Film director Yoo Ha revealed Friday that he had some initial concerns when he cast hallyu star Lee Min-ho for his latest movie “Gangnam 1970.”

Speaking in a news conference for the promotion of the action noir movie, Yoo said his first impression of Lee was “cheesy” at best.

“I saw him star in the drama ‘The Heirs,’ and I found him cheesy,” the director said, driving the crowd into laughter.

In “Gangnam 1970,” Lee plays Kim Jong-dae, who spends his childhood in an orphanage and join the gangsters. But Yoo said he did not find the “prince charming” actor suitable for playing a street rat.

“He was too good looking. Actors need some sort of empty room (to suit many roles), but he looked too much like a manga character,” Yoo said.

The movie director then pointed out that Lee could give a huge impact by showing himself making a dramatic change in image.

Starring Lee and actor Kim Rae-won, “Gangnam 1970” portrays the two young men’s desire for money and friendship in Seoul’s Gangnam district in the 1970s, when the region began changing due to a boom in real estate investment.

The action movie will launch on Jan. 21.

KPOP Herald

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EXO ranked seventh on Billboard’s year-end World Albums Artists Chart, the best ranking for a K-pop group.

The 10-member idol group reached the traditional music milestone with its second EP “Overdose,” which was released in May in both Korean and Chinese.

The album’s Korean version reached No. 129 in Billboard 200 Chart, topping Heatseekers Album Chart.

Early this month, the group swept four prizes including Best Artists of the Year during the 2014 MAMA in Hong Kong.

K-pop girl group 2NE1 recorded K-pop’s second-best ranking, debuting at No. 9 on the same chart.

Meanwhile, rapper Psy was included on several Billboard year-end charts for the third consecutive year thanks to his 2012 mega-hit “Gangnam Style.”

KPOP Herald

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Kyuhyun, a member of K-pop band Super Junior, said he recently opened a large guesthouse in Myeong-dong, central Seoul, during the talk show “Radio Star” on Wednesday.

Kyuhyun, who was the host of the talk show, said, “My parents and sister are staying there, and there are about 60 rooms.”

Kangnam, a member of boy group M.I.B, who was one of the guests on the show for the day, said that the guest house “has a front yard and there is this place where you can sing a song. I really liked that place.”

Kim Gura, who was hosting the talk show with Kyuhyun, added: “He invested all the money he earned over the past 10 years into the guest house along with some loans from the bank.”

The guest house is operated by Kyuhyun’s parents.

After debuting in 2005 as a member of Super Junior, the 26-year-old singer recently released a solo album.

JoongAng Daily

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Lee Chang-min, of four-member K-pop boy band 2AM, has one more thing to add to his resume other than singer and musical actor.

According to Sohae College, located in Gunsan, North Jeolla, the 28-year-old singer was employed as a part-time professor of the practical music department.

The college said on Friday in a press release, “We think highly of his vocals and he is also responsible. We expect him to talk about success to our students.”

He will begin his teaching job next year.

Lee is one of the most competent vocalists in the music scene. Even before his debut, he worked as a vocal trainer for a long time.

Having started out in 2008 as a vocalist in the K-pop quartet, Lee has been performing as part of 2AM and as a member of male duo Homme.

Apart from his singing career, Lee has also appeared on reality TV shows such as “Law of the Jungle” and “God of Eating’s Road.”

He has been involved in musicals such as “La Cage aux Folles” and “The Three Musketeers.”

Lee is busy these days as he is scheduled to hold two-day concerts at Sejong University on Dec. 23 and 24 as part of Homme. The shows will be the first to be performed by the K-pop male duo.

JoongAng Daily

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Jun Ji-hyun has become a muse of the premium beauty lens New One Day Acuvue Define, health care company Johnson & Johnson’s Vision Care announced Tuesday.

According to the firm, Jun will promote the lens product across Asia through her sophisticated, luxurious image.

The actress is expected to appear in paper advertisements and TV commercials of the label from January.

KPOP Herald

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JYJ member Junsu has vowed to take legal action against two builders of a posh hotel on Jejudo Island he owns, claiming that they embezzled construction expenses.

The 61-room Toscana hotel opened in September on the nation’s southern resort island with Junsu investing 28.5 billion won.

But the two construction companies recently sued the hallyu star, demanding that he repay the money they claimed to have lent him, worth 5 billion won ($4.5 million).

According to local news reports, the builders insisted that they lent the money to Junsu on two occasions to help him repay bank loans and they secured his promissory note to pay them back by Sept. 30.

In response, the hotel reportedly stated that Junsu did not borrow money from the builders, but had to write the promissory note at their request.

It also said Junsu would file a complaint against the two firms on charges of embezzlement of expenses for construction.

“We have now secured solid evidence that the two companies charged us double the amount of the construction expenses,” a hotel spokesperson said in a press release Thursday.

“Their legal action is an attempt to defame hallyu star Junsu,” he added.

KPOP Herald

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“Good Boy,” a duet by Big Bang’s G-Dragon, also known as GD, and Taeyang was chosen as one of the 41 best songs of 2014 by U.S. cable channel Fuse TV on Wednesday.

“Good Boy” made the list alongside other songs such as Beyonce’s “Flawless,” Coldplay’s “Magic” and Maroon Five’s “Maps.”

G-Dragon and Taeyang began training at YG Entertainment when they were 13 years old and have been performing together for the past 14 years as part of Big Bang.

Although the two are in the same group, this is the first time they have worked together as a duo.

JoongAng Daily

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The live album “JYP Nation 2014 Korea One MIC” was unveiled Tuesday through major music portals.

JYP Entertainment, home to boy and girl groups Miss A, 2AM and 2PM, held concerts with all of its musicians this year in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul. The live album is a document of JYP singers’ Seoul concert, which took place in August.

JYP Entertainment said in a press release on Wednesday that the album would become “a good opportunity for those who could not come and watch the Seoul concert, because it lively and vividly records the Seoul concert.”

The live Seoul concert album includes some exclusive tracks. All of JYP’s artists sang “Don’t Leave Me,” a debut hit from Park Jin-young, the producer of JYP Entertainment.

Other exclusive tracks include a duet by Suzy, a member of Miss A, and Bernard Park, who settled in JYP after winning the third season of the TV audition show “K-pop Star.” Another exclusive duet, “U Don’t Know,” features Seulong of 2AM and Taecyeon of 2PM.

JoongAng Daily

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Hallyu actress Park Shin-hye will emcee SBS’ year-end award ceremony, the TV broadcaster said Wednesday, signaling another round of offscreen competition between her and actress Park Min-young.

Shin-hye, 25, was selected to host the awarding ceremony of SBS, thanks to her immense popularity at home and abroad, as well as her heroine’s title in the broadcaster’s current hit drama “Pinocchio.”

Actresses Park Shin-hye (left) and Park Min-young. (Left: OSEN, Right: Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald)

Debuting in the 2003 drama “Stairway to Heaven,” the rom-com queen has starred in many TV dramas including “The Heirs (2013)” and “You’re Beautiful (2009),” and movies including “Cyrano Agency” and “Miracle in Cell No. 7.”

Min-young, 29, was tapped to host KBS’ similar award ceremony, on the strength of a number of hit dramas under her belt.

Min-young debuted in 2006 with MBC’s hit sitcom “Unstoppable High Kick.” Since then, she has played lead roles in 10 dramas, including “Healer (2015),” “A New Leaf (2015),” “Dr. Jin (2012)” and “Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010).”

Her latest drama "Healer" launched on Dec. 8, drawing expectations for another hit action rom-com.

For Korean actresses, emceeing in the major broadcasters’ year-end award ceremonies have been great opportunities and honor, since it is seen as a certificate of being the most popular lead actress of that year.

The two TV stations are scheduled to air the award ceremonies live on the same night of Dec. 31.

KPOP Herald

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2NE1 is in talks to attend the SBS Gayo Awards.

According to broadcast affiliates on December 10, 2NE1 is expected to attend the SBS Gayo Awards on December 21. 2NE1 may be attending minus Park Bom, who was recently swirled in a drug usage controversy.

The staff of SBS Gayo Awards told Newsen on December 10, "We′re still discussing 2NE1′s attendance."

This year′s SBS Gayo Awards is being revived after eight years since its last broadcast in 2006. The SBS Gayo Awards will take place along with the SBS Entertainment Awards and SBS Drama Awards as part of the SBS Awards Festival, taking place from December 20 to 31 at the COEX C Hall in Samsung.

2NE1 made its second album comeback on February 27 with double title songs Comeback Home and Gotta Be You, taking several number one trophies.


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