Last year, K-drama A-lister Kim Soo-hyun made headlines when it was reported that he would bag a whopping SG$600,000 (about 500 million won) per episode for his drama, One Ordinary Day, which premiered in November 2021. It’s by far the most an actor has been paid per episode for a K-drama, and puts his paycheck for the entire eight-episode series at a sweet SG$4.6 million.
Trying to keep up are fellow Korean actors and actresses like Song Joong-ki, Lee Jung-jae, Song Hye-kyo and Jun Ji-hyun, who each make hundreds of thousands of dollars per K-drama episode. With the continuing and skyrocketing popularity of Korean content worldwide, will your favourite K-wave stars make even more money from dramas, films and commercials? Probably.
While we wait with bated breath to see the mind-blowing paycheck Kim Soo-hyun will take home with his next project, here’s how much the power earners of K-drama are worth per episode in 2021.
1. Kim Soo-Hyun: SG$600,000 per episode
The 34-year-old heartthrob made an eye-popping 500 million won per episode for his harrowing 2021 drama One Ordinary Day, which is streaming on Viu and based on British TV series Criminal Justice, about a college student who unwittingly becomes a murder suspect. He was also a co-producer on the drama. His SG$600,000 per episode paycheck trumps the SG$240,000 per episode he was paid for his previous hit drama, It’s Okay to Not Be Okay. We can’t wait to see what he appears in next—and whether his asking price will hit another amazing new high.
Watch him in: One Ordinary Day, It’s Okay to Not Be Okay, My Love From the Star, Moon Embracing the Sun, Dream High