Cha Seung Won in Talks to Join Lee Yeon Hee in Fantasy Sageuk Splendid Politics

Well this is quite a casting surprise, coming this year it only elicits a happy reaction from me whereas the same casting last year would have left me screeching nooooo. Cha Seung Won is in talks to return to MBC after four years and his most memorable recent role with Dokko Jin in Best Love. It’s going to be a totally different experience this time around as he’s primed to join Lee Yeon Hee in the upcoming fantasy sageuk Splendid Politics (also floating around called Princess Jeongmyeong). It’s not confirmed yet and Cha Seung Won’s last possible sageuk drama ended up being the shelved Unprecedented so who knows.

It’s quite a ways away before Splendid Politics airs in Spring of 2015 as it’s following yet another fantasy sageuk Shine or Go Crazy with Jang Hyuk and Oh Yeon Seo. If Shine does well then MBC will extend audience interest in similar dramas, if Shine tanks then Splendid Politics will have an uphill battle. It’s billed as a fantasy sageuk but sounds more like the revisionist sageuk style of Jang Ok Jung, Live in Live – in this case the historically noble Gwanghaegun (Prince Gwanghae) becomes the evil villain throne usurper. The King’s Face on KBS about Gwanghaegun isn’t doing so well in ratings right now so it’ll be interesting to see if audiences welcome a different take on the same era.

I totally understand if drama viewers remain cold or indifferent towards Lee Yeon Hee. It’s hard to change perceptions when she’s got a laundry list of bad acting performances behind her. But she was fantastic in her most recent drama Miss Korea, and the kind of marked improvement that is the hallmark of an actor having worked on the craft. She was surrounded by great actors around her and working with a much older leading man in Lee Seon Kyun ended up being lightning in a bottle perfect.

That’s why the big age gap here with Cha Seung Won doesn’t bother me, I think she might actually be suited to work with older leads and benefit from her costar having the capability to lead. Lee Yeon Hee is slated to play Princess Jeonmyung, the older sister to one of King Seonjo’s heirs who are being exterminated by the power hungry Gwanghaegun. The Queen and Princess Jeonmyung end up being exiled during the succession power struggle and living as slaves. No word yet on which character Cha Seung Won’s leading man is supposed to be.


Cha Seung Won in Talks to Join Lee Yeon Hee in Fantasy Sageuk Splendid Politics — 11 Comments

  1. I’m excited. I was always a huge fan of Lee Yeon Hee (mainly because she is really hot), but after Gu Family Book and Miss Korea, following her career became a lot more interesting.

  2. I haven’t actually seen the shows that she is getting praise for now and mostly remember her for her older poorer performances…but I can take your word ( and those of other bloggers I love) in believing she has improved a lot.. That said this pairing is still weird to me…there’s a something visually that doesn’t seem to click…also it doesn’t help knowing that LYH is the same age or around the same age as Cha No Ah

  3. I like Lee Yeon Hee. I first saw her in East of Eden and didn’t understand why her acting was critisized while SSH is being awarded (hmmm this was SSH’s best performance I think but still his best is not necessarily good). I like her and thought her performance was in synch with the drama in Gu Family Book. Also she has good chemistry with her co stars.

    CSW is one of faves (not into him enough to watch Athena but usually I watch anything he is in and he was so good in Best Love and City Hall. Not to mention Blood Rain which is a sageuk film – and a good one unlike the other one he was in where he had vampire teeth or something.

  4. I love The King’s Face to bits (its vibe is like a much more coherent Blade and Petal) and wish it was getting better ratings. So it’s going to be hard seeing Gwanghae as a villain. Still, for Cha Seung Won, I am willing to try.

    I’ve actually liked LYH for years because despite her acting nuances or lack thereof, she’s always had great chemistry with her leading men, so this pairing has me very optimistic.

  5. There’s literally 20 more kings or so to pick in Joseon era, why Gwanghae again?
    I mean of course the casting and the story could be great, but it would be more interesting if they pick less known king, like King Hyeonjong, Gyeongjong,Sunjo, etc.

  6. Isn’t Gwanghaegun Jung Myung’s half brother? No romance for them. I know CSW’s a lot older but the pairing would have been interesting. Now we just have to wait to see which SM idol will play the guy the female lead eventually marries.

    • Its not sure which lead role CSW will play. I doubt he will play the villain role of Gwhanghe. I hope he plays the hero role.

      I don’t care if he will romance LHY, she wont find an actor in her age as gorgoues looking, super model looking, still macho handsome as CSW. He destroys fake looking flower boys imho.

  7. She really impressed me in Miss Korea as she had improved so much. I’ve always had a soft spot for her but she’s really stepped up the game.
    The plot sounds interesting and I’m guessing CSW would portray the king…

  8. She was AMAZING in Miss Korea and I’m so glad you keep pointing that out Koala, cos more people really need to give her the benefit of doubt.

  9. I usually have a just say no policy when it comes to sageuks. The only exception I make is when my favorite actor is in one. But for CSW I’m going to have to make another exception. I hope that he is the lead in this one. I just love him to death and I like LYH, she was great in Miss Korea.

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