As much as I love Taiwan and Japan dramas aplenty, one thing Korea has that can’t be matched is a treasure trove of talented child actors. They aren’t necessarily the cutest or the prettiest, but hot diggity some of them can easily out-act their adult counterparts, and then some. I’ve actually found some terrible K-dramas memorable because of the childhood sections, and sometimes when the adults arrive I long for the kids to come back and keep gracing my screen. One of my favorite K-actresses Moon Geun Young fit that profile, getting her start as the teenage counterpart of Song Hye Kyo in Autumn in My Heart, and being so fantastic and memorable that it only made Song Hye Kyo more bland and boring for the remainder of the drama. Song Seung Heon got away with sucking because the kid actor who played his childhood counterpart was equally as terrible as him. It’s a a reminder of how fast time flies that Moon Geun Young gets her own childhood counterpart in dramas, which actually started back in 2008 when Kim Yoo Jung played the kid version of her character in Painter of the Wind. In the upcoming Goddess of Fire Jeongi, the childhood cast is about to start filming and the pairings have been revealed and I couldn’t be more pleased.
Jin Ji Hee will play Moon Geun Young’s character, Park Geun Tae plays Kim Bum‘s character, and No Young Hak plays Lee Sang Yoon‘s character. Jin Ji Hee looks like she’s grown quite a lot since she played the bratty teen princess character in The Moon Embraces the Sun, while No Young Hak has played tons of childhood versions of the male leads in sageuks but it was in The Duo where he played a young Chun Jung Myung that first caught my eye and he was fantastic. As for Park Geun Tae, I love him so much it needs no explanation, but a funny coincidence is that he actually acted opposite Kim Bum in East of Eden before. Kim Bum played the teenage version of Song Seung Heon’s older brother character, while Park Gun Tae was the teenage version of Yeon Jung Hoon‘s younger brother character. In real life Kim Bum is only 6 years older than Park Geun Tae, so it’ll be funny watching them played adult-kid versions of each other. Now that even Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love has taken a turn for the narrative crapper (maybe it’ll resurrect itself later, here’s to hoping), I’m starting to fret a bit about Goddess of Fire. It needn’t be filled with cliffhangers, shippy moments, or lots of intrigue, but it needs to flow with careful thought given to the world being created and the particular story being told.
At times I get sick of all those childhood “fated” stories where there is a meet cute, some getting to know each other time, and finally a reason to be parted until they are adults again. But then the drama airs and I’m usually a sucker for the story if the acting and chemistry is fantastic.