Many K-dramas change their cast members half-way through, even removing a major character due to a variety of reasons.
Jung So Min – Go Yoon Jung (Alchemy of Souls)
“Alchemy of Souls” is a fantasy K-drama that constantly makes waves on the 2022 Korean small screen. The series’ first season started with actress Jung So Min playing the female lead, before changing to Go Yoon Jung in the 2nd season. Due to its theme of switching bodies, the cast change in “Alchemy of Souls” makes sense, never less, it is still embroiled in heavy criticism.
Particularly, many people pointed out that while Jung So Min as the female lead mocked her character’s appearance, Go Yoon Jung called her own character a “beauty”, as if to compare the appearance between the two. In addition, some also complained that Jung So Min was used as “stepping stone” for Go Yoon Jung to shine.
Ji Soo – Na In Woo (River Where The Moon Rises)
The historical drama “River Where The Moon Rises” faced a serious crisis in the middle of airing. Particularly, Ji Soo, the actor who played the male lead, was accused of being a school bully, and later admitted to several allegations. As a result, it was a priority to remove him from the drama as soon as possible, and Na In Woo stepped in at the last minute. Since the drama had already finished filming by the time Ji Soo’s scandal broke out, Na In Woo and the rest of the cast had to refilm their old scenes, working tirelessly day and night to catch up with the airing schedule.
Lee Da Hae – Hwang Jung Eun (East of Eden)
In 2008, actress Lee Da Hae caused quite a shock by suddenly announcing her departure from “East of Eden”, which was in the middle of airing. According to the actress, she cannot understand the development of her character Min Hye Rin, and doesn’t want to act out illogical and even idiotic actions of this character. At the time, Lee Da Hae’s decision was embroiled in controversy, with numerous people criticizing her for being irresponsible. At the same time, other cast members would have no choice but to leave along with the actresses, seeing that their character is closely related to hers.
In the end, the matter was solved with Hwang Jung Eum’s character taking up the empty spot, and the drama was able to conclude.
Kim Jung Hyun (Time)
In the case of Kim Jung Hyun, instead of finding another actor to take his spot, the production team decided to kill off his character. Seeing that Kim Jung Hyun played the male lead of “Time”, his departure from the series uprooted the entire process, leading to criticisms.
At the time, Kim Jung Hyun’s agency explained that the actor was suffering from mental issues, and that the actor is coping with eating and sleeping disorders. The situation generally died down, only to be brought up years later, with people condemning the actor for avoiding skinship and having a bad attitude towards his co-star. In response, a series of text messages between Kim Jung Hyun and actress Seo Ye Ji was released, revealing that the two were lovers in the past, and Seo Ye Ji told the actor to avoid interactions with female staff and cast.
In the end, Kim Jung Hyun had to write an apology letter to the “Time” team, while Seo Ye Ji went on a long hiatus.