Heading’s Love Square
Jung Yun Ho, more commonly known as U-know Yunho of TVXQ, has signed on to his first lead drama role. He is to be joined by Go Ara, Lee Yoon Ji, and Lee Sang Yun in the soccer-themed drama, Heading on Bare Ground (맨땅에 헤딩).
U-know Yunho (23) was cast after negotiations with Kim Rae Won failed due to Kim’s upcoming military enlistment. He will play Cha Bong Gun, an athlete on a soccer farm team whose skills are lacking for his dream of making the national team. (News articles initially said entering English Premier League is his goal, but more recent reports are saying he wants to make it as a national representative.) U-know Yunho stated regarding his first drama project, “The character Cha Bong Gun really appeals to me. My heart was deeply moved with rising emotions while reading the script. I want to express this feeling honestly with my acting.”
His love interest will be played by fellow SM artist, Go Ara (19). Her character is named Kang Hye Bin, and is the daughter of a professional team’s manager. However, Hye Bin hides her status and seeks to gain recognition in the male-dominated world of sports as an agent based on her own talent. She joins forces with Bong Gun after seeing his impressive volley shoot. Their feelings for each other grow even while bickering constantly. (KP’s note: Han Ga In was originally in discussions for this role.)
Lee Yoon Ji will play Bong Gun’s neighbour and long-time friend, Oh Yeon Yi. She is the nutritionist for the soccer team Bong Gun plays for. (KP’s note: Lee Da Hae was originally rumoured to be a contender for this role.)
A Korean drama wouldn’t be a Korean drama without a love square. Enter 28-year-old actor Lee Sang Yun (Lee Sang Yoon; I Love You, Don’t Cry) as a good-natured lawyer.
Heading on Bare Ground is expected to premiere on September 9, following MBC’s horror drama, Hon.
KP’s note: The English title will likely NOT be the literal translation that I used – Heading on Bare Ground. Actually, 맨 땅에 헤딩 – pronounced maen ddangae heading – is a Korean expression that means diving head first into something even without sufficient resources, preparation, or skill. Judging from the drama’s synopsis, the expression fits. “Heading” is also a soccer term for hitting the ball with one’s head.