I’m not a Lee Ji Ah fan but this casting news makes me happy. Lee Ji Ah is reportedly signing on as the female lead of the upcoming Kim Soo Hyun penned weekend drama Thrice Married Woman. She has come a long way as an actress both personally and professionally since she made the biggest debut acting role I’ve ever seen in K-dramaland as the leading lady in the big budget fusion sageuk spectacle The Legend opposite Hallyu superstar Bae Yong Joon. Back then there were murmurs that she was well-connected with entertainment industry insiders, but some liked her raw and earnest performance enough to deem her a promising new face. I though she was okay in The Legend but couldn’t stand her at all in her subsequent leading roles in Beethoven’s Virus and Style. Ugh. But then came her “scandal” in late 2011 when her marriage and divoce to Seo Taiji was unearthed by netizens, which in the misogynistic world of K-ent really hit her harder than Seo Taiji. That was followed by a brief went-down-in-flames romance with Jung Woo Sung, to which neither ever spoke out about it until this year when he went on a talk show and discussed that he wished they could have stayed friends and he was never a victim of her other scandal and never regretted the love they shared. So after starting off so high, Lee Ji Ah really crash landed hard but she picked herself up and delivered a truly wonderful, nuanced, bravura performance in the MBC underrated drama Me Too, Flower! It was that drama which changed my impression of Lee Ji Ah from can’t-stand-her to solidly-improved-actress. To know Kim Soo Hyun okayed her casting after publicly vetoing Han Ga In and Kim Sa Rang is yet another acknowledgement that she’s really got potential. Here’s to hoping TMW locks down its cast and starts filming soon, because I don’t know how long Goddess of Marriage can keep torturing viewers.
Have a Me Too, Flower MV since this is a Lee Ji Ah post. This is the drama where I fell in love with Yoon Si Yoon, and grew to like Lee Ji Ah. It was a little drama about second chances, forgiveness, and taking a leap of faith. She later revealed that all the pain she endured with her marriage-divorce scandal with Seo Tai Ji and public break up with Jung Woo Sung added to how she expressed the internal pain felt by her character Cha Bong Sun. I believe her, she really made me feel all her emotions. This MV is wonderfully done, but what makes it cool is that is travels in reverse chronology of the drama. But watching it isn’t spoilery but instead shows that the chemistry between the leads was there from the very first frame to the very last. The writing failed in the second half but the acting and the story was very moving.