BY Julie Jones | May 13, 2015 09:24 AM EDT
Actor Song Jong Ho admits that he had a hard time making the transition. It's hard to think of a woman as your wife after you called her mom. That's what he has to do with actress Lee Il Hwa in the vampire drama "Orange Marmalade."
The 38-year-old actor played teacher Yoon Tae Woong in the drama "Reply 1997." His character turned out to be the brother of Yoon Yoon Jae, played by Seo In Guk. Yoon Yoon Jae loved Sung Shi Won, played by Jung Eun Ji. And actress Lee Il Hwa played Sung Shi Won's mom. Since they were close, Song Jong Ho's character called Lee Il Hwa's character mom.
But past k-drama casting does not indicate how you will be cast in the future. In "Orange Marmalade," the 44-year-old actress plays his wife. Song Jong Ho, playing Han Yoon Jae, naturally needs to refer to her as honey. At a recent press conference for the drama's launch he explained why this was not easy.
"It was awkward calling her honey when I used to call her mother in 'Reply 1997.' Still, we worked together before and while she can play an older woman, she looks so young that it was no problem. I hope you will watch the drama without any preconceived notions."
Pairing an older actress with a younger actor is an interesting aspect of k-drama casting that never happens in Hollywood. And it does not just happen in noona romances, where the female character is supposed to be older than the male character. Take the case of Park Yoo Chun and Han Ji Min. When they co-starred in "Rooftop Prince," she was 30 and he was 26. Or Kim Soo Hyun and Han Ga In in "The Moon Embracing The Sun." She was 31 and he was 25. Or Son Ye Jin and Lee Min Ho in "Personal Taste." He was 26. She was 36.
And the casting worked in every case.
Song and Lee's new fantasy drama is set in a world where vampires no longer need to kill to get the blood they need. They are no longer feared but they are considered second-class citizens. The drama stars Yeo Jin Goo, AOA's Seolhyun and CNBLUE's Lee Jong Hyun.
Lee Il Hwa has acted for 24 years, appearing in dozens of dramas including "Doctor Stranger," "Modern Farmer," "You Who Came From Another Star" and "My Daughter Seo Young."
Song Jong Ho has acted for almost 20 years, appearing in the dramas "The Girl Who Sees Smells," "Suspicious Housekeeper," "The Full Sun" and "The Fugitive of Joseon."
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