Lee Sang Yoon is one of those leading men in Korean entertainment that has quietly built a solid career as an actor with complexity and range. Recently he finished up the ratings-leading weekend hit My Daughter So Young, and it was also with the weekend time slot that he initially broke out a few years ago in Life in Beautiful. In that drama he was paired with Nam Sang Mi and they had fantastic chemistry, which turned out to be real once they became a couple afterwards. Recently they quietly ended their two year relationship so both are back on the market without much ado about nothing. I like such class acts. K-news is reporting that Lee Sang Yoon is joining the cast of the upcoming sageuk Goddess of Fire Jeongi as Moon Geun Young’s leading man. My first thought was “what?!?” I am totally not feeling this pairing AT ALL. I think Lee Sang Yoon is a fine actor, he really blew me away in the sageuk The Duo with Chun Jung Myung, easily out-acting PIE and really becoming the heart of that drama. But I’m not seeing the physical wow-factor when stacking him next to Moon Geun Young, he just looks like her oppa or daddy long legs. Then I read he’s being cast for the role of Gwanghae, the ruler of Joseon dynasty. Apparently he is a lover of the arts and admires Jeongi for her talent and has a warm and nurturing relationship with her. So he is her daddy long legs! Now this makes sense.
I think the casting of Lee Sang Yoon means there are two leading men in this drama, and the other character is likely the Japanese man she meets when she’s taken to Japan. Or he could be a Korean living in Japan, the description is rather vague at this point. I’m not sure this is a romance drama so don’t expect a focus on the love lines, and will probably be a pottery version of Painter of the Wind. The heroine will probably have some feelings going back and forth with both leads but the focus will be on her pottery career and how she inspired the spread of Joseon ceramics in Japan. Goddess of Fire premieres on MBC after Gu Family Book, which means a June premiere so it better get a move on with finalizing a cast and starting filming. Those sageuks take time to gear up for. I’m still fingers-crossed MBC gets Kim Jae Wook to round out this cast.