Update : Mar 2, 2006 KST 12:48
The new-generation actor Hyun Bin will likely become the representative top-class hallyu star overseas. In December of last year, Hyun appeared as a cover model for the Hong Kong edition of the world-renowned men’s magazine "Esquire," a first for a South Korean actor. This time, Hyun has recently become a top hallyu star in Japan, overtaking other South Korean celebrities. Hyun ranked first in the "Third Poll on Hallyu Stars" conducted on readers for the February issue of the "South Korean TV Drama Magazine" published by Kyodo News.
In the poll, Hyun was followed by Kwon Sang-woo, Bae Yong-joon and Lee Byung-heon, in that order. Other hallyu stars selected included Ryu Si-won, Song Seung-heon, Kim Rae-won, Park Yong-ha, So Ji-sup and Park Sin-yang.
Hyun’s ranking in the poll has stunned all people concerned, as South Korean TV dramas he has acted in have never been aired by terrestrial networks in Hong Kong or Japan.
South Korean TV dramas are normally broadcast by cable TV networks in Japan ahead of terrestrial networks. Through KNTV, a fee-based channel in Japan, the drama "Ireland" aired from January through March of last year, and another drama "My Name Is Kim Sam-soon" from August through October of last year, winning great popularity there. After those dramas were broadcast, Hyun has attracted a growing number of Japanese female fans because of his handsome and gentle appearance.
Last year, "My Name Is Kim Sam-soon" was sold to Japan at the highest price for a South Korean TV drama. The film "Love Bottle," the first film Hyun ever acted in, was sold to Japan for 1.5 million dollars, foretelling his rise to the top spot as a hallyu star. The February issue of "South Korean TV Drama Magazine" features a story on "My Name Is Kim Sam-soon" in celebration of Hyun becoming the top hallyu star.
Sachiko Maruyama, the editor of this magazine which became famous for giving the title of "Yonsama" to Bae Yong-joon, said, "It is very exceptional that Hyun Bin has become the top hallyu star, although he has never appeared as a cover model for our magazine. Hyun will form a core of hallyu stars alongside Bae Yong-joon and Kwon Sang-woo in the future."
Hyun had a busy schedule last month to promote his film "Love Bottle." He is now taking a rest, while thinking of what film he should act in next.