Hallyu: Korean wave.
In the past, the “Korean wave” mostly consisted of the exporting of Korean dramas, films, and music to outside of Korea. The stars who stood in the center of it merely promoted their works in these foreign countries. However, it has now become increasingly common to find Korean stars actually starring in films and dramas native to these countries. Here is a look at some of the latest string of Korean actors who are scheduled to appear in foreign (non-Korean) dramas.
Actress Kim Tae Hee has been cast in an upcoming Japanese dorama called Boku to Star no 99 Nichi. In this romantic comedy drama, Kim Tae Hee will play the role of Han Yoona, a top Korean actress popular in Japan, just like her real life self, who falls in love with an ordinary Japanese man played by actor Nishijima Hidetoshi.
Boku to Star no 99 Nichi will premiere on Fuji TV this October, and air every Sunday evening at 9 P.M. It has a tough competition though, airing against a big-budget TBS drama, Nankyoku Tairiku, starring Kimura Takuya.
Actor Jang Geun Suk filmed a cameo in Ikemen desu ne, the Japanese remake of his 2009 Korean drama, You’re Beautiful. His cameo appearance in episode 8 of Ikemen desu ne, scheduled to air on September 2, will mark Jang Geuk Suk’s first ever appearance in a Japanese drama.
For his cameo, Jang Geun Suk speaks his lines in Japanese, as his character appears in front of A.N.JELL and learns that Mio (the Minam character in the original version) is actually a girl. It is reported that he has turned down his pay for the cameo appearance, explaining that his cameo is his way to thank his Japanese fans for their love and support.
Actor Kim Jung Hoon has been cast in an upcoming Chinese drama, Tiptoe to Kiss Love (踮起脚尖吻到爱). The press conference for the drama was held on August 25 in Beijing.
In Tiptoe to Kiss Love, Kim Jung Hoon will play a once-famous fashion model who has since disappeared from the industry after getting hurt in love. The drama will be about his love story with a woman from a countryside who has moved to the city with dreams of making it big in the fashion industry (played by Chinese actress Yao Di).
The filming will commence in September, and the drama is set to debut in the summer of 2012.
Actor Jo Hyun Jae is now in the middle of filming for a Chinese drama, Rouge Overload, in which he will play the leading man opposite Chinese actress, Andy Yang. Rouge Overload is a period drama taking place in the early days of the Republic of China.
Here is a very detailed synopsis, excerpted from A Koala’s Playground:
At the dawn of the Republic (the years right after 1911), in a small crossroads town, Lei Er (Andy Yang) was born with supernatural powers and has always vowed to become a female biao shi (a biao shi is someone tasked with transporting goods within China, who must have martial arts skills to safeguard the goods from bandits on the road – imagine an old school Fed Ex). But the gods seem to want to thwart her, and her road to becoming a biao shi is fraught with considerable obstacles.
Xiao Wu Kue (Jo Hyun Jae) is the son of the owner of the Xin Yi Biao Ju (a biao shi works for a biao ju, which means transportation company) and was born on the same day as Lei Er. But he was born with a weak constitution so he cannot learn any martial arts skills.
Ou Lang, a bandit leader, is enchanted by Lei Er’s optimism and kindness and pursues her, except Lei Er only has eyes for Wu Kue. But Wu Kue, who loves learning about Western culture, has a crush on the aloof and haughty Ya Ge Ge (a Ge Ge is the Qing Dynasty title for a princess of the royal family). The four youngsters will find their lives intertwined because of a threat to the Xin Yi Baio Ju and a secret treasure map.
The legendary treasure map attracts the attention of a former Lord of the Qing Dynasty who possess a key, a blind eunuch who survived the end of the Qing Dynasty and is the only one who knows the secrets of the map, a police captain, and so on and so forth, everyone desiring to possess this map. Their arrival throws the little town into a state of upheaval.
With everyone harboring their own agenda and wanting to find the treasure, to protect the goods entrusted to them, Lei Er and Wu Kue finds themselves caught up in this maelstrom. When the treasure is finally found after a considerable effort, it turns out the treasure is not gold and jewels. After enduring a harrowing adventure, Lei Er and Wu Kue finally get together and inherit Xin Yi Biao Ju, continuing the family legacy.
I’ve never watched foreign dramas starring Korean actors, with the exception of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, in which Lee Byun Hun played Storm Shadow. I know other actors like Jang Nara, Chae Rim, Jang Hyuk, Park Shin Hye, Han Ji Hye, Goo Hye Sun, and some Super Junior members have done so in the past. It really is a fascinating concept to try to act in a language that you do not speak or know fluently. And so I have always been curious – how did they turn out?