K-drama is the second-largest film genre, after American comedy, and its main stars are mostly women.
But it’s also one of the world’s most prolific genres, with more than 120 million films worldwide, more than half of which are Korean.
That’s made it easy for filmmakers to find the right people for their projects.
Now, in this exclusive interview with the BBC, five of them, who have appeared in over 100 films and TV series, discuss what it’s like to be a Korean-American actress, what it was like growing up, and how to be an actor in the industry.
The Korean drama genre is so diverse and multifaceted that it has its own unique set of challenges.
For example, what’s the biggest obstacle to your career as a Korean actor?
I’m really lucky to have had the chance to work with the most talented actors in Korea, and I’ve had the opportunity to work on many films, from the original ‘Korean’ movies to the more recent ones.
How did you meet the actors?
I was studying film production in America at the time, so I started working on films in Korea in 2005.
It was an incredible experience, and also a bit daunting, because it wasn’t my natural language.
I had to learn a lot about what was expected of me as a filmmaker, what I was expected to do, and what I needed to say to the directors, who are all so different from one another.
The actors are also so different.
In the ‘K’ series, the producers are always talking about the actors, so when I started to make my own films, it was a different experience.
I didn’t know that I had so much influence over the storyboards, so it was difficult to really express myself in the way I wanted.
But I’m grateful that I have.
I feel like the producers have given me so much, and it’s really nice to be able to share that with other people, and to see their reactions.
How does the work feel to be the lead in a drama?
The producers tell me I’m a really talented actress and I’m not a big name, but I do have the potential to do something special.
I do my best, and that’s what I’ve been trying to do for my career.
But when I was first hired, I didn of course know anything about drama at all.
I was just there to get a bit of money, and get some acting gigs.
I feel very lucky that I’m able to say I’m an actor, and be part of a genre, because I’ve got this really unique talent.
When you were filming the series ‘K-Drama’, you were not sure if you would be able get an offer.
Why did you decide to get into the industry?
I had a really good experience in America, but there was this feeling of wanting to do anything.
It’s something that was so foreign to me, so in Korea you don’t have to have that feeling.
I’ve always wanted to work in Korea.
It felt like it was an escape from the pressure of being a professional actor in America.
Are there any special aspects to acting in Korea?
Being a Korean, it’s always difficult to be seen as an actor.
You’re very often perceived as the “other” actor in Korea and this can lead to a lot of stress.
But the producers here are really caring about you, so you can relax and enjoy yourself.
Also, it makes it very hard to get paid, because you’re on your own, so that’s a really nice way to be.
But my favourite part is when I’m doing my part.
I don’t get to do any of my own stunts, but they’ll still put me in a scene.
It feels like I’m part of the production.
It means everything to me.
What are some of your favourite roles?
My favourite role is ‘Kon-Dong’ (Korean for “big bad”, the evil mastermind).
It’s one of my favourite films.
It has a lot to do with the way Korean women are portrayed in the Korean cinema, and the fact that they’re often portrayed as objects.
It is so important to me that these stories are told in a positive way, and this movie really shows that.
You are known for playing a very strong role.
How do you handle this challenge?
I have to be very careful, because people think I’m too old for the role.
The producers tell us we have to do it the way we want, and we have a few days off before the filming, so we just relax and do our best.
And we don’t even see the actors.
I’m very aware of what’s going on behind the scenes, and even though they are doing their best, they don’t always get the best results. I can’t