Son Ye-Jin, Park Seo-Joon and More: K-Drama Stars Going to Hollywood
Itaewon Class’ Park Seo-joon is the latest Korean actor to join the cast of a big-budget Hollywood film. Which other K-drama stars can we expect to see speaking English on the big screen soon?
As more and more of the world discovers the beauty, talent and versatility of Korean actors and how they can bring their huge and devoted international fan bases to the table (or to the box office), many of our fave K-drama stars find Hollywood knocking on their doors. Of course, Korean-Americans have played big roles in blockbusters for a long time and South Korean superstars like Lee Byung-hun and Rain have already paved the way in recent years with their high-profile Hollywood action movies. And now, there seems to be a fresh wave of Korean talent heading to the US to try to hit the big time.
Here’re the K-drama stars packing their bags for Hollywood.
The big news with regards to K-drama luminaries bound for Hollywood in recent times is of course South Korean A-lister Park Seo-joon joining the cast of The Marvels, the Captain Marvel sequel, which is set for a 2023 release. He will star alongside Brie Larson, Iman Vellani and Teyonah Parris in an as-yet-undisclosed role, which many suspect is that of Korean-American teenage hero Amadeus Cho, also known as Brawn. We already know that 32-year-old Park Seo-joon can be a brawny action hero (as seen in his K-drama Fight For My Way and the film The Divine Fury) and his acting chops cannot be denied. Can he pull off an English-speaking role as a teenager though? We can’t wait to see it.
The news that everyone’s favourite unnie and one-half of Crash Landing on You’s BinJin couple would be making her Hollywood debut in acclaimed sci-fi film director Andrew Niccol’s Cross was met with great excitement. However, it seems that production has been delayed due to the pandemic and the film’s theatrical release is now a bit of a question mark. The futuristic movie, which is supposed to be filmed in South Korea, is about a multi-racial country getting split into two, with one side rich and one side poor. Son Ye-jin plays Vera, a poor woman who lives on the borders of the country, who’s left to raise her child alone when her husband perishes during an attempt to cross the border. The film also stars Ethan Hawke and Sam Worthington. We hope production kick-starts again soon as we can’t wait to see Son go up against the powers that be.
And while we wait, perhaps the 39-year-old now has time to date her handsome oppa and grace the Internet with a new selfie or two with Hyun Bin? In between filming for her new K-drama Thirty-Nine of course, where she plays a wealthy dermatologist. The show, which is about three women who are about to turn 40, also stars Hospital Playlist’s Jeon Mi-do, who’s also 39 years old in real life.
You may not know Jeon Jong-seo yet, but you will soon. The talented 27-year-old made her debut in the acclaimed 2018 Korean film Burning, alongside established actors Steven Yuen and Yoo Ah-in. She then went on to star in 2020 Netflix film The Call with Park Shin-hye. So far, so amazing for a relative rookie. Impressively, she makes her Hollywood debut in only her third acting outing, in Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon, with Kate Hudson and Ed Skrein. The film is set for a September premiere and is about a girl named Lunatic, played by Jeon, with unusual and dangerous powers who escapes from a mental asylum and strikes out on her own in hedonistic New Orleans. She’s also in the Korean adaptation of hit Spanish TV series Money Heist, as a character named Tokyo. It will premiere on Netflix in December this year. To say that Jeon is the next Korean star to look out for would be an understatement.
Last seen as a zombie-busting soldier in last year’s Train to Busan sequel Peninsula, this 40-year-old has been starring in hit dramas and films since 2004, with his notable recent works being 2010’s Secret Reunion, 2014’s My Brilliant Life, 2016’s A Violent Prosecutor. He was set to head to Hollywood to film Tsunami LA, a disaster action flick about a massive tidal wave that wreaks havoc in Los Angeles. Production was paused due to the pandemic but is on track to pick up again this year. Gang plays a surfer who has to contend with the destruction and aftermath of the tsunami.
Known for his role as acclaimed Soviet and Russian singer, songwriter and music icon Viktor Tsoi in 2018 Russian musical film Leto, this German-born 40-year-old has also appeared in a string of K-dramas. These include parts in Song Joong-ki’s Arthdal Chronicles and Vagabond, as well as supporting roles in K-dramas Chocolate, Money Game and The School Nurse Files. And now, the actor has landed a role in Hollywood film Past Lives, which is produced by A24, the company behind the award-winning film Minari. Past Lives, which also stars Korean-American actress Greta Lee, is about a couple who reunites in Korea, and will start filming later this year. Yoo is also currently starring as the head chef in Korean travel-reality show Honeymoon Tavern, about a guest house for newlyweds only in Jeju Island, run by celeb staff.