These Korean Actors and Actresses Have Been Cast in Hollywood Films
Meet Korea's Hallyu stars who have crossed over to Tinseltown!
Hallyu stars—longtime fans of Korean pop culture will know exactly what they are, but for the uninitiated, a Hallyu star is a Korean celebrity or K-Pop star, who has played a big part in the entertainment industry: Korean films and K-Dramas, music, fashion, and everything else in between.
Many of these stars have successfully crossed over from Korea to the rest of the world, and given the growing interest of Hollywood in the treasure trove that is the talent in Korean cinema and television, it comes to no surprise that the number of Hallyu stars has grown over the years! This gave birth to the term Hallyuwood.
Recently, Korean heartthrob Park Seo-joon was spotted leaving for Los Angeles to begin filming for the Marvel Studios film Captain Marvel 2: The Marvels, which stars American actress Brie Larson. Last September 3, his agency, Awesome ENT, released an official statement to confirm that he's been cast in the said film.
The statement read: "Hello, this is Park Seo Joon's agency Awesome ENT. It's true that Park Seo Joon departed for Los Angeles earlier this afternoon after confirming his casting in the new Marvel Studios film. First, we would like to sincerely thank those of you who have shown great interest in Park Seo Joon's new challenge. We know very well that you are all very curious about what production he will star in, what his character will be, where he will film, for how long, and more. However, we will not publicize more specific details until a later time. We now ask that you cheer on Park Seo Joon so that he can wrap up his filming successfully and return safely. Thank you."
Ma Dong-seok (Don Lee), who's known for the South Korean movie Train to Busan, made his Hollywood debut via the recently-released American superhero film Eternals. The movie also stars Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, Barry Keoghan, Lia McHugh, and Angelina Jolie.
Last year, Crash Landing on You superstar Son Ye-jin and My Mister lead actor Lee Sun-gyun were also reported to have been cast in the Hollywood movie Cross but the filming for it was delayed due to COVID-19.
Just last April, veteran Korean actress Youn Yuh-jung had a historic win, as she is the first Korean to win an Oscar at the 93rd Academy Awards where she was named Best Supporting Actress for the American drama film Minari. Joining her in the film's cast are American actor Steven Yeun (who was born in South Korea) and Korean actress Han Ye-ri.
In celebration of the actors and actresses who have paved the way for the next generation of Hallyu stars to make it abroad, we put together a list just for them.
Scroll through the gallery below:
Korean Stars in Hollywood
SWIPE LEFT OR RIGHT
TO NAVIGATE BETWEEN PAGES
Photo Credit: @rain_oppa
Photo Credit: @doonabae
Photo Credit: @byunghun0712
Photo Credit: @actor_jg
Photo Credit: Gucci
Photo Credit: @danielhenney
Lee Chae-rin a.k.a. CL
Photo Credit: W magazine
Other Korean-American actors have also made their marks on Hollywood, be it in film or TV. Though raised abroad, these actors have always been proud of their Korean heritage and have stayed in touch with their Korean roots by visiting South Korea and surrounding themselves with family who have kept Korean tradition alive.
That list includes:
Sandra Oh, who needs no introduction thanks to her work on Grey's Anatomy and Killing Eve
Steven Yeun, who The Walking Dead fans adore
Ken Jeong, a master of stand-up, doctor-turned-actor (true story), and breakout star of The Hangover franchise
Rick Yune, a.k.a. the bejeweled-faced baddie in James Bond film Die Another Day and Johnny Tran from Fast and Furious
Bobby Lee, who made people laugh with his antics in the Harold and Kumar series
John Cho, whose first taste of Hollywood came when he agreed to be Harold in Harold and Kumar
Ki Hong-lee, who's definitely a familiar face for the younger set who saw the Maze Runner trilogy big screen adaptation
With Korean cinema gaining international attention after Parasite's and Minari's big wins in the Hollywood awards circuit, more filmmakers from the west seem to be looking to cast stars from the East Asian country.
Lead photos from Namoo Actors (Lee Joon-gi), Netflix (Jun Ji-hyun), Calvin Klein (Park Seo-joon). and Marvel Studios (Don Lee)