Joo Won was one of the names heavily favoured when La Petite and I discussed which actors might be suitable (and okay, ones that we’d like) for the lead role of Chiaki Shinichi in the upcoming Korean drama remake of Nodame Cantabile, so imagine my surprise when news broke that Joo Won has actually received an offer for exactly that. I have three words to offer on this potential casting news: ACCEPT IT NOW.
The more I think about it, the more I think he’d be a great fit for the role of stuffy musical genius Chiaki, a gifted pianist who secretly dreams of becoming a conductor. We’ve seen Joo Won play characters ranging from dark, tortured anti-hero to pure and child-like doctor, so a straight A perfectionist with underlying quirks of his own is hardly a stretch. (Plus he looks great in a tux, which is not entirely for eyecandy purposes – at least we can be sure he won’t look like a penguin when he conducts!) His background as a musical actor might also help; Chiaki won’t be required to sing, but… some musical training is surely better than none?
This news comes on the heels of reports that Park Hae Jin and IU had been offered the lead male and female roles respectively, though both sides were quick to deny those rumours. IU is not the most technical actress, but she always brings a bright and cheerful charm to her roles. That’s a factor that would be key for the character of Nodame, who remains warm and relatable despite being lovably quirky and utterly 4D. Nodame Cantabile might appear to be a simple comedy on the surface, but at its core is a story of the characters’ personal growth and the bonds that develop between Nodame, Chiaki and the numerous people they meet on their journeys from music students to professional musicians. It’s a surprisingly moving tale with a lot of heart (not to mention one may come out of it with a new or renewed appreciation for classical music, since the series manages to capture joy in music without bashing anyone over the head with it), so fingers, toes and everything else crossed that producers Group Eight will do justice to the source without trying to “spice it up.”
Of course, there’s still a long way to go since the drama is still very much in the planning stages. Not much as changed since the original announcement; producers Group Eight has purchased the license and aims to air in the second half of 2014, though they have yet to score a slot with any broadcaster. We will have to wait and hope that Joo Won accepts the role despite his busy schedule (he has movie Fashion King and musical Ghost coming up), and that IU (or another suitable actress) will snare the character of Nodame. There are a few talented 20-something actresses out there that I would like to see try their hand at it, but whatever happens, this had better be good.
From TV Report