Saturday, December 27, 2008

Wonder Girls Voted Favorite Korean Singers

The Wonder Girls have been named as Koreans's favorite singers for the second year running, the Seoul Shinmun reported Wednesday. According to the paper, Gallup Korea conducted interview with 4,330 people aged 13-59 nationwide from June to November to select the top 10 singers, and the manufactured girl group ranked first with 22.2 percent of the vote.

Boy band Big Bang took second place, also the same as last year, with 21.2 percent. The top 10 list includes three trot -- a retro form of Korean pop -- singers: Jang Yoon-jung, in third with 9.9 percent, Tae Jin-ah and Park Hyun-bin. Meanwhile, diva Lee Hyo-lee ranked fifth, while world star Rain and TVXQ took seventh and ninth.

The Wonder Girls were popular with all age groups, chiefly with those in their teens and 20s. There was a larger gap between age groups in terms of preference for Big Bang. While the boy group won overwhelming support from teenagers at 56.2 percent, and a rollicking 63.9 percent of teenage girls and gained more votes than the Wonder Girls among those in their 20s, the tally plummeted to 16.7 percent among those in their 30s.

Those in their 40s picked Jang Yoon-jung as their favorite, and those in their 50s Tae Jin-ah.


Source: Chosun

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Daniel Henney Is Poised for Hollywood Glory

In the category of "most likely to succeed in Hollywood" among Korean actors, Daniel Henney has the advantage. Born to a British father and a Korean-American mother and raised in Michigan, the 29-year-old model-turned-actor has already appeared as Agent Zero in "X-men Origins: Wolverine," which will be released worldwide in the end of April next year.

In an interview on set in Sydney, Henney talked about his excitement about making a Hollywood debut using both Korean and English.

- How did you get cast?

"I was on holiday with my parents in my hometown in Michigan on New Year's Day. At the time, everything was kind of stagnant because of the strike of Hollywood writers. So I was very surprised when the casting director of the 'X-men: Wolverine' called me."

- So did you have an audition?

"I thought I would of course have to pass an audition, but I didn't. The casting director said he'd already seen 'My Father,' which I shot last year, and I didn't have to audition. To be honest, I was indescribably happy. I remember exactly what the casting director said at the time, 'Are you ready to change your life?'"

- Do you plan to split your time between Korea and Hollywood?

"Korea is the country that gave me everything that I now have and enjoy. I think of myself as a Korean actor. Korea made me an actor. My hope is to shoot one movie in Korea and one in the Hollywood every year. Of course that is strictly my personal dream."


source: Chosun

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This year’s CF queen

Kim Tae-hee (Fight) has taken over title of “CF Queen” from Lee Young-ae (Jewel in the Palace), at least according to the Korea Broadcast Advertising Corporation. The group conducted a consumer survey of residents in metropolitan and urban areas, who picked Kim as the top advertising model of the year.

Other celebrities who came in behind Kim include Lee Hyori, perennial CF favorite Jeon Ji-hyun, MC Yoo Jae-seok, Song Hye-gyo, Jo In-sung, and Rain.

source: dramabeans

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

Actor Jang Dong-gun Appointed Goodwill Ambassador of UN World Food Programme

Actor Jang Dong-gun (far left) with former U.S. President Bill Clinton
after being appointed as a goodwill ambassador of the UN's World Food Programme
on Wednesday. Filipino actress and singer KC Conception (far right)
has held the post since 2007.

Actor Jang Dong-gun
was appointed as a goodwill ambassador of the UN's World Food Program on Wednesday. "I am honored to be appointed and I feel the heavy responsibility that comes with it. I will do my best to raise awareness of food shortages among the many people in Korea and the rest of Asia," said Jang.

Jang's appointment came during the closing ceremony of the Clinton Global Initiative Asian general meeting held at the Hyatt Hotel in Hong Kong, with some 400 people present, including former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Singapore's first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew.

In an interview with Yonhap News, Jang said, "My grandparents were born in North Korea, and my father's hometown is Hamheung, North Korea. The movies that I have appeared in, such as 'Taegukgi: Brotherhood of War' and 'Typhoon' were related to North Korea. My family background naturally led me to take interest in North Korean issues."

Jang explained that "I am told that the WFP has been preparing various campaigns to raise awareness of developing countries' need for food aid. I will actively participate in these programs."

He emphasized that the global community needs to take more interest. "Over 850 million people are suffering from famine, and 500 million of these are Asians. In North Korea alone, 6 million people are on the brink of starvation."

When asked if he is willing to visit North Korea on goodwill missions, Jang replied that he would willingly do so at any time, if given the chance.


Source: Chosun

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Lee Seo-jin and Kim Jeong-eun

Popular celebrity couple Lee Seo-jin and Kim Jeong-eun recently announced that they have ended their two-year-long relationship. Actress Kim Jeong-eun’s management agency announced on November 22 that the couple split up in late October due to family issues that could not be solved. Lee reportedly ended the relationship over the phone.

Lee has been keeping a low profile abroad while Kim opened up to the public about the breakup during ‘Kim Jeong-eun’s Chocolate’, a popular music and talk show she hosts.

Tearing up, the actress shared her heartache with the viewers, saying, “Just as it takes time for a physical wound to heal, its going to take time before my broken heart heals.” She added, “I never knew pretending everything was okay when it isn’t could be so difficult. Things are not okay.” Kim also admitted that if it weren’t for work, she would like to take off and be alone for awhile. Besides hosting the music show, Kim stars in a newly-launched MBC drama series ‘General Hospital 2’.

Meanwhile, a close acquaintance of Lee recently revealed that Lee is also going through an extremely difficult period right now and that the actor even briefly mentioned the possibility of leaving the entertainment industry for good.

Lee Seo-jing and Kim Jeong-eun, both popular actors in Korea, became an item when they co-starred in an SBS drama series entitled ‘Lovers’ in 2007.

source: KBS World

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Park Yong-ha's New Single Ranks 10th on Oricon Chart

Actor and recording artist Park Yong-ha's seventh single album has climbed to the number ten spot on Japan's Oricon Music Chart.

Park's latest single entitled "Say Goodbye." reached the number ten spot on the day of its release. His new single album contains three new songs including "Say Goodbye" and "December Sky."

On November 25, Park will also release his first studio album in three years entitled "Love." His sixth studio album will contain 13 songs, including a bonus track.

For the first time since 2006, Park will hold an arena tour concert in Japan. He will perform in Yokohama on December 3, in Tokyo on December 20 and 21 and in Osaka on January 8, 2009.

Source:KBS Global

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Singer Rain Is Saver of the Day

Singer Rain and actress Kim Ji-soo were awarded prizes for their money-saving skills.

The Financial Services Commission marked the 45th Savings Day by awarding Rain a presidential commendation and Kim Ji-soo a Prime Minister commendation.

Bringing new meaning to the phrase ‘saving for a rainy day,’ the commission said thrifty Rain has saved most of his income since debuting in 2002, and made various social contributions, including donating profits from concerts to underprivileged children, including W300 million to those suffering the after-effects of an oil spill in Tae-an. Kim Ji-soo deals prudently with her income, thus raising awareness of saving.

Singer Rain and actress Kim Ji-soo attend
the 45th Savings Day ceremony
at Korea Federation of Banks, Seoul, on Tuesday. / Yonhap

The top prize, the Mogryeon Medal, was awarded to single mother Sim Sam-sun, 56, an independent taxi driver in Busan. She has been raising her two children alone while saving her entire income, excluding a daily lunch bill, for 26 years. She also participated in social services, including helping starving children.

Some 81 people were awarded prizes, including one decoration, three medals and six presidential commendations.



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Song Hye-go, Hyun Bin Star in New KBS Drama Series

Popular Korean actress Song Hye-gyo will be returning to TV for the first time in four years. During a recent interview, the actress, who was recently cast in the new KBS drama series "A World of Their Own," said although she doesn't give too much thought to viewer ratings, she is starting to feel the pressure as the first episode's airing date draws near.

Song added that her co-star Hyun Bin tried his best to calm down her nerves by telling her that there are good times and bad times and that she shouldn't care too much about the viewer ratings.

"Full House" and "My Sweet Samsoon," the two sensationally popular drama series that the two actors most recently starred in, posted average viewer ratings of 30% and 50%, respectively. Naturally, expectations are running high for the brand new drama series starring two of the most popular actors of their generation. However, tough competition is expected as "East of Eden," a high-profile MBC drama series, has been posting high average viewer ratings of 20% to 30%.

Song says the script is easy to relate to and highly entertaining, and that the viewers will definitely be drawn into the story.

source: KBS Global

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Han Chae-young and Kiwi Director Become Cinematic Soul Mates

A press conference on pre-production of the film “Soul Mates” -- the first ever joint Korean-New Zealand movie to be made -- was held at the Paradise Hotel in Busan on Oct. 4.

In the spotlight at the conference was actress Han Chae-young, who has been cast in a leading role. When asked about appearing in a foreign film for the first time, she said, “Of course I feel the pressure. It is my first time appearing in a film in English, but because the director (Scott Reynolds) is so capable and effective at communicating with actors and actresses, I don’t think it will be difficult to make this film.”

Director Reynolds is already well known to the Korean public as the director of “The Ugly,” featured in the 1997 Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival.

Reynolds said, “New Zealanders love Korean movies. For example, ‘A Tale of Two Sisters’ by Kim Jee-woon was very popular. Han, who combines the beauty of both East and West, is a perfect fit for this movie.

“I don’t just mean her physical qualities. She should evolve into a top actress through her role of Jin-hee in ‘Soul Mates.’”

Soul Mates” is a horror-thriller about eternal love, and will incorporate elements from Asian shamanism. Filming is expected to begin in January of next year.


source: Chosun

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Actor Won Bin's Parents' House Wins 2008 Korean Architecture Award

The house actor Won Bin built for his parents in Jeongseon, Gangwon Province has won the 2008 Korean Architecture Award. IDMM Architects, which was in charge of designing the house, said the house won the award on September 22.

The 406.46㎡ house, located on national highway 42, boasts an innovative structure. The first floor of the house leads directly to the third floor, without a second floor.

Apparently, Won Bin showed a photograph of Jennifer Lopez's Beverly Hills mansion to architect Kwak Hee-soo, and also asked him to incorporate memories of his old childhood home in Gangwon Province into the design.

The kitchen is adorned with red bricks and features an old-style cooking-range that can heat the floor of the guest room.

source: KBS Global

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Superstar Rain Returns

World star Rain kicked off his singing career in Korea after a 2-year hiatus by appearing late Thursday for the filming of his comeback special. After he released his fourth album in 2006, he has concentrated on his acting career, appearing in the Hollywood blockbuster “Speed Racer” and starring in “Ninja Assassin” slated for release in 2009. But even while shaping his acting career, Rain has steadily worked on his fifth album, the first product since his departure from his mentor and producer Park Jin-young.

Rain’s fifth album “Rainism” showcases a wide range of his abilities. During the filming of his comeback special at the MBC Open Hall in Ilsan on the outskirts of Seoul, 1,000 of his fans gathered to see how far Korea’s hottest entertainer has evolved over the years. He has written songs and closely participated in all the phases of its production. In addition to his signature power dance, he showed that he had a comic touch in “Fresh Woman” in which he was dressed up in workout clothes and a fuzzy wig. The audience went wild at his funny expressions and comments.

Actress Kim Sun-ah
of “My Name is Kim Samsoon” fame made a surprise visit to the stage during Rain’s performance of “Bad Man.” Dressed in a skimpy dress, Kim danced a sultry number with Rain to the envy of his fans. Rain’s special will be aired in two parts – a documentary and a comeback concert. His much anticipated fifth album will go on sale on October 15th.

source: KBS World

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Rain’s 5th Album Teaser to Be Released

A teaser music video of the hottest K-pop star Rain’s fifth album will be released on Thursday, October 2nd. Rain’s agent said that the teaser video of “Love Story” will be first posted on online music sites like MNet and major portal sites. Now Rain’s fans will be able to get a taste of his new music video shot in some of the trendiest places in southern Seoul.

Actress Ha Ji-won
has co-starred in the music video opposite Rain, who will show the sexy, yet dangerous aspect of himself. Rain himself has planned and starred in the video, which is about the dark and sizzling love story between a bad boy and a femme fatale.

The teaser video will be released on Naver, Daum, Cyworld, and on October 1st, which will be followed by the second round of teaser release as well as the disclosure of music source and the full version of the music video.

source: KBS World

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Kwon Sang-woo & Son Tae-young Say "I Do"

Actor Kwon Sang-woo and Son Tae-young tied the knot at the Shilla Hotel in Jangchung-dong, Seoul, on September 28. 350 guests attended the much talked-about event.

The couple's wedding ceremony was hosted by KBS announcer Yoon In-gu and officiated by Grand National Party lawmaker Joo Ho-young. Singer Jo Sung-mo and Son's brother-in-law and pianist Yiruma each performed nuptial songs. The newlyweds will move into Kwon's apartment in Samsung-dong, Seoul.

Kwon made his acting debut in 2001 through the MBC drama series "Delectable Proposal." He rose to stardom through the 2003 film "My Tutor Friend" and starred in numerous hit films including "Spirit of Jeet Kun Do" and "Running Wild." He also starred opposite Choi Ji-woo in the SBS drama series "Stairway to Heaven."

Meanwhile, Son made her debut as a TV entertainer in 2000 after she finished second runner-up at the 2000 Miss Korea beauty pageant. She also starred in numerous TV drama series including "100 Roses" and "I Am Sam" as well as films such as "Sad Movie" and "Gyeongeui Line."

Source:KBS Global

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Sunday, September 7, 2008

No Longer Just a Pretty Face: Song Seung-hun

Actor Song Seung-hun, who made his name as a gentle, romantic lead in melodramas before he was drafted into the military, has changed. He has come back after a five-year hiatus as a tough guy, playing a man who joins the mafia to avenge his father in MBC dramaEast of Eden.” Watching him rage and burn while chasing the man who killed his father on a motorcycle, viewers have praised him for his true-to-life emotional acting.

After 14 years in the entertainment world, Song is still mostly recognized for his looks rather than his acting. “I know I’m known thanks to my looks rather than anything else,” he said. “But I no longer care about that.”

Having made his debut as a model for blue jeans in 1995, he rose to stardom overnight with his role in MBC sitcom “Three Guys and Three Girls.” “I started acting unprepared without thinking much about it,” he said. “So I still sometimes feel I’m dreaming when so many fans show their love for me.”

Gently prodded about the scandal surrounding his attempt to dodge the draft, the 32-year-old says, “It was one of the most regrettable things in my life. In the military I often thought about the importance of being humble and taking things as they come.”

But his fans remained loyal -- he got boxes of letters every week, totaling tens of thousands by the time he was discharged after two years.

Song, like Bae Yong-joon, is more popular in Japan than in Korea -- thousands of Japanese fans came to see him when he was discharged. “I’m happy and at the same time it’s a lot of pressure when Japanese fans come to Korea to study because of me,” he says.

Now he tries to think and act simply, taking advice from director Yoon Suk-ho of “Autumn in My Heart”, the drama that made his name in Japan. Yoon “told me that I shouldn’t try to look cool or handsome when I’m acting. The most important thing, he said, is to act sincerely and truthfully. I think I can do that now.”


source: Chosun

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Rain Says Closing Ceremony Performance Was 'Electrifying'

Singer and actor Rain performed "Beijing, I Love Beijing" with popular Chinese entertainers during the closing ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics held at the Main Olympic Stadium, or the "Bird's Nest," on August 24. Rain performed with popular singers Wang Lee Hom, Kelly Chen and Han Xue.

The following is an excerpt from an interview with Rain right after the performance:

Q. When did you get the offer to perform in the closing ceremony?

A. A year ago, I was asked to perform with an American artist. Later, they changed the theme to "Asian Unity" and decided to invite Chinese singers to perform. The organizing committee asked me to represent Korea. I later heard that film director Zhang Yimou, who was the artistic director for both the opening and closing ceremonies, recommended me. The plan was finalized four months prior to the Olympics, and I met with the singers a month before to record all the songs. We sang two lines each and sang the chorus together.

Q. You've performed in numerous large-scale concerts throughout your career, but isn't this your first time performing in front of 90,000 audience members and billions of TV viewers?

A. I performed in front of 40,000 audience members during my Beijing concert. However, my heart started pounding at the thought of having to sing in front of 90,000 people from all over the world and the sheer size of the whole performance. Each and every one of the singers I performed with on the evening of the closing ceremony was extremely passionate. Athletes became one and enjoyed the whole party. I felt electrified and excited at the same time. It's been a huge honor.

Source:KBS Global

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Kwon, Son to Tie the Knot on Sept. 28

Kwon Sang-woo (left) and Son Tae-yong are to be married on Sept. 28.

The actor couple Kwon Sang-woo and Son Tae-young are getting married on Sept. 28. "I thought she was a good person with an innocent heart after I saw a program on TV where she wept while talking about her past,” Kwon said in a press conference in Seoul on Friday. “I was introduced to her by an acquaintance, and we started dating shortly afterward.” The romance was recently made public by a sports newspaper. Kwon said he swore his love for her in a hot-air balloon in Australia, where he gave her a necklace. "She is the biggest energy of my life. She makes me laugh, and makes me have hope," he said.

The Internet was abuzz with the news. Son, who entered the entertainment business after coming third in the 2000 Miss Korea pageant, has been known for dating a string of men. They included composer Joo Young-hoon, actors Shin Hyun-jun and Yoon Tae-young, singer Tim and music video director Cool K. Some Internet users cast doubt on her sincerity after she said on a recent TV program she did not think she could date again since she still smarts from past relationships. Others congratulated the couple, saying their love is all that matters and expressing hope they will live together happily.

Some Internet users speculate Son might be pregnant. Kwon told reporters he would do his best to answer their questions and offered details on the proposal, their dating and the reaction of their families. But when asked if Son was pregnant, he was silent.

That only fueled the rumors. Entertainment insiders say there must be a very persuasive reason why the couple decided to marry now. Son is incommunicado.

Japanese sports newspapers Nikkan Sports and Sponichi Saturday’s edition gave prominent coverage to news of the impending wedding. The Sponichi offered a detailed account of Kwon’s press conference and their romance. “Kwon repeatedly said how happy he is about their marriage, and it seemed as if he were reading lines from Korean soap operas,” the daily said.

The press conference confirmed Kwon’s status as one of the leading figures of the Korean Wave as it drew reporters from numerous outlets including Japan’s Kyodo news agency.

Lee Yoeng-ae – Hong Kong’s Favorite Star

A survey conducted by The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) that included 1,632 Hong Kong citizens revealed that Hong Kong’s favorite Korean star is Lee Yeong-ae.

According to the results, Lee Yeong-ae received a remarkable 16.1% of the total votes, followed by Song Hye-gyo, who came in close second with 15.9%. Furthermore, the highly acclaimed drama Daejanggeum’ received a staggering 26.7% of the votes, while the movie ‘My Sassy Girl’ came in second with 18.5%. When survey takers were asked about the Hallyu Wave, 90.9% answered that they were aware of what it was. Of those, 49.5% said that they were greatly influenced by the popularity of Korean entertainment, while 38.2% answered that they were somewhat influenced.

When asked about what truly represented Korean tourism, 38.4% of the voters regarded Seoul and Jeju-do Island as the most recognized ‘tourist attractions’, with ‘food’ and ‘Hallyu’ topping the list as well. The most desired tourist highlight in Korea was Jeju-do with 39.5%, followed by Seoul with 33.9%. As for recreational activity, 13.5% replied that they most wanted to discover Korea’s scenic landscapes and natural beauty.

Moreover, 77.4% answered that they had plans to visit Korea someday. An astounding 52.5% plan to visit within a year, and 24.5% within the next 6 months.

KTO Hong Kong Branch Vice President Je Sang-won states, “When asked about the level of interest in movies, dramas, and tourist attractions, the votes showed that 42% answered that they were highly interested. We plan to develop tour packages such as filming location tours with the surveys in mind and combine the Hally Wave popularity along with the charming elements of Korea tourism for local marketing strategies.”

This survey was taken by the Hong Kong public who visited the ‘2008 Hong Kong International Tourism Expo’ in June.

Source: Korea Sparkling

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Lee Dong-gun Releases First Album in Korea in 10 Years

Sony BMG recently announced that actor Lee Dong-gun's debut album in Japan, entitled "My Biography" and released in June, is out in Korea.

It is his first album release in Korea in the ten years since his debut in 1998, when he was still in high school.

Sony BMG said Lee signed a contract with Sony Music Japan earlier this year and subsequently released his first single in March and a repackaged version in June. The company said the album will be distributed in Korea by Sony BMG.

The album, which contains a total of 14 songs, features six songs in Korean, six songs in Japanese and two instrumental tracks without lyrics. The album also includes a DVD which shows clips from his photo shoots and recording sessions in Japan as well as bits and pieces from his everyday life.

Lee plans to hold a concert in Japan on August 22.

source: KBS Global

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Won Bin Joins Vuitton, GQ in Charity Project

Actor Won Bin /Photo provided by Pressync

Korean wave star
and actor Won Bin, who was named goodwill ambassador for UNICEF last year, has joined Louis Vuitton and men’s magazine GQ, this time for a new charity project.

The money raised through the photo project will be going to the victims of the Sichuan earthquake in China together with funds raised by UNICEF Korea as well as UNICEF Japan. Louis Vuitton and GQ said they decided to go ahead the project with Won when he expressed his wish to do something meaningful for child ren.

Won’s photos will be featured on GQ Korea's cover and also seen in major men’s fashion magazines in eight Asian countries including Hong Kong, China and Japan.

Won, who has not been spotted much in the entertainment arena except for a few advertisements since his discharge from the compulsory military service in June 2006 is now scheduled to start shooting a new film titled “Mother,” directed by Bong Joon-ho, this autumn.


source: Chosun

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bae Yong-jun's Korean Restaurant 'Gosireh' Celebrates 2nd Anniv.

"Gosireh" is a traditional Korean restaurant in Japan made famous for its interior design, fresh organic ingredients and menu personally picked by actor Bae Yong-joon. The celebrated restaurant marks its second anniversary this year, and will hold a special event to mark the occasion.

From August 2 to 27, Gosireh will feature a special "summer feast." During this period, the restaurant will randomly pick three couples and take them on the same tour that Bae went on when he visited Japan to promote his popular drama series "Taewangsasingi."

The selected customers will ride in the same car that Bae Yong-jun used during his visit to Japan in June.

The Nagoya branch of Gosireh is slated to open on September 10. The Nagoya branch will be less of a restaurant than a bar in which customers can enjoy light Korean meals as well as Korean liquor.

source: KBS Global

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Actress Yun Eun-hye to Hold First Fan Meeting in Japan

Actress Yun Eun-hye will hold her first fan meeting in Japan next month.

The title of the fan meeting, to be held at the Sun Plaza Hall in Tokyo on September 19, is "Birthday." Yun plans to thank her Japanese fans who visited Korea every year to celebrate her birthday with her.

The former singer, who made her acting debut through the popular drama series "Gung," or "Palace," stole the hearts of her Japanese fans once again through her role in "'Coffee Prince."

During the upcoming two-hour fan meeting, Yun plans to show her fans a never-before-revealed video, host a talk show and personally shake hands with around 2,000 fans.

source: KBS Global

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Rain to Return to Music this Fall

Since his entry into the Hollywood movie market, singer and actor Rain has been a busy man. He has finally announced that he will be returning to the music business this September.

Rain held an official event with his Japanese fan club, "The Cloud," on June 30th at the Tokyo Dome JCB Hall. He announced at the event that he would return as the "singing Rain" with an album for Asian fans "possibly as soon as September."

At the fan meeting, Rain performed his hit songs, "I Do," "How to Avoid the Sun" and "Instead of Saying Good-bye."

June 25th was Rain's 26th birthday and "The Cloud" fans had prepared a song and cake for him that night, for which Rain graciously thanked them.

"Besides the fan event, Rain will give an interview on the hit Fuji TV program "Cho Nan Kang 2," according to one of Rain's agents. The agent said, "He is also planning on bringing his fans a song in Japanese towards the end of the year."

Rain has been in Berlin, Germany, for the past four months working on the shoot for the Hollywood film "Ninja Assassin." As soon as the filming is finished, the singer and actor is planning to hold a fan event in Korea.

source: KBS Global

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From Pretty Boy to Action Star: Lee Jun-ki Changes Shape

Guryepo Beach in southwest Taean, the site of the devastating oil spill late last year, is seeing a return of the crowds. It's the location of the SBS dramaIljimae,” in which Lee Jun-ki (26) plays a man who is transformed from urchin Yongi to the chivalrous Iljimae.

"This chicken meat is so tough, my teeth nearly came out." Lee recites the line sitting in the corner of a seaside hut. In the scene, Iljimae, starving, cooks up a chicken behind his master's back, showing the human side of the valiant fighter. Then, at 9 p.m., the first short break after filming since the afternoon.

"I asked the director when I would finally get to shoot the action scenes which the viewers will be dying to see. But I'm still not flying about," says Lee. Iljimae's stunts were withheld until the 10th episode. The story centered instead on Yongi's training and his double life, which all serve to avenge his fathers' death. He was portrayed as a loose, comic character.

Lee became a star overnight in 2006 in the film “The King and the Clown” in which he played a man in woman's disguise. Now he wants to prove himself in an action role. "I shook off the memory of ‘The King and the Clown’ while doing the TV drama ‘Time Between Dog and Wolf’ last year. A comic role is a first for me, which is more difficult than being the leading man. I'm coasting on confidence alone."

In the original comic strip, lljimae disguises himself as a courtesan to obtain information from officials. Sounds familiar? But Lee shakes his head saying, "Will the viewers want to see me again dressed as a woman? I don't think so. I don't want to be a 'pretty boy’ again. But I don't know what the producers think.”

His physique is as pretty as his face. He's a taekwondo expert, but his body is far from brawny. "I don't want to be stuck in one shape. An actor's body should be formless, ready to change into any form. I don't like weight training. I like running about outdoors but not lifting heavy equipment in the stuffy indoors. It's not my style."

While filming “Time Between Dog and Wolf” last year, Lee said he has yet to be recognized as an actor. But his confidence has grown. "I believe more and more people are recognizing me as an actor and not just a celebrity."


source: Chosun

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Rain Heads to Japan from Berlin Movie Shoot

Actor and singer Rain (Jung Ji-hoon, 26) has been in Berlin filming a movie, but he will be flying to Tokyo, Japan on the 30th for a free admission meeting with his fans at JCB Hall. His agency, J.Tune Entertainment, recently posted photographs of the celebrity on his website (

Rain is in Berlin, Germany, for the filming of the upcoming Joel Silver & Wachowski Brothers flick, "Ninja Assassin," directed by James McTeigue. They are running on a grueling schedule, spending over ten hours a day in action, hoping to wrap the shoot by the end of this month or early June.

Rain's agent in Berlin said that during the day off that the celebrity gets per week, he spends it resting at home or sometimes ventures out to watch a movie.

"Rain is making preparations for the fan event in Japan whenever he has the time," his agent added. "He's very excited to stand in front of his fans again."

source: KBS Global

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Jang Hyuk's Wedding pics

Korean actor Jang Hyuk got marries with his long term girlfriend Kim Yeo-jin last June 2.

Pics credit SidusHQ and chosun


Bae Yong-joon, Interview in Japan, "I have thoughts of marrying but it's not working out"

On the 1st, after the three-hour "The Legend Premium Event 2008 in Japan" held in Osaka Kyocera Dome, Bae Yong-joon held an interview with Korean reporters for about thirty minutes in the waiting room. Director Kim Jong-hak of "The Legend" was also there. The following are questions and answers that were exchanged.

-Thoughts on the event held today, with 35000 fans?
-Even in the disappointment that came with the end of filming, Director Kim and I said that it was over yet. But now, I have a real feeling that it's over. It was nice today. I was able to meet my family in Asia eye-to-eye. And it was better that I was able to come with the director and fellow actors from "The Legend" this time.

-You also referred to your next work at the event today. (Bae Yong-joon said, "I want to give a different kind of feeling with my voice on the animation of "Winter Sonata" and there's nothing certain, but I'm looking into a drama that is a remake of a Japanese comic".)

I haven't signed anything yet. So it would be difficult to say anything.

-You were hurt while filming "
The Legend". How is your health now?
-It's still a little uncomfortable to walk. I am getting shots on my knees. For my shoulders, we have to wait 1-2 months and I may have to get surgery. I was seriously hurt during filming of "The Legend" ten days before the end, but I couldn't go to the hospital because I thought I would have to put on a cast, which would stop filming. It hurt so much that I couldn't sleep, and I took pain-killers so I could film. I went to a hospital once after getting hurt, and all the nurses were attending to the emergency patients, so I had to put in pain-killing shots myself (laugh).

-Director Kim said "Bae Yong-joon is faithful to his emotions and pursues perfect acting".

-Firstly, I'm grateful. I think I have to stay truthful to my emotions because I can't act. Truthfully, I was surprised as I saw Director Kim working on this work. Director Kim was also hurt during filming, and even though he was in a bad condition, his leadership was outstanding. I sometimes call him father, and sometimes, he feels like a friend. (At this, Director Kim said, "While filming "The Legend", I realized that Bae Yong-joon is here because of his own work and acting. He's a great actor. If it is possible, I would want to work with him again".)

-It's known that you will lend your voice to the animation of "Winter Sonata", which plans to air next year.

-That's right. It's planned to do it in Korean, but I have thoughts of also doing it in Japanese.

-In addition to your arrival in Japan, you filmed your fans with a digital camera today too.

-I really like taking pictures. I've wanted to take pictures of my family (fans). I am also thinking of making a book introducing famous places in Korea to foreign tourists. This book will have pictures that I took myself.

-You are keeping your long hair that you had for "The Legend".

-When my next work is decided, I will change my hair accordingly. There are many uncomfortable aspects about long hair, like using a lot of shampoo and taking a lot of time to dry (laugh).read more

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Kim Hee-seon, 4 weeks pregnant, 'A mom in December'

'Seven months after marriage'

Actress Kim Hee-seon is four weeks pregnant.

Kim Hee-seon, who verified her pregnancy with an obstetrician, will be a mother in December or January.

On her mini homepage, there are messages congratulating her.

A representative has said in an interview, "Kim Hee-seon is four weeks pregnant and will be focusing on that for a while".

Because of this, Kim Hee-seon's comeback set for this year will be put off in the future.

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Song Hye-kyo Stars in John Woo Film

Actress Song Hye-kyo has been cast in John Woo's next film starring Chen Chang.

At the "1949" press conference held in Hotel Majestic this 20th during the International Cannes Festival, Song arrived accompanied by director Woo and producer Terrance Chang.

"1949" is a movie set in 1949 and it is about a heart-wrenching love story that takes place amidst the civil unrest in China between Kuomintang (Nationalist Party) and the Communist Party. Chen Chang and Song are its main characters.

"Out of all my movies, this one focuses most on humanity," said Woo. "It will portray true love."

Song said she received a casting call for the movie at the beginning of this year. "The script was compelling and I'm thrilled that I had the opportunity to work with director Woo," she added.

Woo is in the middle of post-production for "Red Cliff," which is a movie set for summer release about the greatest battle in the Three Kingdom's period. Chen Chang also starred in this movie.

source: KBS Global

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