The Korean drama stars you can see in American projects
K-dramas are becoming one of the biggest things to hit the internet. With quarantine and social distancing drawing people to stream more and more, K-dramas are continually getting a bigger audience. There’s also more crossover between US dramas and K-dramas as well. At the very least, there are K-drama versions of US shows and vice versa.
With South Korean media getting more attention from films to television to music, there is starting to be more crossover with stars from South Korea appearing in American projects. So if you started that K-drama binge and have fallen deep into the rabbit hole, then here’s where you can see some of these K-drama standouts in American projects!
Rain is the stage name for actor, singer/songwriter, and music producer Jung Ji-Hoon. He’s been active in the South Korean acting scene since 2003 when he netted a KBS Best New Actor award for his role in the drama Sang Doo! Let’s Go To School. His other projects include: Full House (2004), The Fugitive: Plan B (2010), My Lovely Girl (2014), Please Come Back Mister (2016), and Welcome 2 Life (2019).
Rain has been active in Hollywood since 2008. His roles include films like Speed Racer (2008), Ninja Assassin (2009), and The Prince (2014). Rain won an MTV movie award for his work in Ninja Assassin, which made him the first Korean to an MTV award.
Actor and singer, Lee Joon-gi has acted in various K-dramas since 2005 with his star-making role in The King and the Crown. His more recent work in the K-drama scene includes Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (2016), the South Korean adaptation of Criminal Minds (2017), and, most recently, Flower of Evil (2020).
Lee Joon-gi made his Hollywood debut in 2016 in the final installment of the Resident Evil film franchise, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. In the film, he plays the character, Commander Chu. His co-stars in the film were very complimentary of his acting and martial arts abilities.
Actor, singer, and model Lee Byung-hun is quite the force in the K-drama scene and has parlayed into some major Hollywood success as well. His K-drama roles include Iris (2009) and Mr. Sunshine (2018), but he’s more of a film actor with roles in I Saw the Devil (2010) and A Single Rider (2017) being a couple of a long list.
Lee Byung-hun made his Hollywood debut with G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009), where he played Storm Shadow. He reprised his role in G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013). His other Hollywood roles include RED 2 (2013), Terminator: Genisys (2015), and The Magnificent Seven (2016). He also holds the distinction of being the first South Korean actor to present an Oscar at the Academy Awards.
Along with Ahn Sung-gi, Lee Byung-hun is one of the first Korean actors to imprint their hand and footprints in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in 2012.
Actor and model Gang Dong-won has been active in the K-drama scene since his debut in 2003 with roles in Country Princess and 1% of Anything. His first real breakthrough, however, came in the film adaptation of the internet novel, Temptation of Wolves (2004). Since then he’s been a fixture in K-dramas and films alike with roles in Voice of a Murderer (2007), Master (2016), and Haunters (2016).
Gang Dong-won made his Hollywood debut in the 2019 film, Tsunami LA. Currently, he has no other Hollywood projects lined up at this time.