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[Drama 2001] Beautiful Days 아름다운 날들

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Waaa... it's really been a while since this drama first aired... It feels like 10 yrs already..

Anyways, Merry Christmas to everyone...

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Hope you will have a very wonderful Christmas and New Year, and all your wishes will come true, brought to you by our very special Santa Claus and his beautiful angel. :lol::lol::lol:

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Thanks to pao@bhjwlove.com

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^ Mr. and Mrs. Lee Santa (Lee Minchul & Lee Mari :lol: )

Waaa... it's really been a while since this drama first aired... It feels like 10 yrs already..

Anyways, Merry Christmas to everyone...

It's 7 years and counting.. but feels like it was just yesterday.. :P

Wishing everyone a Beautiful Christmas Day! :blush:

---

December 24, 2008

Ryu Si-won Forges Ahead with Japan Concert

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Actor/singer Ryu Si-won has moved the hearts of Japanese fans with beautiful music and memorable concert. His latest concert in Japan was particularly moving because he was suffering from a bad backache and severe cold. He had to get a shot of painkiller before going up on the stage.

Tickets to Ryu’s “Christmas for You” concert held in Tokyo Dome have all been sold out. Some 70 thousand people attended the two-day concert on December 23rd and 24th. The four-part concert will feature Ryu’s hits, a short musical, and an exciting dance performance.

Although his fans went wild over the performances, Ryu was not in his best conditions, hampered by the backache and a bad cold. He nearly broke down in tears when he spoke in front of the audience at the end of the show about how he couldn’t perform up to high standards. He thanked his fans for cheering him on despite many mistakes made during the performances. Ryu made his debut in Japan back in 2004 and has built up a huge local following.

Source: KBS World

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December 25, 2008

Discovery Channel's "Seoul Documentary" Features Rain, Lee Byung-heon

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The "Discovery Channel," a documentary TV channel, is to broadcast a program about Seoul and its residents.

The Seoul metropolitan government said the production crew from the Discovery Channel had visited Korea recently to film a documentary about top Korean stars Lee Byung-heon and Rain against the backdrop of the Han River, Mount Namsan and the Myeong-dong and Hongik University areas. The program tells how the two have risen to stardom and gained recognition worldwide.

Entitled "Hip Korea," the program consists of two 45-minute parts. The one entitled "Seoul Vibes" introduces Rain, while the other one, entitled "Seoul Savvy," is about Lee Byung-heon.

The part about Rain shows the Hongik University, Cheongdam-dong and Chyeonggye Stream areas to introduce the dynamic side of Seoul, while the part about Lee shows Apgujeong-dong, Insa-dong and Samcheong-dong to introduce the serene and romantic side of Korea's capital city.

The show will air in Australia and New Zealand in January, in Southeast Asia in February and in Europe in May. A government official said the program is expected to improve Seoul's image by showing off the city's unique charms on the Discovery Channel.

Source: KBS Global

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January 8, 2009

Ryu Si-won has back surgery

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Hallyu star, Ryu Si-won has recently undergone emergency disk surgery in his back during the holidays. On this Cyworld minihompy, he wrote that he couldn’t move his legs because of his ruptured disk. And regarding the pain, he wrote:

I have never felt so much pain in my life!

Poor guy. What a way to spend the holidays.

Ryu Si-won will be back to join the cast of the upcoming drama, “City Hall” in April 2009.

English translation at popseoul.com; image from empas.com

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Korean Media update ! update ! update !

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Caution: ONLINE-generated translation only, an accurate gist would be highly appreciated

Korean pop stars, record shabby back streets?

한류스타, 초라한 안방복귀 성적?

마이데일리 기사전송 2009-01-08 15:34 | 최종수정 2009-01-08 21:04

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Hallyu stars being the home theater to meet the audience, or are preparing to return. In the eyes of foreign kkeuljiman still outstanding achievement in raising the domestic drama is not a lot of Korean stars.

These days, a representative to meet the audience and Korean star Choi Ji Woo and Song Seung Heon said. Drama for Choi Ji Woo and Song Seung Heon is divided much of the film.

'Air City' SBS trees appeared in the mini-series' star, a lover, the drama of the characters refer to the drama of the forehead, Choi Ji Woo Lee Station is absolutely in charge of Choi Ji Woo. Life and love of the forehead topseuta actors would be drawn to Japanese Publisher of the investment has a high level of interest in Japan. But ratings for the 7-8% can be together to face.

Meanwhile, the movie daehu gunje destiny, neither the failure of the handwi drama starring MBC 'East of Eden Song Seung Heon, who is starring in the 20 to 30% to a record high ratings and was a successful return home. Take the lead and the controversy, but was postponed geomeojwineun target.

Song Hye Kyo is popular in China of the 'Full House' four years after the drama, the world they live in the back, and Song Hye Kyo in spite of the high level of drama for viewers not to lead to high response to the film ratings in the single digits has failed.

Stagnation of the market this year, movies, dramas and variety of reasons, including the revival of the Korean wave of Korean pop stars being earnest is expected to return to the home theater. Korean pop stars in the drama of recent poor results, but the future success of Korean pop stars show up any results, is getting interested in the map.

The televised drama 'Bad Love' appeared on the ratings of 5% Dara worst record in the strike to win the honor this year for the recovery of the Korean Wave star Kwon said. Kwon, who is the lead MBC 'Cinderella Man' the suit in May is scheduled to broadcast live life and love the clothes of the people die, Dongdaemun Market, the success of the green, every dry fashion.

After working for the public interest 'movie, film, received good reviews appeared on the show to air in two sojiseop also take the lead at home and abroad, has called the attention of viewers. Sojiseop the Shin Hyun-joon, Han Ji Min and breathing medical dramas set to air on February 18, SBS 'Cain and Abel' to deliver.

In addition, highly popular in Japan, Lee will also return to the drama. 'All In.' Lee to return to the streets for a long time the world of high drama spies 'IRIS' as the main role. Kim Seung-woo and Kim Tae-hee, also starred.

Bae in Japan, not the most popular second ryusiwon plans to return home this year. 4 woleseo scheduled to be broadcast on SBS 'City Hall' the man who was a genius with ambition. Ryusiwon the 'Wedding' has appeared on TV after 4 years.

Recently, Korean pop stars return to their home theater at the beginning of last year's record and raise the expectations are not enough. Many Korean star of the drama brought attention to highlighting the completion of drama or the original story was said to be backed up with development has failed.

Hallyu stars appear in the next drama in attracting more audience attention to the Korean Wave and the drama of the novelty and jaejeom sinseongam And, depending on whether the star of the season will depend.

[Korean star to return to drama, but many, many Korean Wave star Song Seung Heon, except for the record has been less than expected. My Daily Photo Photo DB]

[마이데일리 = 배국남 대중문화전문기자] 한류 스타들이 속속 안방극장을 통해 시청자를 만나거나 복귀를 준비하고 있다. 외국에선 여전히 눈길을 끌지만 국내 드라마에선 두드러진 성과를 올리는 한류스타는 많지 않다.

요즘 시청자와 만나고 있는 대표적인 한류 스타는 최지우와 송승헌이다. 최지우와 송승헌에 대한 드라마의 흥행은 크게 엇갈리고 있다.

‘에어시티’이후 출연한 SBS 수목 미니시리즈‘스타의 연인’은 최지우의 드라마라고 지칭할 만큼 극중 주인공 이마리역을 맡은 최지우의 비중은 절대적이다. 연기자 이마리라는 톱스타의 삶과 사랑을 그린 것으로 일본 제작사가 투자를 할 정도로 일본에서 높은 관심을 모으고 있다. 하지만 시청률은 7~8%로 한자리수를 면치 못하고 있다.

반면 군제대후 영화 ‘숙명’의 주연으로 나섰지만 실패를 한뒤 드라마 MBC‘에덴의 동쪽’의 주연을 맡은 송승헌은 20~30%대의 높은 시청률을 기록하며 성공적인 안방복귀를 했다. 주연을 맡아 논란이 있었지만 연기대상을 거머쥐는 성과도 올렸다.

중국권에서 인기가 높은 송혜교 역시 ‘풀하우스’이후 4년만에 드라마 ‘그들이 사는 세상’에 복귀한 송혜교도 높은 드라마의 완성도에도 불구하고 국내 시청자들에게는 높은 반응을 이끌어내지 못하고 한자리수 시청률로 흥행에는 실패했다.

올 들어 영화시장의 침체, 드라마를 통한 한류의 부활 등 여러 가지 이유로 한류스타들이 본격적으로 안방극장 복귀가 속속 이뤄질 전망이다. 최근 한류스타들의 드라마에서 흥행성적이 저조했는데 앞으로 한류스타들의 드라마가 어떤 성적을 올릴지도 관심을 모으는 대목이다.

지난해 방송된 드라마‘못된 사랑’에 출연해 5%대라는 최악의 시청률을 기록해 이름값에 치명상을 입은 한류스타 권상우는 올해 명예회복에 나선다. 권상우가 주연을 맡은 MBC‘신데렐라맨’은 5월 방송예정인데 옷에 살고 옷에 죽는 동대문시장 사람들의 삶과 사랑, 성공을 그린 패션 드라마다.

공익근무를 마친후 ‘영화는 영화다’출연해 좋은 평가를 받은 소지섭역시 2월부터 방송될 드라마에 주연을 맡아 국내외 시청자의 관심을 불러 일으키고 있다. 소지섭은 신현준, 한지민 과 호흡을 맞춰 2월 18일부터 방송될 의학 드라마 SBS ‘카인과 아벨’을 이끈다.

또한 일본에서 인기가 매우 높은 이병헌 역시 올해 드라마에 복귀한다. ‘올인’이후 오랜만에 안방에 복귀하는 이병헌은 첨단 첩보원의 세계를 그린 드라마‘아이리스’의 주연을 맡았다. 김태희 김승우와 주연으로 나선다.

일본에서 배용준 못지 않는 높은 인기를 얻고 있는 류시원도 올해 안방복귀를 할 계획이다. 4월에서 SBS에서 방송예정인 ‘시티홀’에서 야망을 가진 천재적인 남자 주인공을 맡았다. 류시원 역시 ‘웨딩’이후 4년만의 드라마 출연이다.

최근 들어 한류스타들의 안방극장 복귀가 본격적으로 이뤄지고 있는데 성적은 기대만큼의 성과는 올리지 못하고 있다. 상당수 드라마들이 한류스타만을 부각시켜 눈길을 끌려고만 했지 드라마의 완성도나 참신한 스토리 개발등이 뒷받침되지 못했기 때문이다.

앞으로 드라마에 출연할 한류스타들은 국내 시청자의 눈길을 끌고 더 나아가 한류를 재점화할지는 드라마의 참신성과 신선감 그리고 스타의 활약여부에 따라 좌우될 것으로 보인다.

[한류스타들이 대거 드라마에 복귀하고 있지만 송승헌을 제외한 상당수 한류스타들이 기대이하의 성적을 기록하고 있다. 사진=마이데일리 사진DB]

Source: news.empas.com

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Please excuse the online-translated text

腰手術リュ・シウォン、8日退院…見舞いに来た知人と記念写真

2009/01/12(Mon) 17:34

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リュ・シウォンは12日午前、自身のミニ ホームページに「愛する人々」という題名のコメントと写真を公開、見舞いに来てくれた知人に感謝を表わした。

リュ・シウォンは「お見舞いの記念です。憎めない友人たち、ありがとう。腰に腹帯と寝てばかりいてむくんだ僕の顔は、どうしようか。退院して休んでいる。心配させて申し訳ない。感謝している。早く元気な姿でご挨拶したい」と伝えた。現在リュ・シウォンは、4月頃放送予定のSBSドラマ『シティ・ホール』の撮影を控えている。 [写真=リュ・シウォンのミニ ホームページ]

Ryu Si Won hip surgery, hospital discharge day ... I came to visit friends and commemorative photo

2009/01/12 (Mon) 17:34

Ryu Si Won 12 am Sunday, the homepage of his "love of" public comments and photos titled, expressed gratitude to the people who came to visit.

Ryu Si Won, "is the anniversary of the visit. Lovable my friends, thank you. My face is swollen and just sleeping in the back surcingle, what to do. Is absent from the hospital. I am sorry for the concern. thankful. Welcome to life in his soon. " Ryu Si Won is currently around four to be broadcast on SBS TV series, 'City Hall' before the shooting. [Photo Ryu Si Won = homepage]

© Innolife & Digital YTN & Joynews24 & inews24

http://contents.innolife.net/news/list.php...amp;ai_id=93818

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Thanks to Huangsy for the translated gist from article at empas.com

Centre of Hallyu 'LBH-CJW' Star Shop Opens

Through Hallyu, overseas tourists nascent business accelerated

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It was recently revealed/launched in downtown city department store type Lotte Mall '9th Avenue" fashionista Choi Ji Woo and Lee Byung Hun hand in hand "Choi Ji Woo Stylus Shop, Lee Byung Hun Gallery Shop, etc star shop opens.

Most of CJW necklaces and jewellery items used in her popular drama series will be available for purchase.

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Source: okfashion.co.kr

In addition, together with Lee Byung Hun, who has taken all sorts of best actor awards, and through the movie GBW, a special hat brand collection "LBH Shop" is announced. The hats sold at LBH Shop are immensely popular in Japan and in Korea, as many stars also wear them.

Especially because both Lee Byung Hun and Choi Ji Woo are representative Hallyu stars, it is hoped that star shop would be hugely popular with overseas tourists as well as developing trade and business.

イ・ビョンホン&チェ・ジウのように変身したければ?

2009/01/15(Thu) 16:24

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SBSドラマ『{スターの恋人}』のイ・マリスタイルが気になるならば,「9th-avenue」を訪れてみよう。都心デパート型アウトレット・モール「9th-avenue」は、ファッションリーダーチェ・ジウ、イ・ビョンホンとタッグを組み、「{チェ・ジウ} スタイラスショップ」「{イ・ビョンホン} カオリショップ」のスターショップをオープンする。

「9th-avenue」売り場で見れる「チェ・ジウ スタイラスショップ」は、チェ・ジウネックレス、イヤリングなど、ドラマ『スターの恋人』のファッションスタイルを流行させているジュエリーショップだ。ドラマで披露したチェ・ジウジュエリーをスペシャルエディションで別途構成し、チェ・ジウの個人愛用品、ドラマ小道具なども、一緒に展示する予定だ。またチェ・ジウスターショップに、韓国の代表デザイナー・ブランドでよく知られたシューコンマボニーも入店する。

これと共に映画『{良い奴、悪い奴、変な奴}』のイ・ビョンホンも、帽子専門ブランドの「イ・ビョンホンショップ」を披露する。イ・ビョンホンショップで販売される帽子商品は、日本で旋風的な人気を得て、韓国でも多くの芸能人が着用して関心を集めている。「9th-avenue」はデパート以上の高級ショッピングモールを指向する都心型アウトレット追求だ。チェ・ジウ、イ・ビョンホンが代表的な韓流スターであるだけに、今回オープンするスターショップが外国観光客誘致にも大きな役割を果たすことが期待される。

Source: innolife.net

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Hi! I'm a new soon-to-be fan. I remember watching my parents watch the series many years ago, and I'd a few glimpses here and there. Now I find myself with a real hankering to download and watch, but I can't find it anywhere!

Any tips? I'd love to join in the ranks of fans.

(And yes, English hard/soft subs would make me very very grateful) :]

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Hi! I'm a new soon-to-be fan. I remember watching my parents watch the series many years ago, and I'd a few glimpses here and there. Now I find myself with a real hankering to download and watch, but I can't find it anywhere!

Any tips? I'd love to join in the ranks of fans.

(And yes, English hard/soft subs would make me very very grateful) :]

Hi andiep! Welcome to soompi.com and to Beautiful Days especially, we're very happy to see you here! Your very first post, too! :D

To download English-subbed Beautiful Days, please check out our Page 1 of this thread. ^^ There are Megaupload links to download every episode. Please let us know if any of the dl links have expired or should you encounter any problems.

In the meantime, hope you will share with us your BD thoughts with us here.. we'd love to hear all! :lol:

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Hi andiep! Welcome to soompi.com and to Beautiful Days especially, we're very happy to see you here! Your very first post, too! :D

To download English-subbed Beautiful Days, please check out our Page 1 of this thread. ^^ There are Megaupload links to download every episode. Please let us know if any of the dl links have expired or should you encounter any problems.

In the meantime, hope you will share with us your BD thoughts with us here.. we'd love to hear all! :lol:

Thanks for the welcome! I couldn't resist joining in. :D

And of course, I was being a blind bat and didn't notice there were links - much thanks. I'm up to episode.. 4, I think it is.

And. *FLAIL* At the same time I want to smack some of the characters, I empathize with them. (I especially wanted to shake Shina and yell at her. A bit.) And really. LBH's intense stare? Um. Ngh. And CJW's tears. I've already been reduced to tears and I'm only 4 episodes in!

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February 3, 2009

Ryu to Sing Japanese Drama Theme Song

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Singer and actor Ryu Siwon (36) will sing the theme song of a Japanese drama.

His albums have ranked high on the Oricon chart upon their release in Japan. The song is "Cafe Wonderland" from the drama "おちゃべり," a new daytime drama airing on Mainichi TV and TBS-TV starting March 1.

"Cafe Wonderland" will be released March 11 as Ryu's 9th single title and his first this year, which marks the 5th anniversary of his debut in Japan.

Ryu will also appear at the end of every episode of the 20-episode drama and deliver a 15-second "love" message targeting married women. In the message, he will echo lines Japanese women would love to hear from their husbands such as "The scent of washed clothes is your love" or "I'm sorry I threw my clothes around here and there."

Ryu recorded the theme song on Jan. 30 at Universal Studio Japan in Osaka. He says the song is very bright and the lyrics cheerful. As for the 15 second "love" spot, he says married women will be happy to hear the words as if spoken by their husbands.

He will also appear in the new SBS Wed/Thurs drama series "City Hall" after a four year break since his 2005 KBS drama "Wedding." He said, "This year will also be a busy year. I'll work hard."

Source: KBS Global

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February 19, 2009

Choi Ji-woo in Love

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The representative of actress Choi Ji-woo has admitted that the “Winter Sonata” star is seeing fellow actor Lee Jin-wook. The two have been dating for the past two years, since they met while working on the drama “Air City” in 2007. There have been rumors in the past about the two stars going steady, but they have steadily denied that there was any special feeling between them. However, they were spotted on several occasions enjoying a cozy time together in Lee’s car and in front of Choi’s home. Lee is six years younger than Choi.

Choi has a huge following in Japan, where her popularity nearly matches that of her “Winter Sonata” co-star Bae Yong-joon. She is currently taking some time off after finishing a drama called “A Star’s Lover” on SBS. Meanwhile, Lee is presently starring in a weekly series titled “Glass Castle.” He is also scheduled to begin his military duty later this year.

Source: KBS World

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February 22, 2009

Feel the vibes - Seoul Superstars

Two of Seoul's most famous citizens are the subject of a major documentary on South Korea

Compiled by MICHAEL CHEANG

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Image from japan.discovery.com

Rain and Lee Byung Hun ride the Korean pop culture wave with aplomb.

AH ... South Korea. The land of kimchi (fermented vegetable appetiser), shabu-shabu (steamboat), Jinro (Korean distiller), the 2002 FIFA World Cup (well, half of it, anyway), and taekwondo. These days, though, the republic is not only increasingly known for its electronic gadgets but also, an exploding pop culture scene with a popularity that is spreading like wildfire across the world.

This is thanks in part to a robust entertainment industry with a knack for coming up with critically-acclaimed movies and tear-jerking TV dramas that feature a seemingly endless stream of luscious actresses (all of whom seem to be able to burst into tears at will), and heartthrob male artistes with the ability to make thousands of girls swoon and go weak at the knees.

Malaysians got to catch Rain’s spectacular showmanship during his Rain’s Coming concert at Stadium Putra, Bukit Jalil, in 2007.

Of the latter, more testosterone-fuelled group, two names stand out– Jung Ji Hoon (better known as Rain) and Lee Byung Hun. One is a pop idol who can drive girls into a frenzy with a single dance step, and the other’s an acclaimed veteran actor with countless awards and who has appeared in some of the biggest Korean box-office hits ever.

They have little else in common apart from having acted in Hollywood blockbuster movies (Rain in last year’s Speed Racer and Lee in the upcoming G.I. Joe) and being among their country’s top international celebrities.

Well, now they have another thing in common – the two will be the focal point of Discovery Channel’s new documentary Hip Korea. The series chronicles the rise of the Korean pop culture wave through the personal journeys of these two superstars.

Hip Korea contains two hour-long episodes. The first is Seoul Vibes – Jihoon Jung that premieres on Discovery Channel tomorrow while the second instalment, Seoul Savvy – Byung Hun Lee, airs in June.

Hip Korea is a broadcast initiative by Discovery Networks in partnership with the Seoul Metropolitan Government, and is co-produced with Bang Singapore Pte Ltd. The series will no doubt be a boost to the Koreans’ desire to reinvent their capital city as the “Soul of Asia, a city of design and culture’’.

Unstoppable Rain

Rain plays ninja assassin Raizo in the upcoming feature directed by James McTeigue.

The role allows the Korean heartthrob to flex his muscles, literally.

‘Hip Korea: Seoul Vibes’ follows the launch of Rain’s latest and fifth Korean album ‘Rainism’, and showcases his talent and skills as a musician and performing artiste.

If there was any doubt in my mind about Rain’s ability to entertain, it was banished when the singer-songwriter staged a concert at Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, in January 2007. During that event I witnessed two sides to the superstar. By day, he was mild-mannered Jung Ji Hoon who answered interview questions with a shy smile and a quiet, humble demeanour. But by night, he turned into the wild dance machine that the performer is so famous for, electrifying the stadium with his slick moves and charming looks.

Brief as my encounter with the laconic hunk was, I was thoroughly convinced that the young chap was truly meant to be a star – a far cry from his days of hunger and poverty living with his parents and his younger sister.

He has not forgotten the hard life nor his late mother’s words of wisdom. In a previous interview, the 26-year-old Seoul native proudly stated: “My mum always taught me: Work hard, be humble, and be patient. That has become my motto.” (His mother never lived to see her son’s success as she passed away just before his 2002 singing debut.)

Born on June 25, 1982, Rain (“Bi” in Korean; his dancing apparently was redolent of a rainy day) spent most of his youth honing his dancing skills. He made his foray into the entertainment world in 2000 when he was recruited by the acclaimed JYP Entertainment company, founded by acclaimed producer and artiste Park Jin Young.

After spending several years as a backup dancer, Rain finally released his first album, Bad Guy, in 2002, and in the same year made his acting debut in the drama series Orange.

In a couple of years the young guy became a well-known star in his home nation but it wasn’t until his starring role in Full House (opposite the popular Song Hye Kyo) in 2004 that Rain truly gained international stardom.

The TV show about the romance between a famous actor and a regular woman, which was shown in countries all over Asia, including Malaysia, turned out to be one of the highest-rated Korean series. Rain was also much-hailed for his performance in the show, winning a best actor award at the KBS Awards in 2005.

Striking the iron while it was hot, Rain’s third album – the 2004 It’s Raining – became his most successful album to date, topping most of the Asian charts. It also provided an impetus to the wildly successful Rain’s Coming world tour that kicked off in 2006. The concert series saw Rain enthralling audiences from South Korea to Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, United States, Singapore and, of course, Malaysia.

Rain’s spectacular achievements in 2006 included the release of his fourth Korean album, Rain’s World, as well as his first film role in the Park Chan Wook romantic comedy, I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK. Memorably, he made it to Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Last August, Rain joined well-known Chinese entertainers to sing Beijing, I Love Beijing during the closing ceremony of the 2008 Olympics at the Bird’s Nest stadium.

Now that he has conquered Asia, Rain is currently setting his sight on Hollywood. He has already appeared in one summer blockbuster – as a rookie racer in last year’s Speed Racer directed by the Wachowski brothers. His latest Hollywood assignment is playing the title role of Ninja Assassin (set for release this year).

At the 2008 San Diego Comic Con in the US, Rain told About.com Hollywood Movies that he had learnt taekwondo before the film. “I learned taekwondo, it’s Korean martial arts. And for this movie, I learned ninja expressions, ninja techniques and ninja martial arts. You’re going to like it.”

And we like his fighting spirit.

Storming ahead

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‘Hip Korea: Seoul Savvy’ follows Lee Byung Hun during the launch of ‘The Good, the Bad, the Weird’, South Korea’s top-grossing film last year, and the release of his best-selling Japanese single ‘Itsuka’.

Speaking of ninjas and Hollywood, Lee will also be making his Hollywood debut this year, as ninja villain Storm Shadow in the sci-fi thriller G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (tentative release: August).

While it is otherwise a major role for Lee, it does seem a shame that the thespian will spend most of the movie behind a mask. Western audiences are thus prevented from getting acquainted with one of South Korea’s most recognisable faces, and one of the main folk responsible for Korean entertainment’s massive following outside the country.

The 38-year-old born in Seoul on July 12, 1970, is also noted for being among the first in a generation of seasoned Korean directors and actors who have engaged overseas fans with their thought-provoking dramatic work.

After making his acting debut in the 1991 TV drama Asphalt My Hometown, Lee spent his early career largely doing TV shows and appearing in several feature films.

He reached superstar status in 2000 when he smashed his way to box-office success with Joint Security Area, a Park Chan Wook movie which overtook 1999’s Shiri to become the biggest hit in South Korea at the time. Joint Security Area – about a shooting in the volatile North-South Korean border – also won Lee a best actor trophy (which he shared with co-star So Kang Ho) at the Pusan Film Critics Awards.

After the success of that film, Lee went from strength to strength, gaining a reputation as one of Korea’s leading actors with a prodigious body of work in both film and TV, including the dramas Beautiful Days in 2001 and All In (opposite his one-time girlfriend Song Hye Kyo) in 2003.

He even dabbles a little in music, releasing an eponymous album last year (which included the Japanese single Itsuka or “One Day”). Lee is also popular in neighbouring Japan.

In the US$17mil (RM55mil) Kim Jee Woon-helmed The Good, the Bad, the Weird – which is touted as a kimchi western – Lee plays “the Bad”, a hitman and one of three people fighting for a treasure map in Manchuria during the Japanese occupation of the 1930s.

Besides G.I. Joe this year, Lee, who is able to speak English, French and Mandarin, will also be seen in the crime thriller I Come with the Rain alongside Hollywood star Josh Hartnett and Hong Kong actor Shawn Yue.

Still single, Lee revealed his sensitive side in a 2007 interview with The Straits Times when he said this of the opposite sex: “The most important value when I think of a woman is her purity. Because of the tough changes of our society, I think we are losing our truthfulness. So the inside is becoming more important than ever.”

‘Hip Korea: Seoul Vibes’ premieres on Discovery Channel (Astro Channel 551) at 8pm tomorrow, and encores on Tuesday at 6am and 11am. ‘Hip Korea: Seoul Savvy’ will be aired in June.

Source: The Star Online

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February 25, 2009

Choi ji-woo admits relationship with actor

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Top actress Choi Ji-woo has confirmed being in a relationship with an actor she appeared with in a drama.

Choi, 34, and Lee Jin-wook, six years her junior, first met on the set of TV drama "Air City" two years ago. But Choi told a local daily that it was only lately that they had started dating.

The actress said the two were very careful about their relationship because they were both celebrities. Choi added that the public's attention on their relationship as well as the speculation of their marriage was a little burdensome because they just started seeing each other.

Choi is currently taking a break after completing "Celebrity Sweetheart," an SBS drama. She is scheduled to have a fan meeting in Japan next month. Lee, meanwhile, is currently appearing on SBS drama "Castle of Glass."

By Koh Young-aah (youngaah@heraldm.com) via koreaherald.co.kr

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Choi Ji-woo strikes out on her own

March 10th, 2009 // by javabeans

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Choi Ji-woo is flying solo, leaving her management behind to establish her own company.

The glam (and melodrama) queen has ended her contract with Olive Nine, and even before its expiration (on March 1), Choi been approached with many management offers from other large companies. Ultimately, Choi decided to assert her independence and is busily working to set up her own company in hopes to be ready by early April — hiring staff, renting an office.

(The timing seems ill-planned — she knew her contract was ending, and only now starts setting up an office? I smell fishiness… or maybe I’ve seen too many dramas. This one seems right out of her latest, A Star’s Lover.)

A representative from Olive Nine says that despite Choi leaving the company (they’ve ended the contract “cleanly, and promised to keep on good terms”), they will continue to have a relationship of “strategic cooperation.” For instance, she is still conferring with them about a few projects in development.

Other stars who have gone independent include Choi’s Winter Sonata co-stars Bae Yong-joon and Park Yong-ha, as well as her Everybody Has Secrets co-star Lee Byung-heon. (Lee Byung-heon's BH Entertainment reps Han Chae-young; Rain’s J Tune reps Lee Da-hae and Yeon Jung-hoon; Yonsama’s BOF reps Choi Kang-hee and So Ji-sub, although the latter is ending his contract in April.)

Via Hankook Ilbo, credits to dramabeans.com

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March 16, 2009

Choi Ji-woo Explains Dating Rumors in Japan

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Actress Choi Ji-woo’s visit to Japan has drawn great attention from the media there, amid rumors that she has fallen in love. Japanese sports dailies and broadcasters on Thursday gave intensive coverage of the Korean actress--who arrived at Haneda Airport in Tokyo on Wednesday for a three-day visit until Saturday--and her relationship with actor Lee Jin-wook.

Choi was welcomed by some 150 fans waiting at the airport, despite a snowstorm, who gave her a bouquet of flowers. “I am very happy to visit Japan again. I have wanted to meet you again,” she told them. But when reporters, noticing a ring on her right hand, asked her if she plans to marry, she just smiled and hurried to leave the airport.

The actress went to Japan to promote her latest SBS drama “Celebrity Sweetheart,” which is scheduled to be aired on the satellite channel Wow Wow TV from May 1.

Attending a premiere for the movie at Tokyo’s Yebisu Garden Hall on Thursday afternoon, Choi was bombarded with questions about her relationship with Lee. “We have good feelings toward each other, but that is all for now,” she answered. “I can tell you one thing for sure -- that I have never yet thought about getting married.”

Source: KBS Global, image from daum.net

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