posted at Wednesday, September 25th, 2013 at 12:00 AM | YA Meets Kdrama
A group of us lovers of both young adult fiction and kdrama had a brilliant idea on Twitter, a way to bring our two loves together. We’ll be alternating through our five blogs with one post a week in our new feature YA Meets Kdrama. This is my first post.
Kdramas that have been cast already:
So Close to You, cast by the author Rachel Carter
Lauren Oliver’s Delirium, cast by Laura J. Moss
Stephanie Perkins’ Lola & the Boy Next Door, cast by Katie M. Stout
Melina Marchetta’s Jellicoe Road, cast by Corey Wright
For my first book, I chose Kasie West’s The Distance Between Us, because it’s just the sort of story that would make a perfect kdrama. There’s romance, witty banter, and a tense familial situation. This basically demands to be a kdrama, probably not a full sixteen episode season, but they’re a lot more flexible with series length in korea. If you don’t know what kdrama is, you might want to check out this post before you read on.
Also, no one laugh at how terrible I am at graphics, okay? I’ve just started trying to understand PicMonkey, and haven’t figured out how to make the text look awesome yet.
Seventeen-year-old Ji-Min Myeong studies the rich people that visit her mother’s shop, Chibi & More, though really they don’t sell anything aside from overpriced chibi figurines anymore. The shop has fallen on hard times, and Ji-Min spends most of her free time working there. When Dong-Hyun Seop comes to the store to pick up a chibi doll his grandmother ordered, Ji-min immediately judges him for being absurdly wealthy. She wants nothing to do with him, but he keeps pursuing her. However, he wins her with his charm and appreciation for her sarcasm. This presents difficulties, because her mother will not approve of Ji-Min dating a wealthy guy.
Lim Ju Eun as Caymen/Ji Min
Jung Il Woo as Dong Hyun
Yoon Eun Hye as Skye/Seo Yun
Kang Min Hyuk as Henry/Hyun Woo
Jung Yong Hwa as Mason/Min Jun
Kim Hye Ja as Dong Hyun’s Grandma/Young hee
Casting Choices Explained:
In casting The Distance Between Us, I immediately knew who would play the Xander Spence character, because Jung Il Woo did such a brilliant job playing the pampered rich boy in Flower Boy Ramyun Shop. He’s charming, but also the kind of guy that Caymen would want to avoid.
Casting Caymen on the other hand was difficult, because none of the female leads I’ve seen thus far really worked, so I went with a lesser known actress, who I’ve only seen in a rather terrible drama called What’s Up. What I like about Lim Ju Eun is that she’s got a sort of bitchy, judgmental look about her, the kind of girl who doesn’t appreciate bullshit and can do sarcastic well. Also, the fact that she’s fairly unknown fits well with Caymen’s personality too.
For Skye, Caymen’s best friend, I wanted someone friendly and approachable and beautiful, so I went with one of my favorite kdrama actresses, Yoon Eun Hye. Playing Skye’s quirky boyfriend, Henry, is Kang Min Hyuk, the drummer for CN Blue. He was hilarious in Heartstrings. CN Blue lead guitarist and singer Jung Yong Hwa plays Henry’s bandmate, Mason, who Skye tries to set Caymen up with. I chose that rather odd picture of him, because most of his publicity shots he’s really neat and put together, but he would look more grungy and punk rockish in the show. The kdrama would definitely beef up his story arc.
I loved the character of Xander’s grandmother, so I had to cast her. I wanted a friendly looking grandmother, but one who looks like she knows what’s up. I can totally imagine Kim Hye Ja matchmaking and being awesome based on her performance in Goong. For Caymen’s mom, I wanted a woman who’s sort of dainty looking, since Caymen is worried about her mom’s health for much of the book, but with iron underneath. Yoon Se-ah can pull this off perfectly, though I had to remove her image because it broke my blog for reasons I do not understand. See it here.