Surprise Casting News as Yoo Yeon Seok in Talks for KBS Vampire Drama Blood

Seldom does casting news feel totally out-of-the-blue for me but this one certainly was unexpected and caught me off guard. I had to rub my eyes and check various news sources first before believing that KBS is really in talks with Yoo Yeon Seok as the leading man for the upcoming high profile Mon-Tues vampire drama Blood. Coming from the production team of the last KBS hit which was over a year ago with Good Doctor, this is probably the closest the network has for a ratings win.

The drama is slated to air in early 2015 following Healer with Yoo Ji Tae and Ji Chang Wook but for whatever reason Blood is charting a bit higher on the buzz meter than Healer. If Healer is a hit then KBS can look forward to a potential back-to-back streak. All the chatter around the Blood leading man has been an actor in his 30’s since the male lead is a 37 year old vampire surgeon at a hospital. Turns out KBS wants a baby-face, though Yoo Yeon Seok is 30 years old already despite only breaking out last year with Answer Me 1994.


I have nothing against Yoo Yeon Seok, he’s one of those actors where I really have a minimal impression of his acting. The only drama I’ve seen him in was as the second male lead in Gu Family Book, and he was basically like wallpaper for me in that I found him (and his character) a bore. Plus that drama was perpetual second lead Choi Jin Hyuk‘s breakout piece so Yoo Yeon Seok basically got lost with the spotlight elsewhere.

I missed his breakout turn in AM1994 because by the time I wanted to watch the drama the ship wars were in full force and there was no way I was going to wade in that muck. Plus none of the three leads were my thang anyways so it was no problem skipping it. Seeing his stills from that drama, I can see why fans would have liked him since he looks way better than he did in GFB. But still….am not seeing why that much fuss.

He’s neither conventionally handsome (for the eye candy factor) or has the killer acting and camera charisma like a Kim Woo Bin to compensate for the looks factor. Speaking of which, if the producers for Blood were to go for an up-and-coming young breakout male actor to headline Blood, I would have personally preferred Kim Woo Bin over Yoo Yeon Seok. But I’m not casting so for now, I’m a bit disappointed but will keep an open mind going in if Yoo Yeok Seok is cast. Happy to pass the time hearing why fans love him so and explain his allure for me.

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Surprise Casting News as Yoo Yeon Seok in Talks for KBS Vampire Drama Blood — 37 Comments

  1. Have you seen any of the Na PD youth over flower show ? He was such a cutie. I was like you, not impressed by him in AM1994, but his great personality (and killer abs) from YOF totally won me.
    I am actually looking forward to see him in his next project !

  2. I found it cute in RM1994 but was not INTO him YET. I think many became his fans because of his character in the drama. Actually I was on the side of hoping he ended up with Go Ara. But alas…..But when I watched him in Youth Over Flowers…BAM !!! He’s a MAMA in the group, and he has wits and intellect too!! I think I fell for him not because of his acting but his real life personality. Granted he’s not conventionally handsome but he has a great body – shoulders and abs…Yes, I’m shallow.

    • That’s a different drama — Scholar Who Walks the Night (which i predict will be more popular than this vampire drama.) Vampire scholar vs vampire surgeon? I will take the former and i’m assuming those who are adverse to the medical genre will as well.
      Looks like the vampire craze is going to start next year.

  3. I thought it was going to be Ji Sung, which would be great.

    Vampy Chilbongie? Are you kidding me? OMG Tell me they’ll put a baseball hat on him JUST once and I will watch every episode hoping for it.

    He seems to be way too scary to be a vampire. Can’t we make him sweet and dumb again?

  4. I’m not surprised yoo yeon seok was offered this role considering his sharp rise in popularity following AM94. Personally, I always thought acting-wise he always paled in comparison to Jung-Woo(though trash was a more complex character to begin with), but he won major points because he played the most beloved second lead in a long while. I think if chilbongie wasn’t so popular amongst fans then ultimately he would have just been there. He’s adorable though, and much better here than he was in GFB. He’s does much better playing the warm type. He may be one of those actors who struggle a bit more with the cold type, and that baby face certainly doesn’t help.

  5. I feel bad for saying this but either the prospect of being on KBS has scared away more bankable (and, frankly, age appropriate) male leads or this one is a stinker. Park Hae Jin considering the other KBS vampire drama suggests to me that this may be a case of the former.

    Disclaimer: I have no opinion, negative or otherwise, about either Yoo Yeon Seok or Park Hae Jin. Just calling it like I see it (which is hardly the gospel truth either…)

    • YYS and PHJ are quite bankable in Korea right now. PHJ’s drama “Bad Guy” is doing good with rating is over 3.5%, and it s on cable. YYS’s lasted movie got almost 2 million viewers last month.

      • I’m not saying they’re Z listers but not exactly the kind of actors you think of as drama headliners. Leading cable shows doesn’t mean much (for now).

        Koala’s reaction to YYS being considered for this role says it all imo… especially when fans were putting names like Lee Joon Ki and So Ji Sub in the mix.

  6. I personally think Yoo Yeon Seok is a GREAT actor. If you have only watch Reply 1994 and only know him as Chilbong, then go ahead and watch him in Werewolf Boys and Architecture 101. He play evil roles well and his switch to a nice guy as Chilbong was also perfect. I hope he will get the role as a vampire surgeon…that will be interesting!

    • Agree with you. He adapts well to his characters. I hated him in warewolf boy and archi 101 but loved him in AM1994. So yeah…I look forward to his first major role.

      And he’s so adorbs in Youth Over Flowers! Personality is great and I think he’s pretty smart. And yes…yummy abs.

  7. Omg you have no idea what u r missing, have you seen this guy in the horror drama SOUL. He was freaking crazy there. His character was a crazy bad high school student he freaking scared me he was so good. I recommend that drama to you guys, lm ju eun was also in it its good.

  8. I not a fan of him nor i like him,i don’t also find him charismatic and handsome but i think its nice to see a not so popular actor in this big drama..It gives you a break from so overrated actors..

  9. The fan war in Reply 1994 was very massive! I’m surprised by it.. It was obvious Jung Woo would be end game with Go Ara he had waaay more screente then him.. Though I’m not gonna deny I had hoped it would be him winning in the end. Chilbong was so likeable & sweet so sad he ended up alone!

    I really am shocked by the casting for some reason I really thought it’d be Kim Woo bin!

  10. I didn’t really like him in answer me but he’s all sorts of adorable in youth over flowers. Well they were all adorable in youth over flowers

  11. As a major fan of his, I only ask of one thing: just don’t do it. This sounds like Dr. Stranger’s conceptual mediocrity mixed with sappy romances with a more emo theme. Just please, don’t take up the role.

  12. Well, I guess most people have never seen Oldboy then. He had a strong debut, unfortunately he didn’t get lucky in his later years. But he’s definitely a competent actor. Just hope that good productions come his way soon; or just pick favored shows please.

    • I watched oldboy.And I watched many of his movies.you should watch reencounter,it’s a good indie movie.he was more of supporting actor before his big breakthrough in AM1994.he’s a grown serious actor with talent.i hope he will get his recognition later one day.

  13. I don’t know the actor at all. All I agree here with Mrs K, he looks very bland: If he is cast, I hope he is more charismatic when he moves than on the pics I’ve seen him in. They really couldn’t find someone with a sexier, more dangerous vibe? Hmmm…

  14. Before AM1994 he was more known to be playing the bad guy though. Try to search youtube video of his movie he did with Kim Jiwon (Horror Stories) where he played a serial killer with speech impediment.

  15. I don’t get the buzz over him too. I was actually rooting for Haitai all the way since he was the best looking among the whole 94 cast. But it was never gonna happen. I’m not a fan of YYS though, so I’ll probably give this a miss too.

  16. He’s definitely not bland. I really like him in AM1994 and Youth over flower. I think he has some of charisma that i couldn’t understand. Hope this drama will be great !

  17. No offense but we should slow down with Kim woo bin and Lee Jong suk. I feel like they are in every other drama I see.

    While this guy is not my cup of tea either but I’m glad producers are looking to give newer actors a chance.

  18. Please… If you really think that his acting is bland… you obviously have not watched many of his dramas or films.

    Actually,one of Yoo YeonSeok’s complex is that he hs a rather flat/bland face. But the thing is, it allows him to completely transform between characters nd I think that’s a gift. He turned from that hateable jerk in Wolf Boy to hopeful-but-doomed-puppy Chilbong so well that I got whiplash.

    And I think it’s unfair to judge his ability based on Gu Family Book. That drama… was a mess. And nobody really got to do anything except for SeungGi and Suzy. How can you display fantastic acting when the writer gives you nothing? I really liked his portrayal in Re-encounter. And I loved that he was acting opposite a fantastic Yoo DaIn.

    I’d say, give Yoo YeonSeok a chance, since you haven’t really seen him yet.

  19. Omo…

    You really missed big time like for real this time. He aren’t the face. His face is bland and boring if you look at him. But he has a very witty and knowhow to act and how to bring character alive. He ha a lot of potential and Answer Me 1994 is such a gem that I never thought will I loved.

  20. Watching his movie roles would provide a far better estimation of his skill than his dramas, I think. I’m not saying he’s the most amazing actor out there but he’s def better than his Gu Family Book role suggests.

    The first thing I ever saw him in was Oldboy, where he was…ahem…sucking this girl’s chest in a classroom and later “grows up” to become the main villain of the movie. Then I saw him in SOUL where he was a douchebag, evil bully. Then next in Werewolf Boy where he was a psycho, obsessive a-hole trying to force marriage on the female lead. He was pretty dynamic in those.

    While I very much enjoyed his performance in Answer Me 1994, I think he was shafted a bit on the characterization and development front. He got no plot lines outside of the love triangle, baseball, and vague loneliness. Even though they hinted at developing a “divorced parents who both leave him to live alone” story, it never went anywhere significant. In the end, he wound up with not much to do but be the cute, sweet 2nd lead with a killer smile and a wicked pitching arm.

    As for Gu Family Book, he was 100% given a terribly written character and I def believe it affected his performance. He’s not on that level yet were he can elevate fail writing so his acting fell flat too.

    I think he made a good choice to do movies for a while. They generally have more interesting writing/characters and the directors are often better at helping a young actor develop in their craft.

  21. The only thing I saw him in was werwolf boy with SJG. He was playong the baddie and I found his character pathetic but he is a good actor

  22. I must say…you are really missing out Ms.koala, but I understand it’s because you haven’t see his more recent work. I’d like to invite you to watch YOF to see you change your mind 🙂

  23. Search for “Hwayi Yoo Yeon Seok cut” on youtube and you’ll see a different side to him.

    Yeah, to most people who have yet to see more of his works (especially movies), Yoo Yeon Seok is not good looking right off the bat or that he is “boring” (was guilty of this, too! haha). But like Peeps said up there, that ‘bland’ face of his made it easy for him to transform into characters of different extremes effectively – a cold hearted assassin (Hwayi), a douchebag sunbae (Architecture 101), an over-dramatic drunkard jerk (Werewolf Boy), a pathetic and aloof boy (18/19), totally pathetic and face-palm inducing failed in life stupid guy with regrets (Re-encounter) and sweet adorable but with painful unrequited love Chilbong (Reply 1994). He is one versatile actor.

    It is also possible that most of us here have seen some of his works and hated his characters with guts but didn’t realise that /that/ was him (like how I did). When I realised it back then, my mind was blown and was amazed on how he could transform so well from one extreme character to another. Besides, he could convey feelings so effectively with those eyes of his *clutches my kokoro*

    He’s more active in film industry and I was in despair thinking that he’ll not be returning to dramaland, ever. But this news made me beyond happy and excited even though the prospect of the drama being a mess is there.

    (originally I did not intend to post this wall of text of praises (lol) because I just want to let him work his magic in Blood to let the naysayers see what he’s all about. Besides, these kind of posts would be brushed aside because they’re written by fangirls and they don’t weigh much, no?

    But then I think a lot of people would easily judge him on his looks, his non broadcast channels leads status and their limited watching of his materials, so some would probably ditch Blood and will stuck with the same view on him forever. So yeah, I hope by reading this some of us here would know that his acting is very much appreciated and loved by a number of fans.)

  24. Hmm, I’m surprised myself at this casting news. I know Yoo Yeonn Seok can play evil characters because that’s what he’s been usually casted as before. They were effective yet regrettably forgettable. The Chilbong role he played in Reply 1994 seemed closer to his real persona though. Right off the bat, he doesn’t give off the vampire vibe, but who knows he just might surprise all of us.

    I do get why people would pick Kim Woo Bin over him though because KWB has the wicked attractiveness going for him.

  25. i dont know but i feel like he plays evil/villainy characters more effectively. sort of like Park Ki Woong. his Chilbongie is fine but its not outstanding or anything, just he was written dreamily.

  26. I think Yoo Yeon Seok is a very good actor. I’ve watched a few dramas and movies of him before I got to know him as Chilbong, and as always, he is good in whatever character he played. I think he’ll be a good match for this vampire drama. Plus, his real personality in Youth Over flower totally win me over! I am currently anticipating his new movies, Whistle Blower and Royal Tailor.

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