There are many great kdramas that enjoyed great success throughout the years but not without going over a couple of casting calls for actors who’d eventually turn them down before someone else claimed these roles.
There are many reasons why Korean actors and actresses would turn down roles from busy schedules to personal reasons, a lot could happen that can prevent an actor from taking on a role. However, in many cases, the reasons are vague and not mentioned when Korean news outlets cover stories about actors turning down roles.
Regardless, today we’ll be going through 9 cases when Korean actors and actresses turned down interesting roles in what became iconic immensely successful kdramas.
“Hyena” – Song Hye Kyo
“Hyena” is currently one of the top SBS dramas, its been enjoying great ratings and continues to score higher with each episode. The role of the notorious materialistic Jung Geum Ja was initially offered to Song Hye Kyo.
Media was buzzing about the casting offer because it would’ve marked her first project following her divorce from Song Joong Ki. Kim Hye Soo ended up taking on the role and she’s currently kicking it and getting rave reviews from fans and critics alike for her great performance.
“Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds” – Kim Woo Bin, Gong Yoo, Won Bin
“Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds” is considered to be one of the most successful South Korean movies of all time, as of this writing it is the third most-viewed Korean movie of all time.
The casting offers were sent out to many actors including Kim Woo Bin who was offered a leading role but ultimately declined. Gong Yoo and Won Bin were also offered roles according to the original webtoon writer but ultimately declined.
“Pinocchio”- – Kim Woo Bin
Kim Woo Bin makes a second appearance on our list. He was also offered the lead male role in the immensely popular series which is also a fan-favorite. He could’ve played Park Shin Hye’s leading man if he had accepted the offer and it would’ve been their second project following “The Heirs.”
Unfortunately, Kim Woo Bin ended up turning down the role due to scheduling conflict and his BFF Lee Jong Suk took on the role.
“Cheese In The Trap” the drama – Bae Suzy
Who could ever imagine Hong Seol being played by Bae Suzy? Well originally, Bae Suzy was the choice for the female lead, she was offered the lead role but ultimately turned it down.
Kim Go Eun had also turned down the offer to lead the series because of scheduling issues, but the director persisted and continuously asked her to starr in the role and even adjusted the shooting schedule to match hers.
“Dr. Romantic”- Lim Soo Jung
Considered one of the most successful medical series in recent years, “Dr. Romantic” enjoyed immense popularity in its home country and overseas as well for its script and actors’ performances.
The leading female role was originally offered to Lim Soo Jung who turned it down, Seo Hyun Jin ultimately took on the role of the female lead and killed it.
“Defendant”- Han Ye Seul
“Defendant” is considered one of the best 2017 kdramas, the drama enjoyed massive success and even surpassed the 20% in ratings during its run, a feat that is very difficult to reach these days.
The leading female role was originally offered to Han Ye Seul, however, the actress turned it down and instead Girls’ Generation Yuri took on the role.
“Kingdom” – Song Joong Ki
Back in 2017, Song Joong Ki was looking over various casting offers for his drama comeback. A Netflix series called “Kingdom” tried to recruit the beloved actor, the drama was already making buzz for being written by “Signal” writer Kim Eun Hee.
Song Joong Ki ultimately turned down the offer to focus on his preparations for his wedding to actress Song Hye Kyo at the time.
The leading role eventually went to Ju Ji Hoon. “Kingdom” is considered one of the highlighted series of Netlfix and it recently released a second season with current discussions for a third one.
Did any of these shock you? do you think any of these actors who turned down the roles would’ve been a great pick?