A few kdrama stars have lived through experiences that would not seem out of place in a kdrama plot.
For example, singer and actor Kim Hyun Joong’s younger years resemble the plot of a musical kdrama like “Shut Up Flower Boy Band.” Kim Hyun Joong, who starred in “Boys Over Flowers” and “Playful Kiss,” had a happy childhood but he wound up dropping out of high school to pursue his dream of becoming a musician.
His family told him that it was his choice but he would have to support himself so he trained as a musician and worked late at night, delivering pizza and working at a fried chicken store. But he did not spend all the money he earned on himself. When his brother was about to drop out of school for lack of funds, Kim gave him enough money so that he could continue. His parents were shocked he managed to save so much money. No one can dispute that he became a success but he does not see that path working out for everyone.
“Maybe a lot of students want to imitate my case, but I don’t want them to be like me,” said Kim. I want them to find a way to study as well as practice.”
Despite his grueling schedule of dancing for seven hours a day, recording for five hours a day and exercising for two hours a day and getting only a few hours of sleep, he did eventually return to school. He will soon appear in the drama “Inspiring Generation.”
An even more poignant example is singer Rain, the star of “Full House.” He doesn’t like to talk about his childhood much but he was very poor growing up, so poor, the family often did not have enough to eat. His mother was sick with diabetes and they did not have enough money for medicine. At one point they were about to become homeless when a kindhearted relative took them in.
Rain always knew he wanted to sing and dance and having that dream made it easier to endure the many hardships he faced. Being looked down on by so many people made him even more determined to succeed. He danced for hours every day and kept going to auditions where he was rejected because he was not considered attractive enough. Sadly, his mom died before she ever got to see him achieve his dream.
Not only has he achieved success beyond his wildest dreams but despite his rough childhood, friends say he has grown up to be a nice guy.
Actress Lee Ji Ah, who will soon appear in “The Woman Who Married Thrice,” had the kind of secret marriage that would be hard to believe even in a melodrama. She was not just secretly married for nine years but she was married to a celebrity, Seo Taiji of the legendary k-pop group Seo Taiji and the Boys. The story of their marriage broke when Lee and her “Athena: Goddess of War” co-star Jung Woo Sung were photographed in Paris. Shortly after she admitted they were romantically involved, it was reported that Lee Ji Ah was married. Although Lee and her husband had not lived together for years, their marriage was finally dissolved in July 2011.