Starstruck in Korea: Korean Celebrities
I became a Korean movie fan 14 years ago thanks to the movie of Jang Dong Gun and Kim Hee Sun. From that time, I had wished to come to Korea and see my favorite stars. Little did I know that I would end up living in Seoul ~ happily!
I’ve been living here for 11 years and I have seen some movie stars ~ and most of them unexpectedly. Here are some places or events where I spotted some famous Korean celebrities:
Fan signing event
Back in 2004, I saw Lee Hyo Ri at the COEX Mall for her book signing event. She is the first Korean star I had seen. Although I didn’t purchase her photobook, I received a signed poster from her. Too bad we didn’t have a camera that time.
While waiting for our schedule at the Seoul Ice Skating rink, my husband and I decided to walk to Kyobo Bookstore and lo and behold ~ our favorite Kim Myung Min was there! It was so exciting since we both are big fans of the actor who played Admiral Lee Sun Shin in a KBS drama series. He was signing albums for the “Beethoven Virus” OST that time.
I got to attend a fan sign event for Super Junior’s Sorry Sorry album. I was assigned to Heechul but other Super Junior members were there too. I felt like a teenager that day since most of the attendees were young ladies.
A friend and I were walking at Myeongdong when we saw a large crowd gathered in front of a mall. Our curiosity got the best of us. We stopped and there we saw Kim Sun Ah ~ whose drama “My Name is Kim Sam Soon” was so famous that time. We were able to squeeze ourselves to the front of the crowd and got a really good glimpse of the tall and multilingual actress.
Just last May while waiting for a friend in Myeongdong, I heard some people screaming. I immediately thought that there might be a celebrity. Jung Joon Ho was being flanked by people who wanted to shake his hands or have their photos taken with him.
One Man Protest
Back in 2006, top actors staged one-man-protest against the lifting of the screen quota. I saw famous actor Ahn Sung Gi one rainy day outside the Kyobo Building in Gwanghwamun while we pass by in our car. The next day, I had to go to Kyobo Bookstore to meet a friend and there we saw Choi Min Sik ~ who played Admiral Lee Sun Shin in Korea’s biggest box office movie “Myeongnyang”. We got really close to him. The day after that, Jang Dong Gun was supposed to do the one-man-protest but it was moved to the National Assembly because of the big crowd that gathered.
Just a few years ago, I attended a fans’ day for Lee Min Ho ~ of “Boys Over Flowers” fame. Two of his actor friends ~ Jung Il Woo and Kim Bum ~ were there too.
Sejong Art Center
Most of my celebrity sighting are accidental and that includes that time when I saw Lee Seon Gyun. I just got off the bus and saw him made an appearance on the stage for the Seoul Drama Festival. He had a drama showing that time ~ Pasta.
Park Shin Yang, Lee Seung Jae, Han Go Eun, Insooni, Im Tae Gyung, Park Hwayobi, Girls Generation and even international celebrities like Kevin Kern, Connie Talbot and All-4-One in one night? That was at the “Road for Hope” concert of KBS network. We even got to be at the reception with them. Of course, I got there with the help of a friend.
Sungkyungkwan Scandal is one of my favorite Korean dramas. That’s why I was excited to see Yoo Ah In when he and his co-stars dropped by for a theater tour for his movie “Wandeugi” and we luckily got in their waiting room.
The Red Carpet
Oh this is where I had so many big stars ~ Kim Soo Hyun, Jeon Ji Hyun, Lee Byung Hun, Lee Min Ho (again), Micky Yoochun (twice), Joo Won, Kim Bum (again) and so many others that I just can’t recall anymore. I attended the red carpet event of Baeksang Awards for two consecutive years and it was worth the crowd, the pushing and the sweat. I saw a lot of my favorites!
And finally, before I was a mother I made it a point to go to the opening and closing ceremonies of Hi Seoul Festival. They usually invite Kpop stars to perform there. Can’t recall a lot of them but I remember Se7en and Lee Hyo Ri.
I also once attended the Asia Song Festival and though it was quite noisy for my taste, I was glad to see Super Junior and so many other Kpop artists there.
Will I ever see my ultimate Korean crush? I don’t think I’m ready for that yet ~ I might faint.
I learned through the years that it’s more fun to see your favorite Korean celebrities when you least expect it (like I didn’t know that Kim Soo Hyun would be at the Baeksang Awards). And since I live in Korea, it can happen anytime!