The Story Behind the Casting for “Reply 1994”

Putting together the cast of “Reply 1994” was not a walk in the park. 

The episode of tvN’s “Reply 1994” which aired on November 9 set a record of 7% in ratings. It is an unimaginable number for a cable channel program.

The factor that played into the success of the drama has something to do its cast. Young cast members, Go Ara, Jung Woo, Yoo Yeon Seok, Kim Sung Kyun, Son Ho Joon, Do Hee, and Baro make the perfect combination as well as Sung Dong Il and Lee Mil Hwa who portray their roles with their expertise.

Jung Woo, Yoo Yeon Seok, Kim Sung Kyun, Do Hee, and Son Ho Joon especially are receiving reviews they have become real stars. People say their hidden talents have been finally discovered.

Expectation for “Reply 1994” was fueled by the success of its predecessor, “Reply 1997.” The show made Jung Eun Ji and Seo In Guk into stars. Thus, many actors and agencies showed their interests for “Reply 1994.”

It was a great risk for the production staff to cast actors based on their “potential” rather than casting a top star. However, “Reply 1994” continued the success of “Reply 1997,” and the “Reply” series gained the nickname of “star maker.”

So what is the secret behind the casting of “Reply 1994?” The efforts of producer Shin Won Ho and writer Lee Woo Jung played a great part in creating what the netizens refer to as perfect chemistry.

According to multiple representatives, “Hundreds of actors auditioned for just one character on ‘Reply 1994.’ If you account the number of characters on the show, it is an unimaginable number of auditions that were held.”

One of the reps stated, “It is not so easy finding a fresh and talented actor,” and “It was especially difficult to cast the ‘Reply 1994’ characters since we needed to find actors who could speak the Gyeongsang-do dialect and had a good understanding of the characters’ background.”

It was said, “Producer Shin Won Ho and writer Lee Woo Jung personally conducted many of the auditions.” “The two are known to be perfectionists, and it took a long time finding the perfect actors that would fit the drama since they were not looking for actors who were already popular.”

Producer Shin Won Ho stated in a recent press conference, “I don’t remember how many auditions we had because there were so many. I almost threw up while auditioning people,” revealing how much hard work went into the audition process.

The hard work of the production staff was shown immediately. Go Ara received favorable feedback saying her role is a “rediscovery” of her acting, and Jung Woo has become a star. Kim Sung Kyun, who played a criminal or a gang member in his previous works, changed into a college student. Do Hee, who is a newcomer to acting, is also receiving much popularity. Son Ho Joon and Baro have also gained more female fans through their roles in the drama. The chemistry between the cast and the production staff are shining light to the drama’s success.


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