Who Should Play the Title Role in Korean Remake of

There has been a lot of heated discussions on who should play the lead female character of “Nodame”  in the Korean remake of the hit 2006 Japanese drama “Nodame Cantabile” after YoonA of Girls’ Generation was named as one of the actresses being considered for the part. Most people are unhappy with the casting, while there are some who see the potential in the young idol/actress.  The reaction was unlike any for casting news for this drama. Joo Won, Dohee, and Bae Yoon Sik have already been confirmed for the drama.

It is hard to remake such a popular drama, both a ratings and critical hit, let alone fill the shoes of an actress who has made the role so iconic. Japanese actress Ueno Juri played the role of Megumi Noda (nicknamed Nodame) when she was 20 years old, winning the “Best Lead Actress” at the 51st Television Drama Academy Awards in Japan for her highly praised portrayal. She created some big shoes to fill when she played the role of Nodame, making harsh comparison inevitable for any actress picked for a remake.

YoonA carries a lot of baggage as an idol/actress and a large part of criticism directed toward her is because of the negative perception of such double duty celebrities. Some viewers will never give YoonA a chance, some will lower their expectations, and some will support her just because she is an idol. It’s a mixed bag of blessings that YoonA has to deal with to win over viewers if she takes on the difficult role of Nodame. YoonA earned praise for her role in “Prime Minister and I“; it looks like she is winning over some viewers. Is Nodame actually the perfect role for YoonA to finally receive mass public praise? 


For readers who have never seen “Nodame Cantabile” and don’t know what all the fuss is about, here is a quick and short introduction to the drama. Based on a manga of the same name, the drama depicts two aspiring classical musicians in college, the arrogant perfectionist Chiaki and the eccentric and disorganized Nodame. Chiaki aspires to be a orchestra conductor but can’t get the training he needs in Europe (the heart of classical music) because of a childhood trauma. Nodame is a piano student with high potential that can’t be tapped into because she fears competition. In the drama these two opposites attract, making new friendships along the way with some interesting characters and overcoming their fears to grow both in character and musical talent. Here’s a compilation of some scenes from the drama:

Do you think YoonA can play the role of Nodame? While we can’t expect any adaption to be exactly like the original, story or character-wise, and with no word on how exactly the Korean remake will play out plot-wise, can you see YoonA playing the quirky, messy, dramatic, and walking comedy act that is Nodame?

If not, who else can you see play the role? If we narrow down the age to actresses in their 20s, we have quite a list of candidates that may be able to take on the role of Nodame.

Coming up: 12 more possible actresses to play the role of Nodame

1. Go Ara

With her current drama, “You’re All Surrounded,” wrapping up, Go Ara may be able to star in “Nodame Cantabile.” Her acting cred has been slowly growing with hits like “Reply 1994” and “You’re All Surrounded.” Go Ara is learning how to navigate between comedy and drama and she’s lost a lot of the princess image she had initially.

go ara

2. Han Groo

Her casting is highly unlikely because she is currently filming the drama “Marriage, Not Dating,” but if the production of  “Nodame Cantabile” got delayed a bit more, Han Groo can be high on the list of potential actresses for the lead role. She’s consistently received praise for her acting, quickly burying her past as a singer. 

han groo

3. Park Shin Hye

This actress is also busy filming a movie currently, but can you see her play the role of Nodame? Her character in the drama “You Are Beautiful” was a bit ditsy like Nodame, but there were some critics who slammed her portrayal as unrefined? Was the writing to be blamed or does Park Shin Hye not have the comedy chops for Nodame?

park shin hye heartstrings

Next page: Baek Jin Hee, Ha Yeon Soo, and Park Bo Young

4. Baek Jin Hee

Some consider her a rising star, continually showing her potential in hits like the sitcom “High Kick” and dramas “I Summon You, Gold,” “Empress Ki,” and “Triangle.” She played a pretty crazy role in “High Kick,” which means she has the experience for Nodame.

baek jin hee high kick

5. Ha Yeon Soo

Ha Yeon has a very short list of acting projects, having debuted in 2013. She’s only done one movie (“Very Ordinary Couple“) and two dramas (“Monstar” and “Potato Star“). Yet, I want to vote for her. First she has the look- the petite, wide-eyed, a little out of this world look. Second, she’s good at playing the alienated but likeable character as her roles in “Monstar” and “Potato Star” testify. What do you think?

ha yeon soo potato star

6. Park Bo Young

Park Bo Young is looking to expand her range as one can see from her recent list of projects like “Wolf Boy” and “Hot-blooded Youth.” Maybe Nodame is what she needs to solidfy herself as a household name.


Next page: Shim Eun Kyung, IU, and Kim Ji Won

7. Shim Eun Kyung

This actress has already been linked to the drama, but she had to decline the offer because of a movie she was filming. But as the reports came out about her casting, many people were excited due to her similar image to Ueno Juri and her reliable acting ability. She also gets my vote if her name comes up again. How about you?

shim eun kyung miss granny

8. IU

Voices of dissent are a little quieter with this idol/singer than they are with YoonA. Some who would say she is much better than expected while others think she is overrated in her acting abilities? What do you think- do you think IU has what it takes for Nodame? She was one of the first names to be linked to the drama when it was announced. Her character in “Dream High” is a bit similar to Nodame.

iu dream high

9. Kim Ji Won 

Kim Ji Won has a strong image of being sharp and unapproachable due to her roles in “To the Beautiful You,” “The Heirs,” and “Gapdong,” but maybe that is just a testimony to how engrossed she gets with her roles. Maybe we can see Kim  Ji Won knock the role of Nodame out of the ballpark.

Kim ji won high kick

Next page: Moon Geun Young, Jo Bo Ah, and Go Ah Sung

10. Moon Geun Young

Moon Geun Young is already well-known for her solid acting abilities but she hasn’t been picking the best of projects lately (“Marry Me Marry,” “Cheongdamdong Alice,” and “Goddess of Fire, Jung-yi“), making some people wonder if she is overrated. Maybe Moon Geun Young will find both a ratings and critical hit with Nodame.


11. Jo Bo Ah

After her successful debut in the 2012 drama “Shut Up Flower Boy Band,” Jo Bo Ah earned the ire of many viewers when she took on a sageuk drama, “Horse Doctor,” and initially had trouble delivering the complicated sageuk dialogue. So far, she hasn’t done anything close to a comedy; maybe through Nodame she will discover her funny bone.

Jo Bo Ah 3

12. Go Ah Sung

She’s considered more of a film actress rather than a drama actress due to her well-known appearance in the 2013 motion picture  “Snowpiercer.” She doesn’t immediately strike one as having a funny bone, but her ability to act has never been questioned.

go ah sung god of study

Next page: Vote and leave your opinions.

What do you think, Soompiers? Who gets your vote to play the role of Nodame? Why? Is there someone I didn’t name that you want to play the role? Do you think this drama should even be made? Give your input in the comments below.

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