Where Is She Now? The Popular Actress Who Fled Korea In The Middle Of Filming A K-Drama
In recent years, K-Dramas have seen an explosion in popularity worldwide. While in the past, fans would have to go to extreme lengths to see their favorite actors, now there are tons of services like Netflix, which have even begun producing K-Dramas.
Because of the worldwide spotlight on K-Dramas now, actors rarely end up doing what actress Han Ye Seul (also known as Leslie Kim) did while in the middle of filming — fleeing from South Korea.
Han Ye Seul is an American-born actress who originally got her start in the industry after winning the SBS Super Model Contest. In the years following, she made her acting debut in the sitcom Nonstop 4 and took on other roles, trying to establish a place in the industry for herself.
She gained critical acclaim after her performance in Couple or Trouble and the manhwa-based drama Tazza.
Han Ye Seul‘s career eventually led her to accept a lead role in the 2011 series Spy Myungwol. Han Ye Seul was cast in the titular role of Myungwol, a North Korean spy given orders to kidnap a popular actor, played by Shinhwa’s Eric, only to end up falling in love.
The drama began airing on July 11, but a month later had a massive controversy when Han Ye Seul did not appear for filming on August 14. Many were puzzled until the actress was spotted in Los Angeles, having fled Korea entirely.
The drama was forced to cancel the scheduled episode and instead aired a special showing the show’s highlights. According to the KoreaTimes, Han Ye Seul said she “has given up everything” and implied her departure was due to the conditions on set.
I have given up everything. The conditions on the set were impossible. I hope that younger actors do not become victims like me.
— Han Se Yeul
The conditions on the set likely involved actors working long hours as dramas often would film the next week’s episode the previous week. Actors on similar dramas stated they sometimes only get around two hours of sleep while filming.
Ultimately, Han Se Yeul returned to Korea just two days later, where she apologized for her “selfish acts.” Her company SidusHQ also released a statement saying she would work hard to finish the drama.
Following the completion of the drama, Ha Se Yeul’s acting career suffered a bit from the controversy, with her not securing another role until 2014 with Birth Of A Beauty.
Ha Se Yeul attracted attention over the years for her entertainment skills and her love life, including a relationship with YG Entertainment producer Teddy Park and her current boyfriend Ryu Sung Jae.
In January 2023, it was announced that she would return to the small screen for the first time in four years in the upcoming drama The Queen Lives In Seoul.