How much Top K-Drama Stars Make Per Episode May Surprise You

K-Pop artists make a lot of money but Korean actors and actresses make even more money.

Even wondered how profitable becoming a famous K-drama star really is?

Turns out the major broadcasting channels shell out big bucks to cast the huge stars for their productions!


Back in 2006, Son Ye Jin made 25 million won or around 23,000 USD per episode for her role as Yoo Eunho in Alone in Love. 


Certified Hallyu-star “Yonsama”, Bae Yong Joon made a whopping 250 million won (~234,000 USD) per episode for MBC’S The Legend (2007).


In more recent years, Jang Dong Gun and Song Seung Heon both received 100 million won (~93,000 USD) per episode for SBS’s A Gentlemen’s Dignity (2012) and MBC’s My Princess (2011) respectively.

Although the stars are receiving huge amounts per episode, disparity in payroll between the female and male stars are clear.


For example, Suzy received 80 million won (~74,000 USD) per episode for starring in SBS’s While You Were Sleeping.

At this rate, she is one of the highest paid actresses in South Korea.


Her co-star, Lee Jong Suk, received 120 million (~110,000 USD) per episode, meaning Suzy received 66% of what Lee Jong Suk did.

It’s clear moves need to be made so that female leads get the same pay as their male counterparts.


Although the payout is huge, the return that this star marketing brings to the broadcasting companies must be even bigger!