I don’t think anyone would say 2020 was a good year but for some there were good things about the year. For those actors and actresses that had great dramas or movies this year, it’s something to be proud of and to be acknowledged rather than just trashing what has been a tumultuous 12 months. Moon Chae Won saw a career boost thanks to her turn as the detective and dogged wife in Flower of Evil, one of the best crafted melodramas thrillers of this year. Her costar Lee Jun Ki had the juicier character to play, maybe a serial killing psycho but really a mentally abused emotionally stunted man. So she played the straight (wo)man of the drama, the pillar that stands in for the audience as we discover what she discovers and hurt alongside her. She was radiant in spirit and soulful in delivery, I can’t believe it’s been 8 years since Nice Guy because it feels like her FoE role bookended that also powerhouse performance. Brava to her continued evolution.
The sad thing was her agency not promoting her as much as Junki (same agency). His instagram has more photos of her than their agency instagram, and I think he felt the difference the agency was making.
I want her to try a romantic comedy, the ones she tried before were bad written. I was kind of hoping she would act with Kim Seonho in Mr. Hong. But I’m also happy with Shin Minah.
Ooh KSH!! Nice. I think she could be the FL for Link. She’s a year younger than he is. Great actress. Captivating presence too. SMA is also another solid choice imo, moreso for rom-coms. I think MCW could eventually work with KSH for Link.
Her agency hasnt been great at promoting her but part of the reason she is less popular is on herself. Her being so introverted and shy, and its like she deliberately makes efforts to stay away from the spotlight. I am not just saying this, she admitted it herself that she struggles to be more open and relatable with the public in the interview for this photoshoot.
She deleted her instagram while FoE was airing, one of the mediums channels she could use to promote herself. Her drama bts, some of the candid videos with her agency, its like she puts up walls around herself. I saw her loosen up in her interviews with LJK this time for flower of evil though so thats good. To get booked for CFs, photoshoots, variety shows its partly because of agency brokering, but the other half is on who you know and how you relate to the people in the business(editors,stylists etc).
She wasnt always like this though, from 2011 up until around 2016 she was very active in promotions but I think after the whole shipping drama from Chaeki and Songsong fans(she was cyberbullied when she did nothing wrong??♀️) as well as that stalker who was claiming to be her boyfriend. I do think it did have a negative effect on her and her approach to her work. Like now, its just like act and go home and do the bare minimum to connect with fans but not worry about connecting with the public outside work.
That makes me like her even more tbh! I respect that she’s not a fame-wh0re so to speak. It’s hard to find talents that aren’t interested in promoting themselves, of course in Korea, that could be an issue. But she’s well established as an actress. Other male stars don’t promote actively either. Meh, sometimes too much overexposure can be over-kill. You’ve to be careful not to over expose yourself, or the public will get sick/tired of you.
Of course there needs to be a balance between public/work. But she’s at a point where she doesn’t need to work often, she does dramas/films every few years. Not every star wants to be mega-famous. She got a glimpse and taste of stardom, and decided it wasn’t for her. I mean, what can you do? Some actresses get their career revival in their 40s, so that could happen here.
Am I the only one who feels she could have been as popular as Kim Soo Hyun or Song Joong Ki if she was more active in promoting herself? Back in 2011-2012, she was the actress that was getting more popularity like the two guys because she had great dramas like The Princess Man and The Innocent Man. Not to mention she really acts so well and had great chemistry with all her costars (both male and female). (In fact she has ship names with at least 7 actors: Moon Geun young – Five Coins, Han Hyo Joo – BBongjoo, Park Shi Hoo – Wonhoo, Song Joong Ki – Chaeki, Joo Won – Moonwon/Moon2Won, Lee Seung Gi – Chaegi/Seungchae, Lee Joon Gi – Joonchae). But alas, she’s very shy to promote herself. I respect her, but I just personally wish she’s as popular as Song Hye Kyo or Han Hyo Joo because I like her acting way more than the other two (this is not to hate on SHK, in fact I am not a Chaeki fan and was actually happy when I heard SJK and SHK got married; not on Han Hyo Joo as well, like her in Dong Yi but I just love MCW way more than her). I just hope for the best in her acting career in the future. I need to her in more sageuk projects, because she just rocks in them. I want to see her in Pre-Joseon sageuk, it would be interesting.
Unlike most what International fans always believed and brought up Nice Guy everywhere.. she got more attentions for Good Doctor in Korea than NG with a higher ratings for that too. But what some people want is simply not what she want and she is never into that popularity game nor she’s the type who fits that group. Hopefully people can stop bringing up about popularity talks and what they want her to be etc when the girl simply doesn’t want all that
Reply for Vina:
I thought her best was for The Princess Man? She got the most awards for it among her early 2010s dramas? Actually for me, whenever Moon Chae Won is mentioned, the dramas Princess Man and Painter of the Wind, are what I think of. I also think, The Princess Man is her magnum opus in her early 2010s dramas. She’s just so good and gorgeous in sageuk
Your first comment mentioned Nice Guy/Innocent Man and I responded to that vs Good Doctor since you didn’t mention the later and the later broke 20% in ratings that Nice Guy did not and that’s the drama that got US, Japanese and Turkish remake. But of course sageuks have always been the favorite genre people (esp Koreans) like her best and where she really stood out
Reply to Vina:
I did not mention Good Doctor because I didn’t watch it yet. Also as far as I know she didn’t receive higher awards in it as compared to the shows I mentioned, she only received Excellence Award in it compared to the Top Excellence Awards for Princess Man and Innocent Man (correct me if I’m wrong) But I know it’s technically a more successful show since it got remade in the US (though my impression in reading the synopsis is that MCW’s loveline with the lead is not as “necessary” to the plot as the other shows I’ve mentioned, idk, I think I see Good Doctor more as focusing on the titular Doctor’s story than the romance). Of course, MCW is a great actress and she did really well in all her dramas back then, based on what I’ve seen and on the reviews on her performances as well.
I agree with you though that Innocent Man is a bit overrated among her early 2010s dramas. I didn’t ship MCW with any actors in real life among her costars back then, but for me she had the best chemistry with her costar in The Princess Man. Only Flower of Evil beat that for me.
Geez.. no idea why. but can’t reply to you. failed after several attempts
You are on point about part of the reason of her popularity is on her. but that’s actually because she choose to. If we read her interviews even way back to 2011 after The Princess’ Man, she said that she doesn’t have a big ambition. Her only wish is to be able to act in projects she’s interested in and that’s all and that has been consistent all these years. She doesn’t like to do variety show and stated boldly on her interviews..went to RM mainly because LSG was there and he’s someone she’s close with, a good friend whom she can relied on and at the same time, they can promote their movie.
In fact, on her post interview after Good Doctor in 2013 she implied that she want to reevaluate her focus/what she really want with her career direction (didn’t enjoy all those attentions she was getting after the continuous hits for 3 yrs in a row) and said she has other things she is interested to do other than being a celebrity. And from then on, she did cut down a lot of activities a lot.. stayed away from dreamland for 3 whole yrs and went even more ninja than before (before also already ninja but not as bad).
I don’t think that stupid shipping drama affected her much -other than total annoyance- (the girl might be shy but she isn’t a pushover and very stubborn lol). But yes, that pyscho stalker was indeed a huge problem that bothered her a lot as he was harassing her 24/7 for quite a long period on IG and can’t be stopped (we fought with him a lot and hopeless as the guy was simply a real pyscho) until she reported him to the police and even police can’t controlled his craziness *facepalm* she quit IG due to that psycho stalker
I’m really happy for her because bI for think she is a great actress but maybe being so discreet makes her a little bit unknown. I loved her in Nice Guy with Soon Yoo-ki, the couple was perfect even better that in DOTS.
But after Flower of evil, I don’t know which one I would choose.
I like her chemistry with SJK too. But for me, Flower of Evil chemistry wins hands down.
She did so well in Flower of Evil, I was disappointed they did not promote her enough.
Been wishing that writers, directors and producers will pair him with Hyun Bin for a Romantic Comedy. I hope they will
MCW is really pretty..i miss to see her in saeguk…♥
shes pretty and a versatile actress. Kim Seon Ho and MCW on link please?
Yes please! Link is a melodrama fantasy rom-com. I mean hello? MCW is the princess of Melos! Plus, she excels in romance. If paired with the right ML, she will blossom. I think KSH’s charm will help bring out MCW’s loveliness. Plus she’s a year younger than him, which is crazy to think about!!
It’s time for her to return to sageuk..either for drama/movie. But too bad, with covid, I suppose we won’t be seeibg much sageuks next yr. Well, sageuk productions have decreased a lot (from numbers to quality) compare to the past
She was amazing in Flower of Evil. Her best performance imo. But I do think she needs a break from melos and romance. I think its only war of arrows, fengshui and criminal minds that were non romantic in her filmography. Maybe something outlandish and crazy like Penthouse, I can totally see her nailing a villain role like Kim So Yeon or ruthless and vengeful like Kim Hee Ae in The World of The Married. Like a fusion of Innocent Man and Flower of Evil without romance. Or being in a femalecentric ensemble like Skycastle, Birthcenter and Woman of Dignity.
Watching her in “Love Forecast” and “Mood of the Day”, I dont think she suits romcoms. Like she creates good chemistry with her male leads but I can see its not her comfort zone, her acting isnt bad but it doesnt come out naturally. Or maybe its just my image of her, she is so serious and has had dramatic roles so seeing her in those movies, something felt off. It didnt help that they werent well written too.
But if she really has to act in another melo, then I think she suits actors in LJK’s age group because of her visual, aura, personality and acting chops i.e the likes of Hyun Bin, Nam Goong Min, Kim Nam Gil, Jo In Sung, or even older like So Ji Sub and Gong Yoo. I would love to see her work with any of them. A romance with Ji Sung or Jang Hyuk wouldnt be a bad idea either?.
I don’t want to see her with Hyun Bin, not in the recent future at least. She was bashed during the Songsongcouple era, what more now with the popularity of CLOY and Binjin. Not to mention there’s already a fight (on twitter and instagram at least as I’ve observed) between Binjin fans and fans of Hyun Bin’s ex from 2011. Thus, I dont want MCW involved with Hyun Bin for her to avoid fan war.
Did you watch her earlier works like My Fair Lady? That one was a rom com and love her in that one.
Oh I watched that one but I didnt know her well then. I remember that drama for Yoon Eun Hye because she was the main lead but Chae Won was alright in there too.
Let’s see if my reply can go through. Keep failing to post my reply *sigh*
*sigh* have to reply you on new comment as I failed to reply to your original post above (no idea why)
You are on point about the popularity and half of it is on her. She’s never been into popularity and if you look back to her interviews even the one way back to 2011 post Princess’ Man, she did say that she has no big ambition and her only wish is to be able to take part in projects she’s interested in and she’s been consistent with her words till now. She also said no to variety shows after her success and only did RM due to LSG was with her and he’s a close friend whom she can relied on. In fact, in her post interview for Good Doctor back in 2013 she said she need to reevaluate what she want with her career and what direction she want it go (didn’t like all the attentions she’d been receiving after continuous hits 3 yrs in a row) and said there’re other things she wants to do in life other than being a celebrity and she did cut down a lot of activities after that and stayed away from dreamland for 3 yrs after that and went even more ninja than before
Ups. Typo. Dreamland = dramaland. Blame the auto correction
I don’t think that shipping drama affected (other than total annoyance) her as it was really stupid silly (by total delusional ppl) that got nothing to do with her. She might be shy & quiet but she is a no pushover and very stubborn lol. But yes, that psycho stalker was the real reason she quit IG as that guy was a total lunatic. Real psycho in literal sense
Ups a typo. I mean dramaland not dreamland
Btw don’t think the shipping drama affected her much. It was stupid and silly that got nothing to do with her. Total delusional. But yes. That pyscho stalker was another story
Hi @Jane thanks for your insight. You know I completely understand her. The attention and drama can be too overwhelming. But there is a saying, you can not have your cake and eat it too. Her career is both an art but also a business. This is especially true for her as a drama actress. The art is where we see her on the small screen. The business side is what determines her longetivity and quality of scripts she is offered. For this to work, she has to be more visible as a public figure and A-list actress. I am glad that her agency has got it now and she too. She participated in a radio show with LJK not too long ago. She did two photoshoots back to back after a long drought. She reopened an instagram account even though I know her agency will be managing it.
Even introverted types like Song Hye Kyo, Jun Ji Hyun and many more still promote by doing Cfs and photoshoots. Gong Yoo for example who doesnt have any social media, takes long gaps between projects, and also very introverted guests on variety show from time to time. Its good business. You see how when Chaewon started withdrawing and her script choices were getting poorer after Good Doctor, she almost disappeared until Flower of Evil came along. But now that, she has more public attention and she is promoting. The ninja mode I think works better for movie actors rather than drama actors like her. The movie actors are less dependent on popularity for their career success and choices.
But all the same, I truly respect how she follows her heart. She has been in this for 13 years and bagged many meaningful awards than most of her peers. She has also been in good productions than most so whatever works for her, am looking forward to her next project.
Wholeheartedly agreed. Now is actually a very good sign that she might have found enlightenment lol. She is much more active now then ever can’t remember when waa the last time she was active after a project. Since 2013.
One thing about being her fans for a decade. The girl is super stubborn with her own ways and sometimes it’s frustrating for us, fans. And abiut the shipping drama, I don’t think it effect her much other than full annoyance as that’s super stupid & silly. But that psycho stalker was a a different matter. That one was the reason she quit ig last time
@Jane About the stalker stuff, woah that’s awful. I totally understand. I remember Tom Hiddleston used to be really open/giving to his fans, before one of them tried to find out where he lived by stalking him after his play was done. Some crazies ruin it for the fans!! That being said, you can’t live/die by your fans either. There has this be a balance. Look at Son Ye Jin, Jo In Sung, Gong Yoo, Gong Hyo Jin, and the like. They know how to strike boundaries with their fans, and keep a firm line between them. You ought to be very careful b/c some crazy random will think this means you like them as a romantic figure, and that could cause issues down the line…
I like her, it seems she has complete control over her career choices. If she doesn’t want to be all over social media and doing CFs and earning tons of money, happy for her that she can live her life the way she chooses to. I hope to see her in another exciting project!
She came from a family with money and not a big spender (modest lifestyle) so earning big money is never on her focus and I suppose, that’s also why she can comfortably went ninja without much promoting
She was so gorgeous in FoE. And has always been a great actress