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The 3 casting rules: Uhm Tae Woong joins 1 Night 2 Days

Uhm Tae Woong joins “1 Night 2 Days”
The 3 casting rules
February 21, 2010

It was an ongoing covert operation.  The meetings between KBS Happy Sunday’s “1 Night 2 Days” (1N2D) producers and Uhm Tae Woong (36) were that top secret.  The president of Uhm Tae Woong’s agency even kept this a secret from other employees and staff so that news of Uhm Tae Woong joining 1N2D would not be leaked out.

Casting rule 1. “Hide the new member.” Top secret progress

News of Uhm Tae Woong joining 1N2D actually began to spread among broadcast circles during the third week of this month.  After news came out on February 15 that the new 1N2D member would be an “actor similar in age to Kang Ho Dong,” word spread within the KBS variety show sector that this person was Uhm Tae Woong.  Further, on February 18, numerous inquiries were made about Uhm Tae Woong joining 1N2D, however, Uhm Tae Woong’s side stated “This is absolutely not true.”  Questions such as “Do you not know about the news of Uhm Tae Woong joining 1N2D?  Is he not joining?” were asked but his agency repeatedly stated “He is not involved.”

Regarding this, President Shim of Uhm Tae Woong’s agency explained, “Aside from me, not a single person in my agency knew about Uhm Tae Woong joining 1N2D.  It was decided together with the producers that we would keep this a secret before the broadcast and thus I was unable to answer the phone calls from inquiring reporters.”  According to Uhm Tae Woong’s agency, they had no choice but to remain silent since the producers wanted to keep Uhm Tae Woong’s involvement under wraps until their first filming.

In particular, the producers wanted to keep the new member secret in order to realistically capture on camera, the surprised and bewildered expressions of the first encounter between the current members and the new member.

Casting rule 2. “Fresh face + nice character.” Why?

The 1N2D producers emphasized that the new member was a “fresh face” that had not appeared much on variety shows.  The entertainers that the producers approached were also unconventional.  Both Song Chang Hui and Yoon Kye Sang, eventually declining 1N2D casting invitations, had never appeared as regulars on variety programs following their debut as actors.  This is the same with Uhm Tae Woong.  Even netizens were surprised each time stating “I never imagined that.”

The producers were also guided by a philosophy of casting a “nice character.”  Although different age-wise, Yoon Kye Sang, Song Chang Hui, and Uhm Tae Woong are all actors that had a robust good image.

With 1N2D being a real variety program, it’s inevitable that an entertainer’s true colors will come out, particularly as the members go through a lot of hardships together.  Therefore, the balance among the members would be shaken if a selfish character were to come in.  The chemistry of the members was very important, thus, the producers put a lot of emphasis on a “nice character” so he would be able to fit in well with the current members.

Casting rule 3. “Definitely OB? Age doesn’t matter.”

When looking to cast a new member, the producers did not really take into account the “YB vs OB” category.  It was predicted that the new member would fall into the 1N2D OB (Old Boy) line since this grouping only consisted of Kang Ho Dong (40) and Lee Soo Geun (36) following Kim C’s departure.  However, the producers peaked netizens’ interest when news about Song Chang Hui (32) and Yoon Kye Sung (32) came out.

Regarding this, PD Na Young Suk said, “Although there is an empty spot in the OB line, we didn’t just consider age and filling the OB group in choosing the new member,” adding “More than anything else, we were interested in whether the new member would be a good fit with 1N2D.”

Over 20 entertainers were contacted prior to the producers finalizing things with Uhm Tae Woong.  Among them, the producers personally met with 10 individuals.  It was revealed through PD Na’s behind-the-scenes casting that there were young entertainers also included in this group.

The producers pointed to “human charisma” as the reason for choosing Uhm Tae Woong as the new member.  According to PD Na, while meeting numerous potential candidates, Uhm Tae Woong was the person they became increasingly more curious about each time they met him.  Also, PD Na liked that Uhm Tae Woong was frank and had a simple,  non-made up manner to him.  This is why PD Na expressed, “We made several attempts to recruit him after first contacting Uhm Tae Woong’s side about 1N2D back in October of last year.”

PD Na expressed, “The poignant personality of 1N2D is traveling not as entertainers but as ordinary people for the most part.  Many actors we met were people ingrained with an entertainer’s mentality, however Uhm Tae Woong was not like that and we highly anticipated showing his more ordinary natural side on 1N2D, rather than that of an actor.”  Uhm Tae Woong’s agency also said, “Although Uhm Tae Woong probably won’t be able to bring about big laughs like Lee Soo Geun and the others, he will work hard to show his human side.”

Source: LSGfan via SPN/Edaily

Okay, so we knew the new 1n2d member would be 37 years old and an actor, but I would NEVER have guessed Uhm Tae Woong!  And I don’t think the majority of the public did either (that is, minus those “in the know!”).  It was reported that even Kang Ho Dong and the other 1n2d members didn’t know who the newbie would be.

And this time it’s the REAL deal!  Unlike all those rumors and declining by potential candidates!  The whole process of finding a new member was such a big ordeal!  Rightfully so, as 1N2D is very much Korea’s national program with its unstoppable high tv viewership ratings and its beloved and treasured public status.

It’s actually pretty amazing~ There’s practically no negative reaction to the Uhm Tae Woong casting news, and more than that, it is mostly embraced and applauded.  This was not necessarily the case with Yoon Kye Sang and Song Chang Hui.  Yes, some of this can probably be attributed to people just being fed up with with all the 1N2D casting drama and rumors leading up to this point, and just wanting to move on and have things be finalized!  But, a good part of the positive reaction appears to stem from Uhm Tae Woong’s likeability factor.

Personally, I have never seen a single one of Uhm Tae Woong’s movies, dramas, or musicals; yet, it took ONLY one entertainment show interview with him (following his role on hit MBC drama Queen Sundeok) to make me like the guy!  And I didn’t even know who the dude was nor his name prior to that interview!  He definitely came off very much like a “hoon-nam” (heartwarming guy) to me!  And that’s the thing, Koreans can’t help but to like our “hoon-nams” and “uhm-chin-ahs” (ie, Seunggi)!

After all the recent upsetting news, rumoring, particularly tied to Seunggi’s involvement with 1N2D, I’m just glad we can all move on.  Whatever the circumstances leading up to this point, Seunggi has decided to stay on 1N2D and a new member has been chosen.  Similar to Seunggi, LSGfan is a very forward looking type of person!  That is, unless people start doing or saying crazy stuff!  (But I’d feel better if Seunggi could miss a few 1N2D filmings here and there if it were necessary).

I’m SO glad to see another ACTOR on the show aside from Seunggi and very curious to see the interaction between the 2 guys.  Uhm Tae Woong is 13 years older than Seunggi, and I hope he can sort of fill the void that Kim C left as an older mentor-like hyung to Seunggi.  Some have commented that Uhm Tae Woong’s character may be similar to that of Seunggi’s, but the guys are 13 years apart so I don’t really foresee that being a big issue.  More so, I think the two will be really great together as~  sunbae-hoobae, hyung-dongseng!

Being a very respected actor who’s kept very true to his acting craft, I hope the two guys get to bond a bit over acting interests.  Also, they’ve worked with some of the same actresses so they can talk about that(!)…

Uhm Tae Woong acted with Lee Min Jung (LSG’s Kolon Sport CF partner) in the hit 2010 romantic comedy Cyrano’s Dating Agency, Go Hyun Jung (LSG’s sunbae formerly with Hook Entertainment) in 2009 drama Queen Sundeok, and Shin Min Ah (LSG’s Hoi Couple other half) in 2007 KBS drama Mawang.

Although debuting 14 years ago, Uhm Tae Woong didn’t really become a household name until Queen Sundeok.  His older sister, singer/actress Uhm Jung Hwa (42) was the famous one.  As a singer, she is widely known as the Madonna of Korea.  And for Lee Dong Gun fans, yes(!), she was the one who steals his heart in the movie Changing Partners.  In the interview mentioned earlier (the only time I first heard of and saw Uhm Tae Woong), Uhm Jung Hwa joked that following Queen Sundeok, people have referred to her as “Uhm Tae Woong’s noona” when in the past, her brother was always referenced as “Uhm Jung Hwa’s younger brother.”

In addition to film and drama roles, he has also been involved in musicals and recently sang on the Cyrano Dating Agency OST.  Supposedly, Uhm Tae Woong LOVES his dog and his online sites are filled with photos of his dog!

Very much looking forward to seeing him fit in with all the 1N2D guys, but MOSTLY can’t wait to see sunbae Uhm Tae Woong alongside hoobae actor Lee Seung Gi!

The scoop on Uhm Tae Woong:

See related posts:

16 Responses

  1. me too i just saw this guy (Uhm Tae Woong) on Queen Sundeok.. Looking forward to watch him in 1n2d first filming…

  2. I did not expect it to be this guy at all! woah. surprised! I don’t know anything about him but he sounds like a really nice guy. And I’m glad Pd Na chose someone who’d fit in with 1n2d. So excited about their first ep together!

  3. I know him in Sassy girl Chunyang..I remember him as ahjushi..Can’t wait for him to debut in 1n2d asap!! Hope he can cope well with the others esp seung gi=)))

  4. Dear Ann,
    I knew you could not resist commenting, hahaha!

    I love UTW! Other than Mawang, which is so underrated and where UTW is so heartbreakingly good, he also stars in Resurrection and gets rave reviews for that too. He is not traditionally handsome (just like a certain person we both are crazy about), but his face gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling.

    I sure hope UTW will bond with SG and I think they will.

    • hahahaha. so true! when i first saw the news, I was like WHAT?! Like totally did not see this one coming. And there were a gazillion articles out about the news, but this article caught my eye because it was way more detailed about the casting details~ the kind of stuff I tend to love!

      Yes, on the fuzzy feeling, but come on, our Seunggi is way more handsome! And 13 years younger! :)

      I should check out Mawang since Shin Min Ah was in that too. And also the other recs~ My Sassy Girl Chunyang and Queen Sundeok. Sadly, I have not seen a single thing with Uhm Tae Woong in it!

  5. He has that nice guy look! I’m glad they chose an older guy! I’m really anticipating the new 6 together! Especially seunggi and the newest hyung!!!

  6. I’m confused. Pd Na wanted uhm taewoong from the start? But then how about articles when other two actors got picked. i’m just curious.

    But I’m happy. I like UTW. I saw him in Sundeok Queen, but I was focused on Kim Nam Gil more! kkkk^^ I’m so excited to see UTW and uri seung gi together!

  7. i hope people don’t get me in a wrong way, but it seems that 1n2d actually wanted to bring in new member so that eventually LSG can go and do more for his career. But after all the drama, SG decided to stay or rather to put it this way, Hook decided to listen to SG’s opinion. Whatever, think about it, the 4days of filming each month might also be the only holiday SG might get during his working period, so after all the drama, it wasn’t that bad either.
    but i always thought it would be a good idea to bring in someone kind of similar to Kim C because to put Jiwon in the OB side is still kind of not so right, he is still better in the YB team.
    really looking forward to the new episode~~

    • aw, no one could ever take someone who writes so sweetly in the wrong way! :)

      Yeah, things definitely aren’t always as they appear. It’s not really a bad thing. that’s just reality. Lots of things always happen behind the scenes that most of us probably are not privy to. it happens all the time especially in entertainment, but also business, politics, etc.

      It’s really hard to tell what went down because there’s been a lot of talk among fans and in the press about it and it’s hard to tell what’s true and what’s not. but like you alluded, now that things are finalized, we as fans can support and wish for the best. (again, that is, if people don’t do or say more crazy stuff!) :)

      me too! really really really really looking forward to new ep! Especially Seunggi with Uhm Tae Woong!

  8. i liked him in QSD so Im also excited to see him join 1N2D.. :)

  9. i really hate him in Sassy girl chun hyang, but i can’t wait to see him in this variety show with other members…

  10. Seung-gi and Uhm Tae-woong also both worked with the Hong Sisters (LSG with MGIG and UTW with Sassy Girl, Chun-hyang), so that’s another thing to bond over. They’re filming right now in Gapyeong, and I cannot wait to see the episode!

  11. Did you hear about Seung Gi pairing with Hong Sisters for another drama? :D I can’t wait,so excited!!!

    • I did and was totally against the idea when it was rumored a few weeks ago. And with the news that just came out about Gong Hyo Jin as a strong candidate for the female part, I think I can be a bit more excited (that is, if this is true in any way!) and if Hong sisters make Seunggi’s character one that we will fall in love with!

  12. i 1st saw him in delightful chunhyang but i love his carractor in Resurrection(2005) drama series, he was great in there… so i felt great when knowing he’ll be in my favourite variety show 1N2D… looking forward to it..

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