Song Hye Kyo and Jun Ji Hyun are reportedly the highest-paid actresses in the industry.
Currently, Song Hye Kyo is playing the role of Ha Young Eun in SBS’s Now, We Are Breaking Up. And Jun Ji Hyun is leading tvN’s Jirisan as Seo Yi Gang. They are estimated to bag about 200 million KRW (about $168,440) per episode.
Though the exact amount Song Hye Kyo is paid wasn’t revealed, the actress bagged about 100 million KRW (about $84,220) per episode when she starred in Encounter. This high paycheck resulted from her previous drama, Descendants of the Sun, which rewrote the history of K-dramas.
When Jun Ji Hyun starred in SBS’s My Love from the Star in 2013, she was already paid 100 million KRW per episode. The actress, who was at the center of the craze, received more than 100 million KRW per episode in the 2016 series The Legend of the Blue Sea. It has been reported that Jirisan, which she’s currently starring in, already broke the break-even point by selling overseas broadcasting rights to iQiyi at 20 billion KRW (about $16,840,842).
There’s one more actress that’s estimated to get paid about 200 million KRW per episode. And that’s Lee Young Ae. When she appeared in Saimdang, Light’s Diary three years ago, the cost of her appearance per episode exceeded 100 million KRW. Therefore, she’s estimated to bag about 200 million KRW in Inspector Koo, the drama that she recently made her grand comeback with.
What these three actresses have in common are that they are capable of leading the work with an overwhelming presence and that they have a big fandom that plays a big role in the overseas market.
Besides these three, there aren’t that many actresses who earn more than 100 million KRW per episode. Son Ye Jin and Go Hyun Jung are known to receive more than 100 million KRW per episode.
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