The rising popularity of South Korean dramas, movies, shows on online streaming like Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, etc has made our Korean celebrities achieve a different level of global popularity with impressive earnings. And obviously, their fans generally appear to wonder exactly how much our stars earn from these huge hits.
1. JUN JI HYUN
Winner of two Grand Bell Awards and a Daesang(Grand Prize) for her TV drama roles, Jun Ji Hyun is the highest-paid actress in South Korea. Last year it was reported that the 40-year-old actress scored 200 Million KRW per episode appearance fees , leaving her a check of US$2.7 million for a sum of 16 episodes. She is famous for her appearance in Il Mare, Windstruck, The Thieves, Assassination, and The Berlin File.
2. SONG HYE KYO
Song Hye-kyo was ranked 6th in Forbes’ Korean Powerful Celebrity list in 2018. The Brand Ambassador of an extravagance brands like Chaumet, Fendi and Sulwhasoo, Song charges US$ 650k for a single endorsement on Instagram and roughly US$170k per drama episode. 1981-born Hallyu star will make her return to the small screen with her forthcoming suspense drama The Glory, which is written by Kim Eun Sook.
3. LEE YOUNG AE
Veteran actress Lee Young-ae is making roughly US$91,000 per episode and is one of the richest Korean celebrities with a net worth of US$40 million. Youthful ae ventured into entertainment industry as a commercial film model in 1991 and made a successful debut with K-show How’s Your Husband?, for which she won the Best New Actress at the SBS Drama Awards in 1993.
4. GO HYUN JUNG
Another veteran actress Go Hyun-jung is among the handful of Korean celebrities, who are getting over 100 KRW per episode. Go Hyun-jung was the runner-up in Miss Korea 1989 pageant & made her debut in the 1990 K-drama Love on a Jujube Tree. Her highly praised movies and shows include Dear My Friends, Return, and Miss Conspirator. After a two-year-long hiatus, she returned in JTBC Reflection of You in 2021, receiving pay of US$1.4 million for 16 episodes.
5. CHOI JI WOO
Choi Ji-woo was scouted by the Talent Agency, MBC in 1994 and made her debut in the entertainment world with the 1995 drama series War and Love. However, it wasn’t until 2009, when the actress made her breakthrough with the drama Star’s Lover, where she got a hefty amount of ₩48 million /episode, becoming the highest-paid Korean actress at that time. As of now, The Suspicion Housekeeper star charges US$46K for a single drama episode.