free reign, more or less. I mean, yes, stars like her do have concurrent activities which require careful planning and a certain amount of multitasking, but it’s pretty much clear that if one of your “clients” is shooting a drama, that always takes the precedence. Any CF shoots and appearances are worked around the show (as they are planned months ahead, so it’s not like you can use the “something urgent came up” excuse). Management itself would actually push for her to show up, because they make more money out of her drama shoots (on average) than any other appearance.

        The “5 day a week” thing was an excuse to placate the fire online, as she knew it would stir the proverbial hornet’s nest (you know the press has a field day whenever that argument is brought up), but it’s not exactly the top stars who suffer in this environment. 15-hour shoot days usually involve 3 hours of waiting in the trailer, 30 minutes of shooting, rewind and repeat. Exhausting mentally, but it’s the staff and assorted minions who do the real work, she’s polishing her nails inside a van while they do the dirty work so it’s hypocritical to bring that up. I wonder what she would have said if she was shooting a sageuk, where people spend 3 hours alone in the make-up room, and wear 20 kilos of armor under the scorching sun…

        Earlier today I had a Twatter-chat with someone from the assistant producer’s team (the ones who do the real work ㅎㅎ), and basically all I can say is… temper tantrum? Atmosphere on the set is tense as hell because of the ratings and the pressure from KBS (scared shitless because Poseidon is up next and nowhere near ready), so I guess sparks were flying to begin with, something ignited, shit hit the fan. PD Hwang is like the last person you’d think would start acting like an ass, and he might have raised his voice after two late arrivals in a week (and we’re talking five to nine hours, not 20 minutes), but I seriously doubt he’d do anything so extreme as to create a situation. He likely went “I ain’t taking shit from this bimbo anymore,” and she went “O.M.G. I am a star and you should bow down before me~” and shit. Then she suddenly find herself assaulted by mortal throes that force her not to show up. Hence the replacement request.

        Basically everyone on the set (including the cast) thinks she had a Liz Taylor moment for whatever reason, and since LeeKim are clueless and actually have little power, KBS stepped in and won’t take anymore shit. I suppose they might do some brainstorming to save face, she could come back tomorrow, cock up some fake apology of sorts, and the show will go on with everyone hiding their knives until it is finally over. But it’s a mess, really, because Poseidon is gasping for air (not exactly a daily drama in terms of logistics and shooting schedule, too), KBS is in trouble, and the only other solution is throwing some mini drama in the mix. But that would mean losing face.

        Any argument about the shooting schedules, live shoots and whatnot is beside the point. Every drama shoots in the same conditions – it’s actually the few ones that don’t which truly stand out. Like Kim Jin-Min’s shows. Every actor has it hard. I don’t see them complaining.

  5. IDK what is going on between her agency and KBS but for she to let herself look unprofessional due to their conflict shows how irresponsible she is as a person

  6. It’s so lame…I remember Yoon eun hye did wait for *Love song* almost One year Or Park Shin hye attend on the set of her drama one day after her horrible accident (My god!! I saw the viedo on Youtube,The care was completely wrecked) Though she collapsed and had to back to the hospital
    but responsibility is responsibility…don’t know ,maybe it’s her agency’s fault.

  7. I should be watching this drama just to support Han Ye Seul, because I read that she had negotiated for a 5 day a week workschedule and that the PD, etc had accepted her condition.

  8. errm I would like to tell that everyone else says : that she should do what everyone else does, but
    1 SidusHQ already didn’t resolved her previous problems in a reasonable manner, so even this time doesn’t look to care that much, their star image is suffering and they kinda try to fix it… or not
    2.she already feels unappreciated(her acting being criticized , her contract isn’t respected while everyone else except Eric has less than 15 min/ episode while she has to be in every scene ( I don’t get the writers though). When she already asked to act while conscious and not half asleep ( I don’t think is too much to ask from them) coz again we will criticize her acting if she telephones us the lines and not the schedule
    3. When the director was announced that she can’t make it the next day I don’t get it why he didn’t cancel the filming of scenes with her? why make all the crew to wait for someone who isn’t coming? just to make rumors? Just to force her hand? I understand why she is so pissed off. Here SidusHQ shares the guilt that didn’t make it clear that she won’t come
    4.I think they try to make her the scapegoat for the mistakes in the production line: like late script delivery(Thursday?), wacky schedule and of course after the flop in ratings drama became 90% of the scenes only with her – even though she is the main char ( this time like jdrama level main char) I don’t get why 90% of the scenes. So the suggestion is “if the drama fails it is just because the actress doesn’t live up to her name” or let’s punish her because we have abysmal ratings … or both… so I understand her riot

    • I agree with you. The production company is trying to make her a scapegoat even though their problem is really with the management company and not HYS.

  9. I’m going to have to disagree. It was already publicized she requested a 5 day work week and I think they would only wait around because a power play was involved. Hence the PD directly speaking on these issues when he still has 8 episodes to shoot with her.

    Honestly the live shoot system is a mess and she’s in a majority of the scenes…crazy.

  10. What I don’t understand is why celebrities are always scheduled to do so much. I noticed this when some old eps of Dream Team. Players arriving late and leaving early. Is that why everyone always looks so burned out and tired? Running around here and there all hours of the day? I don’t know if it’s the agencies greed or the celebrities themselves, but that culture needs and overhaul.

    I haven’t actually watched the show. Haven’t had the desire to sit down and watch it, but I have been reading re-caps. It’s ummmmmm….. I can’t think of a good word for it.

  11. something seems really fishy here.
    i’m starting to think something really bad happened behind the scenes because the behavior from both sides is strange.
    why is the PD bashing their lead actress when they’re only halfway through the series
    and regardless of how much of a diva han ye seul is i don’t think she would have let it get this far. she is a professional actress with experience. she wouldn’t be stupid enough to ruin her career this way would she? and Sidus not contacting the PDs about her being “sick”?
    something is going on behind the scenes

      • It’s so weird … At Dramabeans, there’s such love for the drama I thought all was going well for it ratings wise etc. Then I read about the production mess and the bad ratings.

        The show didn’t really appeal to me but I was putting it aside to watch it later. Protect the Boss drew me like a magnet, even Scent of a Woman, with its possibly tragic ending. But this drama? I don’t know? A little tepid to me.

  12. Well this just sucks big time…….when you signed up to be in a drama ppl need to know that they basically given up their personal life’s on hold for weeks and other engagements must be put on hold too. This is making her looks so unprofessional that I see a backlash coming up for future projects. I also agree that the drama shouldn’t be extended 16 ep is enough it doesn’t have the ratings to merit a extension and with this tense situation coming up who would like to keep working on that environment..

  13. It’s wrong to blame Han Ye seul for this situation. The woman is obviously stuck between two giant corporations playing hardball. It’s a lose-lose-FAIL situation for her. There is no “right” thing to do – go against her management?! Go against the production company?! Both are bad options. Give the girl a break. She’s been working just as hard as everyone else and it’s not like she didn’t show up just so she could go get a massage and treat herself to a spa day!

    Also KBS should honor their contracts (period no if ands or buts about it). If they didn’t agree with HYS contract terms I’m 100% sure they could’ve found some other actress in kdrama land to play Myung wol.

    NO MORE LIVE SHOOT SYSTEM IN KOREA! I would sign that petition right now. That system is so bad and dangerous. Unfortunately someone will have to die before something gets done about it.

    • I directly blame the live shoot system and the insane Korean entertainment scandal for Park Yong Ha’s death. Ten years of insomnia? Crazy.

      I admit that my first thought upon seeing the headline for this post was, “Oh no! Not another Park Yong Ha.” If it is indeed true that the production agreed to a 5-day work week, I can’t blame Han Ye Seul for believing that the contract would be honored. While I do regret the consequences the rest of the cast and crew must face, she should stick to her guns. Sidus should back her up with more gusto than they seem to be doing.

      I too would sign a no more live shoot system. It really needs to stop.

      • Ah Park Yong Ha, my heart hurts when I think about him. I read somewhere that 40% of Kdrama actors are depressed. And when you are depressed, being caught up in the overwork of a live shoot system is really too much. 🙁 If it’s true about the whole 5-day week thing, I think HYS is right to demand for it. I mean, any human being deserves at least a day’s rest. Sure, all the actor kdrama actors may have sucked up and tolerated the system, but is it really good for anyone in the long run?

  14. Also I have a cynical feeling that if a male star were in this situation the fans, especially the female fans, would be a lot more understanding instead of jumping to the conclusion that HYS is sooooo irresponsible while her male co-star is the epitome of professionalism. Oh p-uh-lease. Kdrama land is once again filled with this bizarre avarice– always looking for the next person to take down and brand a horrible person. This is the dark side of the business that I hate.

  15. Actually I read info saying HYS asked before accepting the role to work monday until friday, not work on the weekends. (It was accepted by the producers and it’s in the contract) so, if they accepted this, why are they complaining now? She didn’t go yesterday to film, but yesterday was Sunday, her contract is to film between monday and friday, not weekends! Also she also asked – and they accepted- that she would like to work until 12 pm. But they push it to 5 am and want her to come back at 7:30 am?

    And her comming late on 12th, she warned the pd so I don’t understand why he did what he did and even complained about it…. I think something is going on between the pds and HYS’s company.

    I pity the others actors. Eric poor him seem to have any sleep at all (wish he did sleep on the set while waiting for HYS)

  16. It’s just sad that this is happening. I personally like HYS and Eric a lot…and it’s sad that this drama is going no-where.

    The end of Ep 10 was just SO good…oh well, maybe it will truly end there. MW would actually die from that shoot (since HYS is still no show), and North Korea will send another spy over to continue the mission. lol

    I feel bad for Eric; he doesn’t have much luck with dramas. T-T

  17. Would it be possible to replace her with any other face? from next episode? They do that here, when sheen was not behaving well, they replaced him with Ashton Kutcher.

    I think i am willing to see this show end, not fair to Eric and the second lead, who have put in equal time as this leading lady.

    Its so sad to see this happen.

  18. HYS took a slap for the sake of drama and remained professional by doing her acting parts after so I don’t believe it is her doing this or that she is unprofessional. I believe that this is her getting screwed over by the two giants. Maybe there is more to the story that we are not getting because someone is covering their ass.
    No more live shoots or slave hours for these poor actors. These are human beings that, even though they make the big bucks, are fragile when the body doesn’t get rest.
    Too bad for the drama but it was getting bad to watch so I stopped. Ms Koala’s mini recaps were enough for me.
    Off topic: Scent of a Woman! Smoking hot couple. Romance to the max. Discovery of Lee Dong Wook OMG handsome.
    Sorry Ms Koala for digressing to another topic but thank you again for your blog.

    • 95% of K-stars make relatively nothing from their paycheck for domestic dramas or movies. Sometimes they don’t even get paid! Stars make most if not all of their living from CFs. Movies are for prestige, and dramas are to get their public recognition up so they picked for CF endorsements.

      They can get paid a lot for doing dramas overseas, which explains the increase of K-stars acting in Taiwan and Chinese dramas. Which also helps their overseas exposure, so it’s win-win for them.

      • They are asking too much of the actors when they are underpaid.This slave mentally in korea has to stop.

      • Wow! This is sad news. Thank you for enlightening me Ms Koala. I assumed it was like the US. That sucks.

      • Female Hallyu stars make 25~50 million won per episode, male anywhere from 20 to 100 (plus incentives, 협찬 backdoor deals, % of overseas sales, etc.). Bae Yong-Joon made 250 per ep for The Legend, but it was sort of a trade-off for investing in the show. Cachets are obviously raising, despite tentatives to keep them in check.

        Basically 1% of the actors (a few dozen people, really) make 80% of the money.

        I think HYS was making 20 or 25 million won per episode here, but with all the endorsements/ad deals she’s got, the figure likely climbed to 30.

        Your average “name” actor (say, the role Jang Hee-Jin and Lee Jin-Wook have here) will make low-to-mid six figures per episode (in won). Go down the totem pole, and you reach the veterans who have bit roles, who can make as little as 100-200,000 won per episode.

  19. However you put it, the whole order is unprofessional imho.

    And ahhhhhh, I haven’t started watching this yet. I do have the eps, but i haven’t had time to watch them. Should I not even bother, chingu? Then again, Eriiiiiiiiic! *chinhands*

  20. They are making her the spacegoat.The people in charge aren’t doing their part.They just want someone to blame for the drama low ratings.

  21. there’s definitely something missing from this all, so don’t judge so quickly. han ye seul has acted in a lot of dramas/movies, she knows what she’s doing, and she knows what it is like to be part of such a busy production. we cannot say how responsible or irresponsible she is because her health comes first. it’s true the rest of the crew and cast had to deal with the troublesome schedule as well, but i think she’s aware of the problems with this drama, and it’s not like she’s messing up the drama because she wants her own drama to go down. whether it’s her health, or she’s depressed, it’s up to her to make her decisions.

  22. waaaaaaaaaaaah! isn’t she overdoing it! she is costing the production and the crew their time and money. she should be considerate. she isn’t the only star here. i had never watched any HYS drama but by gosh, if rumor mills are true, what a diva she is!

    • If KBS really got her to overwork (breaching her contract, apparently) and she went really depressed, she should sue KBS.

      Lack of sleep and exhaustion are the fast lane into depression. And depression is not something for the weak. It a real, potentially deadly illness. Your hormons and your whole body get all messed up, and it takes time to recover.

  23. I think part of it because of politic behind the scene, I believe on the part where she is sick, she is not alone, all actresses/actors experienced it during this type shooting schedule.

  24. @1love – I will definitely sign that NO Live Shooting System in Korea petition. It is awful how our beloved K actors have to put up with this system and risk damage to their health and well being. No amount of catch up sleep can replace the deprivation of sleep for the gruelling 8-10 week shoots! No wonder YEH looked so tired at the Lie To Me wrap up party. And poor PSH having to attend the Heartstrings set right after her not minor accident just boggles the mind. As an aside, I am really amazed that our Kdrama actors can churn out such incredible performances week after week within such tough conditions! Please as another reader mentioned, let’s not wait for some awful tragedy to happen to an actor for the drama gods to realise this whole live shooting just has to go! While I understand that this system helps to calibrate the actors’ performances or script to audiences early reaction to a drama, the flip side is that it can also result in rushed scripts and last minute changes in PD or *gasp* the scriptwriter that severely undermine the quality of the drama despite the cast and crew’s best efforts. Just take Lie to Me as a prime example! And while we are at it, we might as well overhaul the fame / slave factory that churns out the young K idols. Alas, all these may just be this K fan’s pipe dreams!

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