As the manager of several Korean actors who appear in U.S. productions, Chris S. Lee, CEO of B&C Group, has an interesting perspective on why the time is right for more Korean talent to cross over to Hollywood.
According to Lee, a few entertainment trends are converging. As Hollywood makes progress toward becoming more diverse and inclusive, entertainment industries are also becoming increasingly globalized and borderless. At the same time, audiences are expressing more interest in relatable multicultural viewing experiences. There’s also the Hallyu, aka the Korean wave of exportable entertainment, and its mushrooming influence on global pop culture.
“Korea has been well-positioned throughout the last decade to capitalize on these shifts, with the growing popularity and cultural influence from the export of k-pop music, k-dramas, and internationally acclaimed Korean films,” said Lee. “Basically, anything with a “k” attached to it these days is considered sexy, as the Korean entertainment industry is having an unprecedented global moment this year.”
Hollywood has recruited Korean talent for a while. Actress Bae Doona appeared in a few Wachowski films, including Cloud Atlas, and in the sci-fi TV series Sense 8, before returning to Korea for film and drama roles. Lee Byung-hun, already a major star in Korea, played Storm Shadow in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and its sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation, as well as roles in Red 2, Terminator Genisys and The Magnificent Seven. Singer-actor Rain appeared in the Hollywood film Speed Racer and starred in Ninja Assassin, for which he won an MTV award.