These are the highest paid Korean actresses

Published December 2, 2021, 5:19 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

Who are the highest paid Korean actresses?

Song Hye-kyo and Jun Ji-hyun command 200 million won ($170,000) per episode for a drama project, according to a report by Korean media outlet Hankook Ilbo.

Korean actresses Song Hye-kyo (left) and Jun Ji-hyun (SBS, iQiyi)

According to the report, the two stars are the highest paid actresses in South Korea. Jun Ji-hyun currently stars in the tvN and iQiyi drama “Jirisan” while Song Hye-kyo is the lead in “Now, We are Breaking Up” over at SBS and Viu.

Song Hye-kyo was paid 100 million won ($85,000) for the drama “Encounter” in 2018 in which she co-starred with Park Bo-gum, the report added. Her 2016 drama “Descendants of the Sun” became a success not only in South Korea but also abroad.

On the other hand, Jun Ji-hyun was paid 100 million won ($85,000) per episode when she starred in the 2013 drama “My Love from the Star.” She also received the same amount per episode for “Legend of the Blue Sea.”

The report stated that “Jirisan” has already reached the break-even point when its broadcasting rights were sold at 20 billion won ($17 million).

Lee Young-ae, best known for the drama “Jewel in the Palace,” is also one of the actresses who commands high fees. She was reportedly paid 100 million per episode for the 2017 drama “Saimdang, Memoir of Colors.”

However, the difference in fees between Korean actors and actresses is huge. The report added that there are not many Korean actresses who earn more than 100 million won per episode of a drama.

Son Ye-jin of “Crash Landing on You” and Go Hyun-jung reportedly get 100 million won per episode.

But earning 100 million won per episode for a drama is common among Korean actors. Officials said the fee gap between actors and actresses is double.

It said Kim Soo-hyun is currently the highest paid Korean actor. He is reportedly paid 500 million won ($425,000) per episode for his current drama “One Ordinary Day,” which is streamed in Korea on Coupang Play.

His pay rate is much higher compared to other top Korean actors, who usually charge 100 million to 200 million won per episode.