Dec 14, 2013

YA Meets Kdrama: A Countess Below Stairs

This past week I reread Eva Ibbotson's A Countess Below Stairs, and I just knew I had to turn it into my next installment of YA Meets Kdrama.

I've made no secret of my enduring love for Ibbotson, and I think all of her books would make awesome Kdramas. A Countess Below Stairs is especially perfect: an attractive older man with power, a spunky girl down on her luck, an evil second lead who stands in the way of true love. Seriously, I just described the plot of every Kdrama ever.

In case you're new - YA Meets Kdrama is a weekly blog series where five of us bloggers/writers cast our favorite YA novels as Korean dramas. Here are the most recent posts:

Laura J Moss casts Tomorrow, When the War Began

Katie M Stout casts Shatter Me

Corey Wright casts The Disreputable Education of Frankie Landau-Banks

Christina at A Reader of Fictions casts Racing Savannah

Without further adieu, here is A Countess Below Stairs as a Kdrama:

Synopsis (taken from Amazon): Anna, a young countess, has lived in the glittering city of St Petersburg all her life in an ice-blue palace overlooking the River Neva. But when revolution tears Russia apart, her now-penniless family is forced to flee to England. Armed with an out-of-date book on housekeeping, Anna determines to become a housemaid and she finds work at the Earl of Westerholme’s crumbling but magnificent mansion. The staff and the family are sure there is something not quite right about their new maid – but she soon wins them over with her warmth and dedication.Then the young Earl returns home from the war – and Anna falls hopelessly in love. But they can never be together: Rupert is engaged to the snobbish and awful Muriel – and anyway, Anna is only a servant. Or so everybody thinks . . .


Shin Min Ah as Anna Grazinsky

Like Anna, Shin Min Ah's characters are often bubbly, excitable and strong. Her performance in My Girlfriend is a Gumiho is so crazy adorable that you literally want to eat her up. But she's also able to carry the emotional parts of her roles, making you feel everything right alongside her. Shin Min Ah is considered one of the most beautiful actresses in Korea, but regardless, she never stops being relatable. Because of this I know she'd make the perfect Anna. 

Kim Ji Hoon as Rupert Frayne

Rupert is a war hero and reluctant heir, forced to marry a woman he doesn't love in order to save his family home. Anyone who's seen Stars Falling From the Sky knows how well Kim Ji Hoon plays the chabol character, and his performance in Flower Boy Next Door showed us a softer, more romantic side. Rupert is basically a combo of those two characters, making Kim Ji Hoon the perfect fit.

Park Soo Jin as Muriel Hardwicke

Park Soo Jin almost always plays the second lead - and has already acted against our two leads in both My Girlfriend is a Gumiho and Flower Boy Next Door. Her haughty attitude would definitely do Muriel justice. Plus Muriel is super into eugenics, and I can't really look at Park Soo Jin's face without cringing over all that plastic surgery. She seems like she'd do a great job of embodying the modern version of Muriel's beauty-is-everything attitude.

Choi Won Young as the butler Proom

Like everyone else on eath, I've been watching Heirs (SO DISAPPOINTING), and I've found myself drawn to the quiet dignity of Choi Won Young. He might be a little young for it, but I can definitely see him taking on the role of stoic, responsible, household-running Proom.

Lee Min Ho as Sergei

Too obvious? I DON'T EVEN CARE LOOK AT THE BEAUTY OF THAT MAN. He's perfect to play Anna's sexy cousin Sergei, who causes all the ladies to fall in love with him and acts as an inadvertent foil when Rupert sees the two of them embracing.

Lee Chun Hee as Dr. Lightbody

Handsome, but still silly enough to play the over-the-top spectacle that is Dr. Lightbody, the eugenics loving, self-proclaimed 'doctor,' who follows Muriel around. Lee Chun Hee was pretty serious in Dating Agency: Cyrano, but look to his performance in Smile, You, for the inspiration behind this casting.

There are about a million and one characters in A Countess Below Stairs, so obviously this is just a few. Still, I think it's a pretty good start!

Do you agree with my casting? Disagree? Think Heirs was actually good? (In which case, we might have to stop being friends.)