Choi Jin Hyuk Confirmed for Heirs as Lee Min Ho’s Older Half-brother

Nothing quite says striking while the iron is hot then signing on for a highly anticipated Kim Eun Sook drama. Choi Jin Hyuk, who has been toiling away in the industry for quite a few years, finally got his big break recently playing Daddy Gumiho to Lee Seung Gi in Gu Family Book. I liked his character initially but the whole arc died rather precipitously for me when he fell for a girl on sight and then got a sword through the gut for his love and kindness. Talk about reverse karma. I rather like Choi Jin Hyuk since he played the decent second male lead in I Need Romance, though he lost the girl for reasons still unfathomable to me since his competition was a serial cheater. I’m a little baffled by his meteoric rise because of GFB since its not like he is all that good in there acting or character-wise, but I suppose there have been cases of even more random break outs. He was offered a part in Kim Eun Sook’s upcoming Lee Min HoPark Shin Hye vehicle Heirs and today his agency confirmed that he will indeed be joining the cast. I said earlier he wasn’t playing the second male lead and was offered the role of Lee Min Ho’s brother, and today it’s been further specified that he plays Lee Min Ho’s older half-brother. He’s playing Kim Won (heck, is Kim Eun Sook recycling her names already – Kim Joo Won anybody?), the President of the largest conglomerate in Korea and the perfect guy. Lee Min Ho will be playing high-school younger half-brother Kim Tan. Also confirmed for the cast is Kim Sung Ryung, who plays lots of pretty mom roles and might be best remembered by young audience members for playing Jang Geun Seok‘s character’s mean actress mommy in You’re Beautiful. Also reportedly joining the cast is rising young actor Kim Woo Bin, but I’m a little skeptical as to whether he’s playing the role of second male lead initially offered to Jung Yong Hwa. No diss against Kim Woo Bin, but he doesn’t seem to be in the same league to be playing opposite Lee Min Ho in a high profile Kim Eun Sook drama. We shall wait and see what part he plays, but if a bigger name young actor joins the cast then I think Kim Eun Sook is collecting a posse of rich high school boys to surround Lee Min Ho’s role. Heirs premieres in October so still a long time away.


Choi Jin Hyuk Confirmed for Heirs as Lee Min Ho’s Older Half-brother — 30 Comments

    • Exactly my sentiments! I want strongly written characters in a story that is not a copy of or a reminder of gossip girl. With so much hype about all the actors/actress excited about working with KES, the plot should be an original and well written.

      • i really like kim eun sook’s style, and i might be the only one with that, but i feel she has been doing too much of an episodic thing lately.
        this one is similar to gentleman’s dignity in the sense that its more about the characters and their relationships than a thought out plotline from start to finish. i wish she would tackle some more of the later.

  1. I prefer him as evil Daddy Gumiho. But it’s true, it’s a random kind of break out role. I totally understand your comment on Kim Woo Bin. He has the charisma but I still can’t understand what people saw in him in School 2013.

  2. Oh my!!!He’s gonna portray the perfect+not-just-rich-but-president-of-the-largest-conglomerate-in-Korea-hot-guy-who-also-possesses-that-perfect-smile-that-can-melt-you-away???ho ho,I guess from there on, he’ll get like hordes of fangirls following him and supporting him (i hope)~ I’m really glad for him that he can make his break out finally, i’ve read some of his interviews and at last his struggles have begun to pay dividends!!! Looking of course forward to Heirs!!!

  3. Watch School 2013 and you’ll know the magic of Kim Woo Bin 😉

    I just started Gu family book and I liked Choi Jin Hyuk a lot 🙂

    Yay for the whole cast!!!

  4. I am one of those who started to like Choi Jin Hyuk through GFB and I agree, he’s not a great actor (at least not yet). It’s just that his character is so endearing and I guess the face added up to it. But of course he still needs to proof his acting prowess.

    Same goes to Woo Bin, but I guess it’s more of his charisma, ‘cool/bad boy’ character in School and all.

  5. I’m still ignoring the last episodes of INR. Choi Jin Hyuk was just the perfect guy there – character-wise and smexy-wise.

  6. actually I love Woobin more in Gentleman’s Dignity than School 2013. He’s playing a trouble student in both School 2013 and AGD, and I just hope he won’t have that kind of character again here. Anyway I’m going to watch this for Daddy Gumiho, Woobin and of course Shinhye. I’m not really into Lee Minho. I think he’s a good actor, but somehow he didn’t impress me so far, and I don’t know why. XP
    thanks for sharing the news! 😀

  7. Dont get me wrong i’m weird i only like actors that are less recognize not those very popular ones. I like cjh since he play daddy’s daughter I dont follow lmh’s dramas because maybe i think he already has many fans follow him.

    • It is easier to accept any role played by a new actor because it is not affected by his previous ones ……….specially if they had become popular ones. In some cases, I also prefer that.
      Personally, I feel that If an actor is good it should not be a problem to see him again because each time he/she brings something different on the table. The large number of admirers of any artist is just indicative of his being able to do that successfully.

  8. wtf Koala…in term of quality.,Kim Woo Bin has a better chop acting than Lee Min Ho…LMH just got lucky bcoz of his face..and i’m not going to denied his popularity.while KWB already prove he is the future leading man..Just wait!

  9. You all need to watch “White Christmas” to understand the awesomeness that Woo Bin.. Mad MiReu was such an entertaining character..

  10. I couldn’t disagree more that Kim Woo Bin can’t rival Lee Min Ho. Not only is he a really good actor but he is also hot and has definitely has the IT factor – a magnetic charisma that just draws me in. He is a million times better actor than Jung Yong Hwa – it’s not even close. I think his casting is a drastic improvement.

    • I was surprised — KIm woo bin is a rising young actor that is pretty popular over at DB. His performances in white christmas and school 2013 were so endearing that personally can see him playing second lead. We’ve had lesser known second leads in dramas many times before.

  11. After watching K-dramas for more than 5 years I think I finally understood what is – in my personal opinion – the main problem of the Korean cinema. They simply cannot let themselves go. From producers, directors, script writers to actors they are all scared to act naturally, according to the situation. It’s like they were all given a range of emotions/expressions/gestures that are considered “appropriate”. I saw that the majority of the actors and actresses are afraid to express passion. I do not know why, are they afraid of the outcome or they simply believe that this is “not acceptable”? Because of my European background I found it quite difficult at first to understand K-couples. I was used to over-passionate kisses, hateful yet full of sexual tension stares,more skin-to-skin contact, outbursts of all sorts etc. Even though I admit that both European and American entertainment are on their of becoming actual porn,I do need to see a little more “fire” in K-dramas. Let’s see our average story. A man, a woman. They meet. They talk/argue/see each other “by accident” almost everywhere. They fall in love. Then here comes the “romance”: they hold hands – sometimes-, they hug (and when they do this they all seem so baffled as if they were at least hugging an alien), and eventually, after we, the audience almost scream in exasperation, they kiss. And by kissing I mean they close their eyes and glue their lips together. Then they remain still while the camera does a “slow-motion 180 degrees” around them and that was it. This was all? I’ve watched “n” episodes for this? I am all for a drama to test my patience just to blow my socks off with one hell of a kiss, but after witnessing such an embarrassing “kindergarten boy-girl kiss” I somewhat begin to hate that drama. I know that K-dramas are all about cute and fluffy moments, but sometimes this is not enough. Taking a recent example, Lee Min Jung and her “OMG Lord Voldemort don’t kiss me” made me wanna throw my laptop out the window. How could she miss such an opportunity? Usually, I can barely remember this type of “stiff” couples and consider watching the drama in which they starred a waste of time. Probably my all-time favorite K-OTP is Yoon Eun Hye/Kang Ji Hwan. Those two rocked the screen. Even though the drama was a mess, their couple was fierce, overflowing with both cuteness and sexual chemistry and more important, it seemed REAL. I also admire Yoon An In/ Kim Tae Hee’s acting, they seem to get along so well. They are not afraid to touch each other and to express their feelings, irregardless of their nature. Now turning back to Choi Jin Hyuk and Gu Family Book: I think that the main reason of his breakout was the fact that he is something new and exciting. He may not be your number one actor but he brings out a different approach of a character. The gumiho-turned-100-year-demon is one dark, mysterious and hell-of-a-sexy guy. No matter what Lee Seung Gi fans are saying, he steals everybody’s show. Why? Because people are tired of cute moments but in fact nothing actually happening. We are at episode 16 for Pete’s sake and still no kiss. All they do is awkwardly dancing around each other.A flower, a bell, what will be next, a rock? So all we have is Daddy gumiho. He is always surrounded by an aura of sexiness that makes me blush and imagine all sorts of typical love struck fan utopias. Wol Ryung is a bad boy, and he knows how to play all the cards that he had received. I really believe that he is ready for international worship. I mean, just think of the ever so popular characters of Chuck Bass and Daemon Salvatore. Or Sam and Dean Winchester from Supernatural. Do you really think that so many girls are falling asleep with their pictures under their pillows just because they are interpreted by such great actors? No way. In conclusion to this long, long, post, I hope that Choi Jin Hyuk will start a trend of absolutely-not-stiff actors and actresses who will militate for real kisses and a better display of emotions.

    • It’s a cultural difference. For me that’s the charm of watching Korean dramas. I am glad they retain their distinctiveness and do not feel the need to copy others. In most of the Asian countries one can see the same thing but it does not stop us from enjoying some of the most beautiful love stories on screen. I love the variety available and can choose to see any type depending on my mood…..may it be American, European or Asian. For me its not just a drama …….it’s like visiting and getting to know the cultures and people of the world……each with a beauty of their own expressed in a way unique to them.

    • I had some good laughs from your post, so thank you. haa
      You know, thats one thing that really frustrates me either. Its like they dont even want to be kissed. Lacking passion, and what not. I don’t need full on sex scenes, i just need more passion with skinship and chemistry. I totally understand that the korean culture is not very open and alot more conservative when it comes to sexuality, so it’s not something i hold over them. Because i choose to watch the dramas that the south koreans made and essentially it is a representation of their culture in many aspects. Some of them do need to break out of the mold, and every once in a while a drama manages to do that, like some that you have mentioned. It’s hard to find that balance. I do appreciate that they are more about the spoken words than the sex. If there’s an overload of one or the other, i’d rather it be something meaningful than a bunch of sex. Cant they just find a happy medium?
      K-movies usually bares all though, so i don’t think it only has to do with being conservative. The big three stations are the main stations that the south koreans watch with an age demographic spanning from kids to seniors, so i can see why they’d hold off on the sexuality. Also probably why tVN is less conservative. The more viewers you have, the more careful you are.

      • I liked the way you raised some relevant questions and in the same breath came up with possible answers that make lot of sense to me. …….Loud thinking that I can understand. I should not really presume to know the extent of their conservativeness on the basis of watching mostly their dramas only but the few movies that I saw also reinforced the same impression. Eg The little bride, A moment to remember, Seducing Mr Perfect etc. Your reasonings seem very plausible.
        There are so many aspects to enjoying a drama that personally, its not a big issue with me if overall experience of watching is a positive one and does not give you a feeling of time wasted…..although as soon as that creeps in, I just stop watching.

    • You raised some valid thoughts. I do respect that Korea is conservative in their dramas (most of them). Personally I find it refreshing that most Kdramas have the innocent kisses. Executed right viewers can feel the passion of the characters without resorting to what Western countries are putting out now a days which is almost porn. There was a time in the 1930-1950s Hollywood was releasing movies and shows the same way. I am partial to classics so I’m a bias in that way. Having said that, the execution of a kiss does depend on how well the actors could portray it, how comfortable they are with each other, how well the writers set the story, and the careful orchestration of the director. It may be just a smooch for some but rightly done it is satisfying to the viewer.

  12. To be honest, I don’t quite understand the appeal of Lee Minho and how he shot to A-list so rapidly when his real acting abilities came out through City Hunter. Sure he’s attractive and he’s a good actor, but I don’t see how he merits “having to have” big name second leads.

    Another problem with Lee Minho is that he’s often type casted; I don’t see where his potential as an actor is going to be in the future if all the roles he takes get the same vibe of “I’m watching Lee Minho,” as a precursor to getting attached to the character he plays. He does eventually pull through the character, but I’d like to start seeing him be someone else rather than this morphing of Lee Minho into a character that seems a lot like Lee Minho’s outer persona (be it real or not). The only exception may be “Faith,” where he had to become a general, but his performance wasn’t the best in there.

    I won’t deny for a second that Lee Minho made a honestly terrible drama come to life even if the character he played was not that great (BOF), but I still don’t know what sets him apart from the dozens of other actors out there, like Song Joong Ki, that have proven their worth as nuanced actors. If anyone has an answer to this, I’d love to hear it.

    • First of all, you summed up exactly what has been bothering me about Lee Min Ho. I feel that he never really becomes the character he is playing. When I watch him on screen, I feel like I am watching Lee Min Ho acting. I do think he has decent screen presence and tries very hard, but if anything I think he is an example of excellent management, timing, and luck. BOF had very good ratings when it was airing, and it was everywhere. Who knew BOF would be THAT popular? I think that really helped in getting Lee Min Ho to appeal to the public. A similar case would be Kim Soo Hyun though I think Kim Soo Hyun is a slightly better actor (Giant and Will It Snow for Christmas).

  13. Happy for new drama, lee min ho.what that me talk? Choi jin yuk , fighting! So late for role, not meaning he bad action. Or recent he sucess new light actor. I hope drama is more better. I know some reader this blog really serious thinking. If favorit drama unsucess , they try down it. Maybe it’s your leak feel! I watch gu family book by love all cast special by story. you can say it rock but really heartful and enjoy. Maybe i watch drama because relax my feel . I’m no seriouse to drama else. Maybe i like it since start. I never think you agree with me all but i love drama with varity plot although leak action but i still crazy about it. I no choir find fault it or crazy most admir it or down one else.if i ‘m fan someone. I happy that koala write about him. I don’t what your type drama. Story really important or rating make your hater! I’m not someone only for drama . I love actor emotion but hope good story. Now i’m watch this drama cus by choi jin hyuk. i hope he can chose varity drama for his actor. Koala i’m hope you will recap it until end. I feel you give hope after give up.

  14. I think sudden interest in him is partly because character was just tragic and although he played good roles in dramas before, he was never in a drama that is as high profile (or with famous names) to get the exposure..

  15. But Woo Bin is a WAY better actor than Yong Hwa (and probably Minho honestly).

    I have been following him since White Christmas so I could be biased…but I doubt it

    I actually wasn’t sure about him doing School 2013 because it sounded like his A Gentlemen’s Dignity role and I didn’t want him to get typecast…but I’m so glad he did it.

    Friend 2 is going to bw awesome as well

  16. I’ve seen most of Lee Min Ho’s drama even the Toyota mini-drama commercial and I agree with others that he does not become the character instead I see him playing the character. I just watch for the eye candy (what I’m human too :P)
    So I’m looking forward to seeing this drama but I hope that it has a good plot as opposed to his previous dramas. Glad Choi Jin Hyuk is in this one as well as Kim Woo Bin. I think they actually portray their characters decently, at least I feel that they become one with their character. I’d hate for the male lead (Lee Min Ho) to be overshadowed by secondary cast’s acting ability but oh well. Hoping for a good script (pls writer/s).

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