June 23, 2022 2:12:47 pm
Netflix might have brought curtains down on its Spanish hit Money Heist in December 2021, but it is ready to give fans another dose of the crime drama just within 6 months. La Casa De Papel or Money Heist is getting its Korean adaptation, titled Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area. And while the main plotline remains the same, the K-version has been revamped to suit the Asian audience’s sentiments.
Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area revolves around a Korea that’s about to get unified. In the process, North and South Korea establish a Joint Security Area with the Unified Korea Mint, aiming to introduce a common currency for a stable joint economy. But, as against the expectations, “only the rich get richer,” resulting in inequality.
In the trailer and posters, we saw several popular faces from the Korean entertainment industry being roped in to play central characters. If you’ve been a K-drama fan, you’ll easily know why we say the show indeed has a stellar cast. Netflix recently released a special video, introducing its major characters and the actors playing them.
Here’s a look at who’s playing which role in Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area:
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Yoo Ji-tae — The Professor
Originally portrayed by Álvaro Morte, Yoo Ji-tae takes the baton from him. A popular name in Korea, he has been part of projects like Seven Days, Ode to My Father, Lost and Mistresses, apart from The S3/44ndlers, Money, Svaha: The Sixth Finger and Kim Yunjin.
The Professor is a genius strategist. He’s the mastermind who plans the heist and trains a group of criminals to undertake the robbery. He’s also the main man who negotiates with the government agencies, while doing damage control, if any, from the outside.
Park Hae-soo — Berlin
He’s the most familiar face in the cast, due to his portrayal of Player 218 in hit show Squid Game (2021). Park is also known for starring in Prison Playbook, apart from films like By Quantum Physics: A Nightlife Venture and Time to Hunt. He’ll get into the shoes of Pedro Alonso from the Spanish show.
Berlin is the second-in-command and Professor’s elder brother. He joins the group in disguise to ensure the team stays together during the robbery, while also keeping Professor informed about everything transpiring inside the mint. The original character is a sociopath and a male chauvinist, who refuses to let anyone take crucial decisions during the heist, especially the women.
Jun Jong-seo — Tokyo
Jun plays one of the most important characters in the show. The 27-year-old actor is known for her role in 2018 South Korean thriller Burning. Jun won Best Actress award for the thriller The Call.
Tokyo, this time, is an ex-soldier from North Korea. Part mysterious and part mischievous, she’s feisty and a trouble-maker due to her impulsiveness, yet very crucial to the plot. She blindly believes in her mentor – The Professor, and is ready to go to any extreme for him.
Lee Won-jong — Moscow
A senior Korean actor, Lee has been acting since 1990s. He’s appeared in nearly 40 movies including Frivolous Wife and Warrior Baek Dong Soo, and over 60 TV shows like Secret Door, The Girl Who Sees Smells, Hidden Identity, Remember, and Goodbye Mr. Black.
He plays Moscow, the master miner and the father-figure in the gang. He’s served a long jail term and is now part of the plan to dig a tunnel as an escape route from the heist building. He’s Denver’s father who wants to earn money for a peaceful retired life and his son’s security, away from crimes.
Kim Ji-hun — Denver
Popular for starring in several romantic comedies on Korean TV, Kim has shows like The Golden Age of Daughters-in-Law, Love Marriage, Stars Falling from the Sky, and My Cute Guys under his belt. He appeared in film Natalie and Unsolved, both in 2010.
Denver, in the original series was characterised by his short temper, minor crimes and his peculiar laughter. Kim’s portrayal looks exciting, considering it might show a new side of his craft, that of an anti-hero.
Jang Yoon-ju — Nairobi
Another popular name in Korea’s entertainment industry, Jang is a model, actor and singer-songwriter. She started modelling at the age f 17 and went on to become one of the most successful Korean fashion models for two decades. She also hosts Korea’s Next Top Model, and won awards as an RJ. Jang has also released two albums — Dream (2008) and I’m Fine (2012). She made her acting debut with crime thriller Veteran in 2015.
Given Jang’s strong personality, her casting as Nairobi is near perfect. A one-woman army in the man’s world, Nairobi is edgy and high-spirited, with a deep emotional past. The original character was in-charge of forging the currency. She regularly locks horns with Berlin due to their clashing ideologies, and can do anything for the success of the heist.
Lee Hyun-woo — Rio
Lee started his career as a child actor at 9. He’s appeared in TV shows like The Return of Iljimae, Queen Seondeok, Master of Study, and To the Beautiful You. Lee shot to fame with the movie Secretly, Greatly, and The Con Artists. His other TV shows in a leading role include Moorim School, and The Liar and His Lover.
He plays Rio, a brilliant hacker and the youngest in the gang. He’s the most intelligent, who got involved in a big government scandal. He helps in setting up Professor’s den, the control room from where the mastermind executes his plan without being tracked by the government agencies. In the original series, Rio falls in love with Tokyo.
Kim Ji-hoon — Helsinki
Not to be confused with Kim Ji-hun (Denver)! The one playing Helsinki has appeared in films like The 12th Suspect, Northern Limit Line, Cold Eyes and Love Fiction. His TV shows include The Good Detective, Untouchable, Remember: War of Son and Bad Guys.
He plays Helsinki, who was a part of Yanbian along with his brother Oslo. He’s a part of the gang for muscle power. His towering personality might come across as ruthless and violent, but he’s a soft-hearted man from inside. In the original show, Helsinki is gay and develops a close friendship with Nairobi.
Lee Kyu-ho — Oslo
Lee has done supporting roles in nearly two dozen films including The Outlaws, A Violent Prosecutor, Perfect Proposal and more, and many TV shows like The Uncanny Counter, Missing: The Other Side, Different Dreams and Bad Papa.
He plays Oslo, who isn’t as scary as his brother Helsinki. He often takes hostages’ side and ensures they don’t get harmed due to his fellow gang members’ outburst.
Park Myung-hoon – Cho Youngmin
His character is along the lines of Arturo Roman in the original. The self-centered director of the mint is an opportunist who can happily put other hostages in the line of fire for his survival. Park is best known for his role as Geun-sae in the Academy Award winning film Parasite (2019).
Lee Joobeen – Yun Misun
A demure employee at the mint, Lee plays Yun, who’s having an affair with Cho Youngmin. She gets a bullet injury after Denver shoots her, but eventually falls in love with him after he nurses her back to health. The original series showed her as a victim of Stockholm Syndrome, who later joins the gang as Stockholm. Lee is a model-actor who’s done some TV shows and films.
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Kim Yunjin – Seon Woojin
Kim plays a crisis negotiation team leader belonging to the National Police Agency. She directly speaks with The Professor putting across the demands of the government to strike a deal. Seon is a single mother fighting for her daughter’s custody. She’s a loner and a workaholic. Kim, who plays Seon is best known for starring in American TV show Lost, and South Korean film Shiri. She was also seen in ABC drama series Mistresses.
Kim Seung-o – Cha Moohyuk
He has been deployed by North Korea to investigate the case, and aims at ensuring maximum gain with minimum loss. His character seems to be similar to cop Ángel Rubio, a right-hand man and a close confidante of Raquel Murillo. Kim has done supporting roles in TV series Secret Garden and film The Man from Nowhere.
Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area will premiere on Netflix on June 24.
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