When I first heard this possible casting news, my first reaction was to scream “noooooooo”, and it’s not due to any visceral dislike of the actress in question. In the span of a few hours came the entire casting cycle for the female lead of 2016 K-drama Moon Lovers, the Korean adaptation of Chinese period novel Bu Bu Jing Xin (Startling with Each Step) – reportedly Hwang Jung Eum was offered the role of female lead and was considering it seriously. That news was followed shortly with her agency announcing that she was not going to be in the drama.
I’m not sure if that means the rumor that she was offered the role was not true, or it was true but she turned it down. All I know is that the end result is a huge sigh of relief for me. Hwang Jung Eum is so hit and miss for me, when I like her I love her, such as in Kill Me Heal Me and Giant, but when she doesn’t work she’s a major turnoff like in She Was Pretty. But even more important is that she’s totally wrong for the role of Ruo Xi in BBJX in both age and acting aura, so wrong her casting would be the starting the drama off in a giant hole.
I’m very impressed with Hwang Jung Eum’s work ethic, and how she gives 110% in every role she’s taken on. She’s like a hardy work horse who is willing to put in the effort to build up her acting resume. But three dramas in two years, five dramas in three years, and eight dramas in four years is pushing the envelope on overexposure. I want her to take a short breather and then come back with a role that tones down her tendency to overact.