When I first heard that Park Gun Hyung was joining the Moon Geun Young sageuk Goddess of Fire Jeongi, I was elated. He’s an engaging actor and they have worked together before in Innocent Steps back in 2005 (wow, so long ago, and she was still a teenager then). Plus I haven’t seen him onscreen since I Do, I Do last year where his character was initially super cool and the turned into a super creep so that wasn’t so fun to watch him. Then when I read the first news reports of his casting in GoF, I started freaking out because it said that he was being cast as the perfect guy who loves Moon Geun Young’s character. Hello? Wasn’t that being held for Kim Bum? The unexpected but perfect pairing of Bummie and Geun Young was going to be over before it even began? I don’t want to hate Park Gun Hyung but that would make me resent him, yes it would. Then the subsequent news reports came out on his casting and I breathed a giant sigh of relief. He’ll be playing what appears to be the antagonist in this drama, or at least a competitor type character. His character is the eldest grandson of a notable pottery making family. He’s the heir and successor who has proven with his skill that he is a talented and worthy of carrying on the family name and business. He keeps pushing himself in his craft and will have a rivalry with Moon Geun Young’s character. Whew, I am so glad I kept digging around for news articles before commencing freak out that Bummie’s character was given to someone else. A bit more is known about the role offered to Kim Bum, a perfect man type who knows martial arts and grew up with the heroine. Theirs is a family-like affection that naturally becomes romantic. He will become her husband, as well as the bodyguard to Gwanghae Gun, who harbors an affection and love for the heroine that he cannot act upon so he nurtures her talent and supports her.
If Kim Bum confirms, and I hope he does so soon since the drama apparently held the first script reading last week and most of the cast was there already, then this is going to be diverse and interest main cast. Lee Sang Yoon, a true sageuk natural, playing Gwanghae Gun in a way that he said will show the famous ruler’s tender and ambitious side. Park Gun Hyung reuniting with Moon Geun Young not as a mentor but as a competitor. And finally Kim Bum really taking all his recent challenging career choices and taking it yet another step forward with a chance to play a sageuk character opposite arguably the best sageuk actress in his generation. With Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love doing so well in blending the historical pathos of sageuks with the romanticism of a great K-drama, I hope Goddess of Fire does something new with the genre and uses its great cast wisely with well-written and complex characters. This drama starts filming next week with a premiere scheduled for early July on MBC.