K-Pop Music Video Directors Explain Why MVs Rarely Feature Famous Actors Anymore

Remember when all your favorite actors starred in music videos?

Some of the biggest actors in the Korean film and drama world got their start acting in K-Pop music videos. But these day, it’s rare to see actors appearing in MVs. Veteran K-Pop music video director teams ZANYBROS sat down with AYO to explain all in a new YouTube video.

One AYO commenter noted that in previous generations of K-Pop, celebrities from the acting world frequently appeared in music videos. However, these days, “there are only idols dancing“. According to ZANYBROS, the fan isn’t wrong.

Some of your favorite actors have likely appeared in music videos before. Park Seo Joon (Parasite, Itaewon Class) starred in Bang Yong Guk‘s “I Remember” music video in 2011.

| TSENT2008/YouTube

Meanwhile, Seo Ye Ji (Save Me, It’s Okay to Not Be Okay) appeared in BIGBANG‘s “Let’s Not Fall in Love” music video in 2015.


The same goes for numerous other screen stars, from Kim So Hyun (BOYFRIEND‘s “I Yah”, 2013) to Kim Sae Ron (BLOCK B‘s “Jackpot”, 2014). However, ZANYBROS said the trend represents an era gone by. ZANYBROS’s Hong Won Ki explained that for the most part, celebrities stopped appearing in music videos after K-Pop’s second generation.

But why? According to Hong, it’s all down to the globalization of K-Pop. Now more and more companies are looking to appease foreigners, the director says that “overseas fans like to see a performance” rather than K-Drama actors.

Overseas fans like it when it’s focused on the performance and the singer.

—Kim Jun Hong

He noted that most international fans would much rather see “one more cut of their oppa” than see a cameo from a Korean actor, no matter how famous.

That explains why these days, if a music video needs an extra character, they’re much more likely to be a fellow idol or artist. The male lead in BLACKPINK’s “Lovesick Girls” music video, for example, was LØREN—a musician signed to YG Entertainment‘s The Black Label.

| @lorenisalone/Instagram

Likewise, JYP Entertainment‘s NiziU members recently starred in Stray Kids‘s “Back Door” music video.

| JYP Entertainment/YouTube
Source: AYO 에이요