Rising Movie Actress Kim Tae Ri Cast Opposite Lee Byung Hun in Kim Eun Sook’s Upcoming Mr. Sunshine

I’m certain this leading lady casting will ripple as many waves as the leading man casting a week ago, but if hit screenwriter Kim Eun Sook knows what she’s doing then it’ll all work out come 2018 when the drama arrives. To the total surprise of everyone since this particular rising young actress’s name could not conceivably be bandied about for this drama, award winning rookie movie actress Kim Tae Ri has landed the coveted leading lady role in Kim Eun Sook’s next drama the period war era Mr. Sunshine.

Kim Tae Ri won an open audition over 1,500 other aspiring actresses to the land the leading role in Park Chan Wook‘s acclaimed erotic thriller The Handmaiden with Ha Jung Woo and Kim Min Hee, landing her nominations and awards and plenty of deserving recognition. She made her debut in 2016 and has three movies lined up for 2017 already, but looks like she has her eye set on the television prize as well. Only time will tell if this is smart project choice as her casting opposite already confirmed leading man Lee Byung Hun creates a huge 19 year age difference, she’s 27 and he’s 46, though that could be the dynamic Kim Eun Sook is going for this time around.

Mr. Sunshine tells the story of a Joseon boy who sneaks aboard a US ship in the late 1880’s and grows up in the US, returning to Korea in the very waning years of the Joseon era into the independence period. There he falls for an aristocratic young lady and theirs is a love story set amidst a tumultuous time of great change. Kim Eun Sook will be reuniting with her Goblin and Descendants of the Sun PD Lee Eun Bok for the third go-around in Mr. Sunshine. Filming begins in late 2017 with the drama scheduled to air in spring of 2018.


Rising Movie Actress Kim Tae Ri Cast Opposite Lee Byung Hun in Kim Eun Sook’s Upcoming Mr. Sunshine — 49 Comments

    • As someone who’ve watched KES projects since Lovers in Paris, HEIRS is a testament that even the best writers has their own failures.

      • The publicity she got from Heirs was unmatched which fast tracked her into this star and untouchable magnet. She timed it very well imo. I don’t even think she made that for critics or to be acclaimed it was purely to attract attention and sort of BOF copy cat but she fast tracked herself with into globally star faster then a cheetah catches it’s pray. She wanted some of trendy concepts, young teens, and in a way BOF inspired but different. That was the main jackpot that KES ever since that KES was bigger then her casts. She knew how social media and the current youth generation think and communicate and what catches their attention mostly.

        I would say she was more gamed then her pairs in that sense

      • Heirs was no way a failure. KES got the hottest young stars of that generation to star in it. They had a big following and each one of the Heirs actors/actresses went on to better things. DOTS and Goblin had very clean image oppas so the East Asia ajummas slapped it up but with LBH’s image in tatters it will be very difficult to draw in the same audience. The only audience this drama is getting are people who say they care about ‘great-acting’ only. Let us wait and see how this drama goes.

      • KES relies on buzz, star power, casting and hot young actors. It’s a cycle for KES. The pilot episode will have double digit ratings because that is how anticipated KES dramas are. @Abc, I think she is targeting different demographics and basically testing her limits with this drama. Or maybe she is trying her luck with ahjumma viewers by trying to make even LBH ’’swoony’’ to them again. She probably suffers from god-complex xD. Also, you’re overestimating ahjumma viewers, most Park Yoochun’s and Kim Hyun Joong’s remaining fans are ahjummas and these two have even lower image than LBH.
        But it’s really obvious that a regular drama viewer cares about looks and image as much as acting, whereas cinephiles don’t care about things like that. There is a definite reason why LBH hasn’t been acting in rom-coms in films either, just action and noir films.

      • @Gilgit, you and I are talking about totally different audiences. I am only referring to East Asia audience (or more specifically China) and not the domestic audience. They could have sky high ratings at home for all I care but the reason why KES is such a famous name is because her previous dramas are just as well loved in China. Without making a profit let’s see if KES is so confident.

    • Lols, lovers in paris’s rating was almost 50%, means half of koreans watched it. Then most of her dramas got 30% rating. Heirs is only one of her successful dramas. Secret garden has a lot of parodies and even concerts for their success. Heirs, comparing to her other dramas was the last successful, why? It just got recognize after My love from another star finished. Im one of KES’ fans. And watching all her dramas except his very first drama. But i like heirs despite the recognition foe this drama not as high as her other dramas but still, youngdo is one of my fave characters in her dramas.

  1. Just because Kim Tae Ri was in a Park Chan Wook movie it doesn’t make her great actress. Her performance was actually very underwhelming and Kim Kim Hee was only OK there.Just Because the movie got good response in Cannes all of the critics started overpraising the movie and the actress.
    Why Kim Eun Sook couldn’t get an older leading lady. At KTR’s age she almost could be daughter of LBH. Thing with KES is she totally depends on the star power and casting buzz to sell her overly hyped and completely lacking in artistic merit dramas. Now KES is on another plane of popularity that she can even lure movie actors to drama world. Though this yime around I think her spell may be broken and this drama is not going to achieve it’s purpose. Sorry to say LBH is going to be hated forever even though they achieve 100% ratings.

    • Just because you’ve seen one project of Kim Tae Ri doesn’t mean that you’ve seen her all. Who knows, she might be more than that.

      • Read my comment again.
        I didn’t say that she can’t be anything more than that ever but I’m just stating that she wa soverpraised for her famous project. I’m more concerned about age gap than her acting skills.

    • I agree with you actually. Kim Taeri was good for a newbie though and fit that pickpocket Sook-Hee’s character really well. I agree that she has been elevated to pedestal because of this one role, when she really hasn’t proved her skills yet. KTR has herself said that she doesn’t know whether she truly acted well or was it because she was a part of a ’’masterpiece of a film” by a talented director.
      Also, filming drama is completely different from filming movie and a Park Chan-Wook movie on top of that. Many actors are better in films than dramas because of the live shooting, but I expect Mr. Sunshine will be pre-produced. Let’s see if KTR can match LBH’s intensity. Making a drama debut in KES drama will be beneficial for her anyway, because KTR has an international following already and these fans were dying for her drama debut, and what’s better than a highly anticipated KES drama, which will no doubt have double digit ratings..
      This pairing is so unexciting.. he really could be her father age-wise. not to mention how icky it would be to see LBH, with a questionable character, romancing a 90-liner on-screen…

    • Everyone who comments in a negative way about the Handmaiden gets attacked, but honestly that movie is mediocre at best. The 2 male actors are good, but the actresses either overacted or were wooden and the director/writer tried to transform a very simple story into a complicated one with the 3 point of views stuff that was completely unnecessary and made the movie more boring. The critics probably just praised it because they thought those R rated scenes were something groundbreaking for a korean movie, when in fact asian R rated movies have always been more sexual than western ones.

      • And you are underestimating film critics 🙂
        Park Chan-Wook has put South-Korea’s film on world map since Oldboy (2003) and he is famous for his psychological thrillers in film circles. Just because you didn’t understand the film, doesn’t mean it was ’’overrated’’. Some critic’s favorites don’t suit my taste either but I wouldn’t go as far and say that the film got praised only because of the R-rated scenes. And please, it’s well known fact that Korean cinema isn’t prude with R-rated scenes, only France is more liberal with them. Also Kim Min Hee wooden? Was she supposed to be bright and spunky like Do Bong Soon? Lol. Her character was written like that. A lonely and confined heiress Lady Hideko and people approach her only to con her. Kim Min Hee won many prestigious acting awards for that role and you possibly can’t claim that all of the award jurors and critics have been blind.
        And just so you know, some critics even have criticized the sexual scenes in The Handmaiden, saying that despite the film being progressive in portraying LGBT love, the sex scenes were still filmed from a male perspective. The same critique that Blue is the Warmest Color got too actually.

  2. Surprising I enjoyed DOTS and Goblin. They were a breeze to watch and nothing serious. Plus the production was the real thing that kept me watching. The cinematography and soundtrack were amazing. I’m sure it would be the same for Mr. Sunshine.

    So far, I’m liking the casting more than Goblin. I know Lee Byung Hun will nail in his role. I still remember his act in his last tv drama, IRIS. He is so charismatic. And for Kim Tae Ri, I have seen her in The Handmaiden. I think this would really up-ed her to stardom if the drama succeeds.

  3. Now I realized that Koala is a fan of Kim Eun Sook. I’m sorry but this pairing is gross. It totally creeps me out to watch the sleazy LBH romancing a girl where he is old enough to be her father. Sell it like it is since KES has midas touch and let’s see if she really is that invisible. But I applaud her for her starpower that she managed to snag Chungmuro’s powerhouse to headline her drama.

  4. I have never been a fan of LBH and I am appalled to see they cast such a young actress to pair with him. This is so wrong. I’ll be happy to let it pass.. lol

  5. Don’t understand with the comments, I’ve seen many Hollywood movies that stars huge age between the leads.

    I am not a fan of LBH nor KTR, however, I have to admit LBH is the best actor in Korea while KTR, her acting is still rough and if I need to salute her is her courage to go naked for her movies which somehow not many young actress willing to do so.

    I will pass this drama, also because I am not a huge fan of the writer, the only drama of hers that I like is only City Hall. I dropped DOTS and Goblin

    • LOL. Clearly you have not watched that many K-movies. Esom is a young actress who went naked in “Scarlet Innocent” and had very expletive sex scene with Jung Woo Sung. And there was Kim Go Eun in her debut movie, “Muse” and so was Kang Hye Jung back then and also the late Lee Eun Joo. They were all young and stripped for a movie. Anyway, I don’t like nudity even in the name of Art.

      And yes, Hollywood movies do that but we don’t have the same expectation for Korean dramas. The standard set is different.

      All I say is KES definitely need the starpower to headline her filler lack of content drama and generated buzz while the Chungmuro stars seem to see opportunity to have a grand comeback and debut in dramaland via KES. In Kim Tae Ri’s case, may be she has seen what Kim Go Eun enjoyed through Goblin.

    • Many Korean actress start out with Rated R movies, or they are in Rated R movies even when they are already well known. My surprise when I saw actresses that I thought had the innocent image strip for a movie before.
      This is in contrast with the Hong Kong entertainment industry that I grew up with. Once an actress strips for a movie, she is forever typecasted as the sexy vixen and will not get as much respect..nor will they ever get to lead in a drama ever again.

      • Agree. I grew up watching HK movies with Lin Ching Hsia being my favourite. I think one of the few who could break free from staring in B-grade movies is Shu Qi, even then she had to struggle with that vixen image for a long time. I never enjoyed nudity on-screen and one of my main reasons for not appreciating K-movies are that a lot happened to have too many graphic explicit sex scenes and nudity, sometimes I think not even necessary. HK movies back in the 80’s and 90’s could do so well even without those elements. Award winning actress like Maggie Cheung never even stripped for the camera yet she had won so many accolades. That is why I tend not to favour K-movie actors. Their image totally not suitable to the wholesome decent image that I prefer in drama actors.

      • Shu Qi is still haunted from her b-movie days…I think this,was one if the reasons her current husband took so long to marry her. His family did not like Shu Qi’s image…this is what I read, do not know the origin of the story. I also read somewhere that Shu Qi is trying to buy the rights from her b-movie days,so that she can have control and not let it air again. Either way, she is in movies now, but she always seems to play the sexy kitten type characters. At least she got married to her love now.

  6. I’m definitely out for this. It’s just so yucky cos she’s young enough to be his Daughter. Plus after all his personal indiscretions shenanigans, I can’t separate reel from real.

  7. Whats that pic about please? Both are holding plaques with Director’s Cut written? What film is this about? Have they acted together before? Don’t think so..

    • It’s not from a film but during the 2016 Director’s Cut Awards ceremony last August. Lee Byung Hun received the Best Actor award for Inside Men, Kim Tae Ri received the Best New Actress award for Handmaiden.

  8. KES is too overly confident and rated anyway. That last photo looks like Dad and daughter. Lots of people were complaining the age gap in Doctors when it was only 9 years. Well, enjoy this almost 20 year age gap. The acting won’t be able to conceal the grossness. Yuck!

    • I think the age gaps between Kim Ji Won – Jin Goo and Gong Yoo – Kim Go Eun gave her confidence, but none of those actors are as hated as this guy is in Korea. I still think the drama will do well though. Scandal always wins, even in Korea.

      • Also about Kim Tae Ri.I do feel for her.Girl is only trying to get her name out there.She is not going to be the first one to act with someone alot more older than her.

        We have had:
        1.Lee Seo Jin(who I think is a better candidate than LBH if she wanted someone older who speaks English and his acting skills are alright too) and UEE.
        2.Lee Bum Soo and Yoona
        3.Jin Goo and Kim Ji Won
        4.Gong Yoo and Kim Go Eun
        5.Lee Jun Ki and IU and Yoo Bi
        6.Kim Rae Won and Park Shin Hye
        and many more

        But what do all the men I’ve listed all have in common that LBH doesnt and why the dramas didn’t get too much opposition despite the age gap when Lee Byung Hun is being bashed for this.They all have good public images.

      • Also if we are to talk about Kim Eun Sook.In almost all her dramas, it’s the male leads who benefit more than the female leads.

        After Heirs..Park Shin Hye was bashed to no end for everything, her acting(even though it was mostly the writing that butchered her character) until Doctors when the public sentiment has turned around.

        After DOTS.Song Hye Kyo was still being slut shamed until when song song announced their wedding news that’s when the public sentiment has turned around and they are back to respecting her.

        Even after Goblin, it has done nothing to revamp Kim Go Eun image.She is still hated maybe even more now that she acted alongside Gong Yoo and some criticised her acting on there too.

        So for Kim Tae Ri, unless her fanbase is very strong and her acting skills are extraordinary(don’t know didn’t watch HandMaiden).She will not come out of this unscathed and it’s not even her fault.

        If they swapped the male lead.This would have been a different story and shame on LBH and KES, for using an innocent woman who is just honestly trying to elevate her career for image cleaning.Disgusting god-complex these duo actor and writer have.

    • I know right so disgusting.These ‘I will watch this drama for “great acting, I don’t care about image” only ajumma audiences and Kim Eun Sook seem to be forgetting one thing.The rules that apply to kmovie are not the same ones applicable to Kdrama and especially not Kim Eun Sook dramas who depends on swoon worthy oppas and ajusshis(for some who are very young, if we are talking about Gong Yoo) with wholesome image and star power to complement their acting skills and cover for her poor writing.Lee Byung Hun fans can buy a ticket and go and watch the bastard at the cinema if they want to.Also sometimes people don’t go to the cinema just to watch him in the movie, they may be going to watch because of his co stars, or they like the director’s work etc.But on drama, if the audience have misgivings about the actor or is not relatable..people can simply switch to another channel or switch off the TV and go to sleep.

      By casting Lee Byung Hun, she should forget about the international audience.If she is dreaming of replicating DOTS and Goblin success.its not gonna happen.They should ask even a mega hallyu drama star like Lee Young Ae what happens when you are no longer relatable to the current demographic both in and out of Korea and she has a good image.Saimsang diary flop so bad and received lots of criticism and had poor buzz throughout its run.Kmovie is usually meant for mature audiences.Kdrama is meant for the whole family hence why sexual, violence scenes and all that is tamer than kmovie.That’s also why the public expects and holds morals of K actors at a higher standard than k movie actors.

      Even the K actors themselves know this, that’s why even when they are involved in the most trivial scandals or controversies.They are quick to apologise and are extremely careful in protecting their image.No one is saying k drama actors are perfect.They are humans so they have flaws like everyone else and do bad things too sometimes.But those are kept out of the public and are careful how they conduct themselves in public eye and with their colleagues in the industry.

      Those k actors who try to hold on to their egos when criticised especially when they are clearly in the wrong or are not wrong but have poor PR skills are quickly booted out or have to go on long acting hiatuses.Those people who are quick to say, well parents should be responsible for teaching their children good morals not the media.Thats true but also incredibly naive.

      The media does have a strong influence in shaping one’s perception of things.If it didn’t why do we have age restrictions even in the movie world.But again it’s possible that in Korea, this drama might get high ratings if he has alot of ahjumma fans over there plus KES ahjumma who will swallow anything she puts out.But outside of Korea..nah they should keep their optimism a bit lower even with a trendy writer like Kim Eun Sook.She has never cast a controversy actor who is that old and a female who is like 2 decades younger than the lead actor in her dramas so let’s see how this goes.

    • Please, the only people who were complaining about Doctors age gap was the i-fans or the immature k-drama hallyu fans, who wanted a hallyu oppa as her co-star. (Also there were the ones who found teacher-student relationship nasty, but again, they missed out a lot by not giving a chance to Doctors). Koreans absolutely were expecting for this pairing even before the drama came out and loved the couple. Even nicknaming the Jihye-couple.

      They had really good chemistry and people who complained for only 9 yrs age gap and didn’t even give chance to Doctors missed out a lot. I think this was the best pairing Park Shin Hye has had on-screen and close next are Pinocchio and FBND.

      • @Abc, I haven’tseen the word paedophilic in other k-drama forums, but the commenters were definitely grossed out by the age gap, and especially because her co-star is Lee Byung Hun out of all people. I’ve only seen film fanatics get excited about this casting. Well, LBH is a big name in the film industry and KTR is a rising star with a critically acclaimed film in her portfolio so there’s why film fans are interested to see how this pairing will do. I have no idea why k-drama fans went as far as calling KRW-PSH pairing paedophilic, but I think this has a lot to do with the general hate Doctors was getting from i-fans because it was supposedly ’’competing’’ with i-fan favorite Jang Hyuk’s drama BM and all those KWB and LJS oppa fans who thought that Doctors getting higher ratings than W or even UF (lmao) was unacceptable lol

  9. I sensed over-confidence in Kim Eun Sook. She has reached the level where she feel anyone in dramaland is depending on her, that she has the starpower to lure even the most impossible name to star in her drama. Well, let’s wait and see how this will fare. Lee Byung Heon casting alone not well-received by K-netz and so as international fans. But then I forgot, her writing is not great so she certainly those big name actors to do her writing a favor.

  10. This pairing is so gross. I feel sorry for KTR that she has to romance with some actor who could literally be her father age-wise. Well, she is a professional actress and she probably only saw a chance to act with a talented sunbae actor. Can’t blame her. At this pointI feel like KES suffers from god-complex, based on how ambitious her casting is.

  11. Why people so annoyed by the age gap? I don’t really mind since both of them are adults. It’ll be problems if one of them still underage but the facts is, even Kim Tae-ri’s young but akready mature enough (27 yo!) and LBH’s age (46) is not that old. I don’t like LBH as person since I heard bad things bout him, but I admire him as an actor. He’s one of the best Korean actor atm. And Kim Tae-ri is also amazing as a rookie. After her acting skill was recognized,I think this project is wise choice for her to gain popularity. And even I never enjoyed any KES projects before, I am anticipating this due to the casts.

  12. I’m suprised how people can’t seperate personnal life and professional one. I mean if someone commited a real crime I understand, but I really don’t care about the rest. I mean if someone wants to take drugs or cheat his wife/her husband, it’s his/her life and I don’t have the right to judge because I don’t know anything about him/her.

    All I know for sure that is LHB is a great actor. For the difference of age, I think it can be awkward or not, it depends on the actors. Sometimes, it was a little bi awkward between Park Shin Hye and Kim Rae Won in Doctors but it wasn’t between Nam Ji Hyun and Ji Chan Wook in Suspicious Partner. So I will see.

    • Most dramafans when they watch dramas, especially KES dramas, they want to be able to relate or be in the female leads place and the male lead should be a dream man who is only one woman’s man and would do anything for that female lead. So basically a shining knight with no flaws, right? And even if he had flaws, the female lead would be the only one to fix them. A real life adulterer (this was actually a rumor only and the girls went to jail for coercion, we regular people will never know the actual truth) as a romantic male lead saying cheesy lines to a 19 years younger baby faced rookie actress is less than desirable thing to many kdrama viewers.
      Also Kim Rae Won and Park Shin Hye weren’t awkward even if you look at the teaser video. And faaaaar from awkward in the behind the scenes. But when Doctors started, the initial stages must have felt awkward because they were teacher- student. Nam Ji Hyun and Ji Chang Wook are both professionals in SP and there’s no ’’school girl phase’’ for Eun Bong Hee in SP, this is why it looks less awkward.

      • I watched Doctors and it’s not the fact they met in the past the problem for me, but for some scenes, it was awkward like the first kiss… But I like this drama, it’s just sometimes, it fell off.

      • I agree, the first kiss was too awkward. She was supposed to be a grown ass independent lady with a professional career. What was the director thinking with that awkward kiss? The other kisses were really good though. The behind the scenes were even hotter. I wonder if this has got anything to do with that PSH’s agency or something wants to protect her ’girl next door/wholesome’ image? If that is so, then all I can hope is that they finally let go of this silly thing because girl is already nearing her thirties, she can’t forever play innocent school girl, right? I even saw in her recent interview how she genuinely wants to try different roles..

      • @Dilnaz, the first kiss was awkward because the PD wanted it that way. KRW disagreed with the way it was filmed at the time, he mentioned it in his first interview post drama. It had nothing to do with PSH or her agency wanted her to stay ‘wholesome’. All of the kiss scenes in Doctors were filmed at least 8 times.

  13. Just can’t stomach that LBH
    normally I don’t care about scandals as they cud mostly be exaggerated. But somehow I don’t believe LBH is innocent.
    I get the feeling he wud seduce his co-star. Just can’t imagine him portraying a good character in KES typical romance filled drama
    This time KES drama may be a failure

    • Just saying.. you can’t get seduced unless you want to ’’get seduced’’. It always takes two to tango 🙂
      Also, I remember that KTR was friends with Kim Go Eun and Lee Yoo Young who have both dated considerably older men (Shin Ha Kyun is 17 yrs older than KGE and Kim Joo Hyuk is also 17 yrs older than LYY), so these friends are definitely playing in a different league.
      There are people who think their age gap is too big, and then there are people who think age is just a number, as long as they are two consenting adults.
      Lets face it, KTR is 27, she is no spring chicken or innocent little girl. This is just a drama and KTR and LBH are professional actors and they are getting payed to do their jobs. I find this pairing nasty too, so I’ll probably just skip it but lets not paint KTR as an innocent victim and LBH as a big bad wolf. KTR accepted the offer without hesitations because she is probably a clever woman (and so is her agency) and knows that this is how you keep your name relevant in the industry.

  14. Im a big fan. Literally. But even kim soo hyun finally has his veru first failure. Overconfident sometimes can kill. Well, the cast, a hit or a miss, let’s see after this drama airs. Definitely zero expectation. Let’s see how this genius writernim writes the characters. But LBH is jinjja not my fave actor. I still could watch him in iris bcuz his scandals werent as many as now. Now? Sigh. Goodluck KES… Please dont be another successful person who got failed. Fighting!

  15. She also looks like she is 15 years old and he looks like he’s well into his 40’s so visually its more like a 30 year age gap.

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