A show isn’t always all about the main characters, or, for that matter, people. Cable channel tvN’s “Three Meals a Day” has a viewership rating such that other shows airing at the same time have undoubtedly felt the show’s presence. And while Cha Seung Won and Yoo Hae Jin have definitely made a place for themselves on the show, one cannot fail to acknowledge the huge presence of the furry animals running around.
You might call them “scene stealers.” On “Three Meals a Day,” we have San Chae (the dog) and Bul Yi (the cat). So for animals that play such a solid role in the success of a show, how are they compensated? Are they at all?
For San Chae and Bul Yi, unfortunately, the answer is no, they’re not. Fame minus the fortune. San Chae and Bul Yi are actually personal pets of the staff members, who bring them on set because they can’t be left alone at home for extended periods of time, and they just naturally found their place in front of the camera. And it’s a good thing they did; they’re such cutie pies!
Things were different for the “1 Night 2 Days” fur ball, Sang Geun, who received 400,000 KRW (approx. 355 USD) per episode, as he had received special training specifically for the show. (After Sang Geun passed away, his son, Hoya, was later brought onto the show.)
Similarly, Tongki, the Alaskan Malamute who plays Ddukdae on the MBC drama “Princess Aurora,” was compensated at a rate of 500,000 KRW (approx. 443 USD) per episode. Considering that “Princess Aurora” was a daily drama that aired five times a week, Ddukdae earned about 10 million KRW (approx. 8869 USD) per month for the duration of the drama.
Between variety shows, dramas, and movies, top dog status goes to Dal Ee, the Labrador Retriever who starred in the 2010 film “Heart Is…,” after starring in the prequel to the film four years prior. Dal Ee earned a whopping 50 million KRW (approx. 44,350 USD) for the sequel, which, according to actor Sung Dong Il, is more than he got for the film.