The 14 highest-paid K-drama actors
Last time we looked at how much popular K-drama actresses make per episode. Now it's time to see what actors such as Lee Jong Suk, So Ji Sub, and Hyun Bin make per episode!
You may be surprised to see that while the per-episode pay gap between Korean actors and actresses is not as big as it was previously, the actors below still average a higher salary. There are many factors that would affect this pay difference, including how in-demand the actor or actress is, how successful previous dramas of theirs have been, etc.
These numbers are approximate and were determined after consulting with drama production companies, broadcasting company producers, management staff members, and other specialists in the entertainment industry.
Scroll through to see who made the list of the 14 highest paid K-drama actors by how much they make per episode!
14. Yook Sung Jae
Yook Sung Jae, who was most recently cast alongside Moon Geun Young in SBS's upcoming thriller drama The Village, is estimated to make around 10 million won ($8,400 USD) per episode. Most idols turned actors are not able to command high per-episode paychecks. A production company insider comments, “Unless the actor is super popular and established, they cannot gain high earnings. Also, since there are negative stereotypes about idols turned actors, they cannot really ask for a lot.”
13. Lee Joon
Lee Joon, who most recently starred as the male lead in the hit Heard It Through the Grapevine, reportedly also makes around 10 million won ($8,400 USD) per drama episode. Because he is also an idol turned actor, he has to deal with the same situation as Yook Sung Jae.
12. Kim Woo Bin
Rising star Kim Woo Bin reportedly has a per-episode price tag of 50 million won ($42,000 USD)! It was recently announced that Kim Woo Bin's next drama will be 2016's Recklessly Affectionate (working title) along side Bae Suzy!
11. Joo Won
Yong Pal star Joo Won also makes 50 million won ($42,000 USD) per episode! For someone as talented as Joo Won, I am not surprised!
10. Ji Chang Wook
Ji Chang Wook, who shot to stardom after playing the title character in the hit drama Healer, is also estimated to make 50 million won ($42,000 USD) per episode. That is quite impressive!
Song Joong Ki (who you can check out in DramaFever's new movie release A Werewolf Boy) will be starring in his first K-drama since 2012 this year, titled Descendants of the Sun. The actor will reportedly pull 60 million won ($50,300 USD).
8. Lee Jong Suk
Hallyu favorite Lee Jong Suk has been on fire lately! He is in high demand after the 2014 hit Pinocchio, which he starred in alongside Park Shin Hye. Lee Jong Suk's per episode pay is reported to be around 60 million won ($50,300 USD).
7. Yoo Ah In
Handsome and talented Yoo Ah In has a reported paycheck of 70 million won ($58,700 USD) per episode. For a veteran K-drama actor like Ah In, that is pretty good! Most recently, the actor is ready to star in Six Flying Dragons, which is set to begin airing in October.
6. Lee Seung Gi
Lee Seung Gi has been in so many amazing dramas over the past five years that his 70 million won ($58,700 USD) price tag is definitely warranted. From My Girlfriend is a Nine-Tailed Fox to Gu Family Book and You're All Surrounded, Lee Seung Gi is K-drama gold!
5. Lee Min Ho
Fan favorite Lee Min Ho, who hasn't starred in a drama since 2013's Heirs, is in high demand with everyone waiting to see what he will choose for his comeback drama! And for whatever he chooses, he will be worth 70 million won ($58,700 USD) per episode!
4. So Ji Sub
It was reported that So Ji Sub made 80 million won ($67,100 USD) per episode for The Master's Sun. It is likely he will continue to make that amount for future dramas as well because he is so talented and well received by audiences.
3. Jo In Sung
Also making around 80 million won ($67,100 USD) per episode, Jo In Sung was praised by audiences and critics alike for his role in It's Okay, That's Love, and we can't wait to see what he will do next!
2. Hyun Bin
Before leaving Dramaland to perform his mandatory military service, Hyun Bin filmed the extremely popular Secret Garden alongside Ha Ji Won. The success of this drama and fan anticipation for his comeback after his service meant he made around 100 million won ($83,900 USD) per episode for Hyde, Jekyll, and I. Unfortunately, the drama pretty much flopped with Korean audiences, and an industry insider revealed that he will not be able to pull such high paycheck amounts for any future dramas.
1. Kim Soo Hyun
On top of pack is Kim Soo Hyun, who has had a string of amazingly successful dramas including My Love From Another Star, The Moon That Embraces the Sun, and Producer and totally deserves the 100 million won ($83,900 USD) he now receives per episode. However, it was reported that he didn’t raise his rates for Producer due to budget constraints and his consideration for writer Park Ji Eun. Kim Soo Hyun is definitely on the top of the K-drama game, and we are excited to see what he does next!
Are you surprised by how much these famous actors make? When compared to how much Korean actresses make, why do you think these actors average more than their female counterparts?
What happens when a mysterious doctor who makes house calls to the rich meets an heiress bent on revenge? Find out in Joo Won and Kim Tae Hee’s new series Yong Pal:
KD Bonbon loves dogs and enjoys listening to K-pop and watching Korean dramas in her spare time. Whenever she’s not working her 9-5 corporate job, she’s writing for DramaFever News.