IU Reportedly Cast as Female Lead Opposite Lee Seon Kyun in 2018 tvN Drama My Ahjusshi

Breaking news in the K-drama casting world and it’s a big one to make waves even without a confirmation yet from the agency. Reports are circulating that singer-actress IU has been cast as the female lead for the high profile 2018 tvN K-drama My Ahjusshi. The drama got coverage earlier this year due to the combination of the Signal PD Kim Won Seok and the screenwriter of Another Oh Hae Young working together on this drama which is mashing together two of the cable network’s biggest hitmakers for yet another potential mega hit.

Unfortunately My Ahjusshi has a horrible sounding concept about a forty-something man who lived through life’s struggles connecting with a twenty-something young lady dealing with the same. Whether romantic or simply a meeting of the souls, the set-up reeks of the older man-much younger woman trope that superficially gets my defenses up. With that said, the production team and now the potentially casting of IU with also in discussion male lead Lee Seon Kyun now gets me intrigued in the best possible way – like a dissertation that may be uncomfortable to read but rewarding to experience.

I know IU got a lot of flack and for good reason in her last drama outing as the super high profile female lead in the K-version of Bu Bu Jing Xin called Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo. She wasn’t great even by any measure but gosh darn it I really have a soft spot for her, and Lee Seon Kyun made even Lee Yeon Hee amazing in Miss Korea so I think he has that magical touch for limited in acting female leads.

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IU Reportedly Cast as Female Lead Opposite Lee Seon Kyun in 2018 tvN Drama My Ahjusshi — 45 Comments

  1. Honestly I don’t mind romances between younger woman- older man or vice versa. As long as the actors and characters are in consenting age it doesn’t matter or do I consider it iffy. Honestly I am 22 and have so many crushes on older Korean actors that I wouldn’t blame a younger woman falling in love with a man like that in real life lol. You would be surprised on how many of those relationships exist in real life.

    • it does exist in real life but most of the time guy is rich and famous, or just rich or just famous,although in real life guys are way more older not the 40 something in the drama

    • I have no problems with age gaps either, as long as both parties are consenting adults. Although many people might find it disturbing that a girl is dating a man who could be as old as her father/grandfather or a boy is dating a woman as old as his mother/grandmother but so what if they want to be in a relationship? The problem is, how does media portray these relationships. Is the media showing these relationships realistically with all their ugly sides too, or is it just romanticizing every aspect of it?
      Mature woman – younger man relationships are all about how the woman wants some good sex and gets attracted to younger men because they listen to them and they take care of their sexual needs. Mature man – younger women relationships are all about a boss, teacher or another profession where the man is above the woman in working or social hierarchy and the woman is an inexperienced and even virginal. How are the sexual and romantic aspects portrayed in big age gap romances? Is this drama going to repeat those stereotypes and be a continuum to this endless chain? This is a kdrama so I doubt they’re going to explicitly tackle the sexual aspects but it’s given that in romantic relationship, they’re at least going to hint the leading couple’s physical needs.
      My problem with the portrayal of these big age gap relationships is that they have a power imbalance of some sort i.e usually the man is much older, in position of power (boss, politician etc.) and financially stable, and the woman is young, usually a student and financially unstable. The man usually comes into this young woman’s life and ’saves’ her from this financial and economic instability, and magically cures her worries with his old man lips and dick while the girl’s job is to bring ’’beauty and a breath of fresh youth’’ to an old man’s life.

      • There will always be a power imbalance in relationships irrespective of age. Look at Because Its The first Life. We have two completely different relationships with Ho Rang and Won Seok and then Soo Ji and Director Ma. In one the woman is older and in one younger but in both cases they dominate the relationship. Older women don’t always look to younger men for physical intimacy but its more the romanticization of having the interest of a younger male that is ‘exciting’ same for older men, a young beautiful woman is interested in them of course it’ll be ‘exciting’. The power imbalance comes from personality differences where one is always an alpha and the other a beta it could be of either gender.

      • @dreamcatcher Yeah. I’m not saying that relationships should be ultra equal all the time. That’s not even realistic and it would be quite boring too. I never said that only a man can be the more powerful counterpart. You really have to admit that in over 90% of the cases where there is a couple with a huge age gap, their relationship has a huge power imbalance (consider films with teacher-student relationships) and that is often glamorized.

        So basically the problem is if the man or woman has much more life experience and are in positions of power and the younger counterpart is barely legal. And when that precise thing is getting romanticized. That’s when it will be a problem.

    • The only problem I have with this big age difference is
      – the older man will definitely have a past. There is no way a 40 year old hasn’t had a previous girlfriend or wife or even kids, especially if the male is quite handsome.
      – the younger female will definitely be more naive due to experiences, be it love or work. So, in this type of relationship there is never equality. You can try and sugarcoat this relationship in a drama but in reality the older one will always have had a past which, may not be likeable to me as a viewer.

      • If a woman (especially in her 20s) has past in the sense we are talking here, she’ll unfortunately be labelled as, well, a slut. So that’s not going to happen anytime soon in dramas. Female sexuality is still, somewhat, a taboo thing and that’s why romance scenes are what they are in k-dramas. It’s really odd to see how writers and directors make even female leads who play 30-year-old characters become wide eyed and stiff when the male lead comes closer to them…
        I don’t have a problem if a man is older and has a past (it would be weird if he didn’t have) but if his drama girlfriend is a young woman, obviously inexperienced in love and relationships, awkward and clumsy and generally has ’child-like’ naiveness, it immediately turns me off.

  2. I really didn’t think she was THAT bad in ML but then again I love her to bits! I just didn’t like how any of the characters and their development was done in ML. Enough about that…

    I’m ready for this! No romance please I just want a heart-warming soul searching relationship, give the two their own separate romances if there needs to be romance.

  3. What were the producers thinking casting IU with Lee Sn Kyun? Her acting is not on par but that’s not the worst thing about this drama and casting. First of all, the ’’a little jaded but bright girl working in a million different part-time jobs, in debt’’ trope is incredibly annoying and repetitive. When are Korean script writers going to get rid of this cliché?
    Second, Is Lee Sun Kyun’s character going to be a daddy long legs (read: sugar daddy) or just a non-romantic, strictly platonic, father figure? If they’re going to pair a couple with a huge age difference, at least they should make sure that it will work out. The worst thing that could happen is that this drama will romanticize power imbalance. It doesn’t help that IU looks like a girl in her late teens. It hasn’t been long that IU had her previous Lolita scandal.

  4. Great! So when my 20 year old mom back then married the 40 year old love of her life… this was wrong? Bravo, Koala!

    On another note I find it terrible to have IU cast in another drama. I mean I liked her in Dream High but there it was a idol drama where I didn’t expect big acting chops. But it becomes clear she doesn’t have any great acting talent, only her big eyes getting bigger.

  5. I like lee seon kyun a lot but this drama doesn’t seems a good move for him. IU? Please stay as a great singer composer please.

  6. These sort of storylines are to fulfill fantasies of older men working behind the scenes and especially those in the Korean public.

    The Korean public is so disenchanted with kdramas and this is the best plot they can come up with? Enough with middle aged adults being paired with romantic interests half their age my god. I can already see a mediocre to bad actress (or part time idol actress) being cast for this. Too bad they missed another opportunity to cast an experienced, older actress. With the writer and PD, I’m sure it could turn out to be good but it’s yet another wasted opportunity.

    • I have similar sentiments. I wrote a comment above, expressing the same idea but it didn’t come out. Lets see if it gets published..

    • The plot says 20 year old and 40 year old so I don’t think they can cast an older actress even ones in their early 30s. Age wise the casting actually makes sense, I think this is meant to be a healing drama more than a pure romance drama. Regarding IU, I don’t have a problem with her cast entirely because if the female lead has to be in her 20s the options are pretty limited. PBY and KJW are currently shooting a movie, KSR & SSK have dramas, PSH is on break, LSY is doing Hwayugi, PEB is doing NTL and NJH is 22 so that would feel weirder though I guess she can be styled to look older like in SP. PSD and KGE are options but I think both are filming a movie at the time and KTR is already cast opposite another ahjusshi.

    • I mean with minor adjustments to the storyline. The production team is excellent. There are many older actresses in his age group that he could be working with.Kim Hee Sun, Kim Su Ah, a reunion with Gong Hyo Jin, Ha Ji Won badly needs an actor of her calibre, Lee Bo Young..many many more..If we are talking 80s liners, Jun Ji Hyun could do with a good storyline from cable station and working with a different writer. Yoo Eun Hye could make a comeback and they have worked together before.Shin Min Ah is ok. And since they are looking for 90s liner it seems, Park So Dam, Baek Ji Hee and Lee Sun Bin come to mind.These three are young but have a mature vibe to them, compatible to Lee Sun Kyun. All have enough acting chops to complement him than IU.

    • I thought she was good in Producer though, as in really good and not ‘script was adjusted for her weaknesses so she looks ok’ good. I doubt Suzy will ever be capable of a performance like that, IU isn’t a great actress but she’s at least better than her.

    • I find IU a bit better in the acting department than Suzy. At least IU’s voice is very pleasant to my ears 🙂 I like IU

    • Lol Suzy cant even cry properly.Her default acting is being “cutesy”.Anything beyond that or showing complex emotion🙅0%🤗.IU has inconsistencies in emoting too(like the O.O problem) but there are moments when she can emote pretty well.IU also has enunciation problem sometimes when she sounds like she is mumbling her lines, but I prefer her lower huskier voice than Suzy’s high tone one that is very common in idol/inexperienced rookie actresses/or even bad experienced actresses, when they are playing “aegyo” characters.

  7. So next years trend in Kdrama is a 40 year old male plus 20ish year old female. There is bound to be comparisons between the two dramas. So far, this one isn’t even close to KES’s drama in so called ‘starpower’ or acting department.

  8. From a shallow perspective – I will pass. Like Iu, but not really Lee Seon-kyun for an entire drama

    THE VOICE (as Kpals dubbed him, back in those days of Coffee Prince when he first made an appearnace) Lee Seon-kyun was never my cup of tea – whether Voice (very boom-ajushi imo) or in Acting dept. Much less in looks etc = while Kim Joo-hyuk wasn’t that much in looks either, I’d much eather Kim Joo-hyuk in acting/looks.

  9. iu is a great singer and am a fan.she did well in producers so there is chance she can excel in this drama too so let give her the benefit of doubt,just that I’m not satisfied with the story of this drama but with this team a surprise hit can happen so fingers crossed

  10. I dont even know where to begin with this.I hope it stops at negotiation stage.This is looking like a big MISS.But the fact that her company said she got 10 offers and they choose this one to throw out for public reaction.Means, its more likely, she’s heavily considering it.From a business perspective, talking about star power, neither have enough star power to pull a huge/ or significant audience by their names alone with their acting.In IU’s case, she is loved by the Korean general public for her singing NOT her acting.Her own fans who would be the primary audience, for the first few episodes, are the ones who are strongly against her doing this.And no, high ratings in variety show, or all-kills on music charts does not correlate to drama ratings. On the international market, she does have a significant presence in Taiwan, but not sure if she is that strong in Japan or South East Asia, where they would sell this drama and profit in case it flops.

    My own speculations as to why she could be attracted to this or why she could take this offer.First, maybe she was burned by the sosoo/JoonU shippers.Them shippers are rabid.They are up there among the most vicious shippers of all time in kdrama/kpop history together with the NamLee, Song Song, Chaeki, MinSHin, Daragon etc.I dont even need to explain what these shippers have done in embarrasing the actor’s/actress fandoms and ruining their reputation and cockblocking the artist’s platonic relationships with their past and present co-workers.So maybe thats why she wouldnt want work with another “oppar” for a while.Also she is one of those girls like Park Shin Hye who is shipped with every male person they come in contact with. Dont blame her for wanting to work, with an even older man who is twice her age.Less Drama.

    Second, I kind of relate to her as a petite and slim woman myself(am not babyfaced as her though).It sucks just by visual/physical limitation to be treated like a child, or in her case to be trapped in this “cute concept/image” when she is said to be very very mature beyond her years.Her best friend(Yoo In Na)is 11 years older than her.Her long term ex-bf was 11 years older than her.Its very limiting as an artist to be stuck in one image like that.Maybe she feels like no matter what she does, she is not being taken seriously and wants to be seen as a grown young woman.rather than a cute child-like girl at 25.

    • But more importantly,IU has a stubborn streak to her.She is the type to do what her mind is set to do.Even if she has a million voices against her.Maybe she feels bored with just winning on music charts.I mean she wins most by default.People will immediately swallow any music,she puts out like candy.She doesnt need to prove herself anymore.So maybe that greed to prove herself in the acting industry is what keeps her coming back to it.So tht she can be taken as a serious actress too.Ambitious women are sexy and admirable.But sometimes, its imortant to know your limitations.I can understand a little why Suzy/Yoona keeps clinging to acting.Their success is largely owed to their visuals.But for a talented musician like her.I dont see why drag herself in this mess when she doesnt have to.

      • I think this is a very spot on analysis on why IU and the reasons she might take up this drama. I agree with you. SooSo shippers are one of the most terrible and the most embarrassing, delusional and toxic shippers all time. Alongside NamLee, Daragon, MinShin, YongShin and SongSong (they’re real, but their shippers remain really embarrassing). Goodness I strongly dislike these particular shippers from my gut.
        You might think that there’s less drama if she gets paired with Lee Sun Kyun, but IU gets shipped with her co-stars pretty easily so you’ll see some creepy shippers emerging like mushrooms. Park Shin Hye, too, gets shipped with every male celeb she has ever worked with, which must be pretty restricting and exhausting for her since these shipper fandoms keep fighting with each other and then they hate on the actress, the actor and any of their previous and future co-stars because they apparently threat their shipper fantasy lol

      • Knowing limits…hmmm I think for someone to be sucessful, they should push their limits to see how far they can go..I don’t see a problem in this casting..IU looks her age and she is way past a teenager look. Most asians always look younger anyways.

        Drama has the male lead I like, but IU as a lead…I think I will give the first episode a try then see….Nothing against IU..she is really good as a singer and ok as an actress. I have been on a Chinese drama binge lately instead of soley watching kdramas like I used to.

  11. I don’t know why age gap is being an issue here. Did they forget about UEE and Lee Seo Jin drama? they also has a huge age gap.

    • I think there was issue at the beginning… but Lee Seo Jin looks much younger than his age. IU looks younger than her age, which makes LSK looks even visually older being casted next to IU…

    • Here the problem is not just the age gap.But that the age gap is magnified because IU is 24 but looks way younger than her age.Almost like late teens or early 20s(20/21).While Lee Sung Kyun, well, he looks his age.Some netizens even went as far as saying she made Jo Jung Suk and Lee Jun Ki look like ahjussis(which I disagree) when both men look way younger than their ages compared to their peers.UEE was younger than Lee Seo Jin but their visual complemented each other.And UEE has a mature aura/vibe to her.I wouldnt associate lolita undertones with her like IU(even though she is legal adult) if paired for a romance with an older actor.IU’s lolita scandal doesnt help with this too.Her antis will keep bringing that up.

      Also beyond the aesthetics, the issue with huge age gaps, between actors is gaping differences in acting chops.While UEE is a very very mediocre actress who I also dont see as lead lady material.But she can act her role consistently in a drama,if partner is ok, but the directing/writing is subpar.IU cant.Also its unfair comparison since UEE is her senior and has more acting experience.

    • No, in that drama Uee acted as a single mother so in terms of past love life she is well matched to the male lead. There is no indication here that IU’s character has as much experience so this means they will most likely dumb down the 40 year old ajhussi’s past love life experiences and this makes it unrealistic.

  12. The PD and scriptwriters says its sth worth keeping an eye on. Similarly i hav a soft spot for IU, love her voice and her personality. Acting not so much.but i do thk actresses like her, their performance depends also if the characters suits them and if they r well directed.. so i thk this pd would be better at that then Scarlet Heart. I’m not a fan of big age difference but it doesnt give me the ick factor unlike teacher-student relationships.. which is a big No-No for me. or underaged girls. again No..No..No.

  13. Great to hear.Surely one of the most beautiful working actress and completely natural with no plastic surgery..very rare for korean celebrities.She is a wonderful and intelligent actress with a beautiful heart.A complete package.

  14. She works tirelessly as a volunteer.She is a great inspiration as a korean star …No plastic surgery either which is a breath of fresh air.

  15. She is definetlty a cut above most k stars . .she just has that magical quality that makes her shine.I think she is really outstanding as an actress too.

  16. Oh please. I don’t think IU was lacking in Moon Lovers, it is that drama that I loved her more. She is soooo cute in dramas that everybody will shed tears upon seeing her crying and her smile is contagious…
    With regards to this coming drama-yeah! I wish that they will not be paired as lovers..but if it does-I am still going to watch because it is IU

  17. I feel like kdrama treat way older man and way younger woman relationship so easily and dreamy like goblin, that love can conquer their age gap.

    I’ve been there and hearing how he said that he doesn’t want to take the most beautiful phase of my life, hearing how hard to understand each other references, seeing how hard it is to match the endurance for activity and how guilt can come from inside make me think that kdrama just treat this like love is all they need to solve since the ahjussi at the end already provided all the answer for money, connection, wisdom and understanding when it doesn’t work that way irl.

    It hurts to see his health stopping what you really wants but none of you can’t complaint because this is the life, that just fact that also can raise the guilt of being each other burden, no matter how many wealth and wisdom you had.

  18. She is certainly turning into a wonderful actress.She is so natural and derserves her huge success.Could take the number 1 spot as koreas top actress.Has a big film career ahead of her and still young.

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