7 Korean actors heading to Hollywood in 2022: Blackpink’s Jennie and HoYeon Jung will act with Lily-Rose Depp, Cha Eun-woo has a gig with Rebel Wilson, and Park Seo-joon is in Disney’s The Marvels

HoYeon Jung, Park Seo-joon, Blackpink’s Jennie, Lee Jung-jae and Cha Eun-woo are all famous South Korean stars who will soon make their Hollywood debuts. Photos: @hoooooyeony, @bn_sj2013, @jennierubyjane, @eunwo.o_c/Instagram; AFP

Hallyu, or the “Korean wave” of pop culture, has spread globally and become even more popular thanks to the meteoric successes of Parasite, Squid Game and K-pop’s biggest boy band BTS. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg, and as the phenomenon continues to grow, it paves the way for even more Korean stars to conquer Hollywood.

From Blackpink’s Jennie starring in The Weeknd’s MV to Park Seo-joon in the MCU, who else is making a name for themselves in American showbiz?

1. Blackpink’s Jennie

Jennie from Blackpink was born and raised in South Korea, and studied in New Zealand for five years. Photo: @jennierubyjane/Instagram
Jennie is the next Blackpink member to try her hand at acting after Jisoo, making her on-screen debut with HBO alongside Johnny Depp’s daughter, Lily-Rose Depp, and The Weeknd in The Idol. The official teaser trailer came out last week and has already garnered over 1.5 million views.
Blackpink’s Jennie has often been referred to as “YG’s princess”. Photo: @jennierubyjane/Instagram

“As soon as I read the scenario, I thought that the story was very charming and so I wanted to be a part of it. I’m excited and I’ll do my best, so I hope that everyone will tune in warmly,” she said, though details of her role are yet to be revealed, per All K-pop.

Produced by Euphoria’s Sam Levinson, The Idol follows the relationship between a young female pop star and her cultish “self-help guru”.

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2. Park Seo-joon

Park Seo-joon is set to star in Marvel’s upcoming The Marvels. Photo: @bn_sj2013/Instagram
Park Seo-joon’s Hollywood debut has been much anticipated since last year, when he was confirmed to join Marvel’s upcoming Captain Marvel sequel, The Marvels, alongside Brie Larson and Zawe Ashton.

Marvel fans speculate that Park may be playing Korean-American teenage hero Amadeus Cho, the son of Dr Helen Cho, though Screen Rant has contradicted the theory.

Park Seo-joon in a still from the K-drama Itaewon Class, currently streaming on Netflix. Photo: Netflix

Park, 33, is known as “King of K-drama romcoms” in South Korea, thanks to a string of successful dramas including She Was Pretty (2015), Fight for My Way (2017), What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim (2018) and Netflix’s Itaewon Class (2020). He also had a cameo in the Oscar-winning thriller Parasite (2019).

3. HoYeon Jung

HoYeon Jung is one of the breakout stars from Netflix’s Squid Game. Photo: @hoooooyeony/Instagram
After her breakout debut in global hit Squid Game, HoYeon Jung caught the attention of Hollywood. She appeared in The Weeknd’s music video Out of Time and landed a role in an upcoming A24 movie, The Governesses, coincidentally also alongside Lily-Rose Depp, like Jennie.
HoYeon Jung in Squid Game. Photo: Netflix
She will portray one of three young rebellious governesses, with Depp and Renate Reinsve, who lead their students to sensual adventures, according to Deadline.

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HoYeon Jung wears a creation as part of the Louis Vuitton ready-to-wear autumn/winter 2022-2023 collection, unveiled during Fashion Week in Paris, on March 7. Photo: Invision/AP

Strutting on the runway from age 16, the model went back to her fashion roots after Squid Game’s success, as an ambassador for Louis Vuitton, Calvin Klein and Chanel.

4. Yoo Teo

Yoo Teo has been cast as the lead for A24’s Past Lives. Photo: @teoyoo/Instagram

Actor Yoo Teo nabbed the lead role of A24’s movie, Past Lives, with Greta Lee, per Deadline. The film will tell the love story of a man and woman who met in South Korea when they were young and reunited after becoming adults.

Yoo Teo in Money Game (2020). Photo: JS Pictures

Although this marks Yoo’s Hollywood debut, he has already appeared in various global projects. He actually rose to stardom in Russian film Leto (2018) and has appeared in the Vietnamese Bitcoin Heist (2016) and Thai drama The Moment (2017). He was recently in Dr Brain and Love to Hate You.

Back home in South Korea, his outstanding works include Arthdal Chronicles (2019), Vagabond (2019) and Netflix’s The School Nurse Files (2020).

5. Cha Eun-woo

Cha Eun-woo is a K-pop idol in the group, Astro. Photo: Handout
K-pop idol Cha Eun-woo is expected to enter Hollywood soon, thanks to his lead role offer in upcoming film K-pop: Lost in America, per Soompi. The film tells the story of a K-pop boy group getting lost in Texas and struggling to get to New York for their global debut. It is also set to star Rebel Wilson and Charles Melton.

Meet Cha Eun-woo, the Astro and True Beauty star about to conquer Hollywood

Cha Eun-woo in the drama True Beauty. Photo: TVN

Debuting with his group Astro in 2016 as the vocalist, Cha’s good looks have also boosted his increasing popularity in hits like My ID is Gangnam Beauty (2018) and True Beauty (2020). He is ranked as having the highest-earning “second job” as an actor, according to Mnet’s TMI News Show.

6. Bae Doona

K-drama and K-movie star Bae Doona. Photo: @doonabae/Instagram

Korean star Bae Doona is returning to Hollywood to join Netflix’s upcoming sci-fi film Rebel Moon, per K-drama Stars. Bae will show off her combat skills alongside Charlie Hunnam, Djimon Hounsou and Ray Fisher.

Bae Doona in a still from The Silent Sea. Photo: Netflix

Directed by Zack Snyder, famous for 300, Wonder Woman and Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, Rebel Moon will be set in a space colony where a soldier takes the mission of seeking help from other planets to save her residents.

Bae Doona in Cloud Atlas (2012). Photo: Warner Bros Entertainment Inc

Bae is already a familiar Korean face in Hollywood, starring in Cloud Atlas (2012), Jupiter Ascending (2015) and Netflix’s Sense8 (2015). Most recently, she was on Netflix with Kingdom (2019 – present) and The Silent Sea (2021).

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7. Lee Jung-jae

Lee Jung-jae is a well-respected South Korean actor who rose to Hollywood stardom with Netflix’s Squid Game. Photo: AFP
Another Squid Game star, Lee Jung-jae signed with American Creative Artists Agency, a company with a high-profile client list that includes Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks, George Clooney and director Steven Spielberg, Soompi reported. His Hollywood door is wide open not only as an actor, but also a producer and director.
South Korean actor Lee Jung-jae in a scene from the hit K-drama Squid Game. Photo: YNA/DPA
He made his directorial debut at Cannes Festival in May, with spy-action film Hunt in which he also stars in. A multi-hyphenated talent who started out as a model and dipped his toes into acting in 1993, Lee was already a household name in South Korea before Squid Game, thanks to popular works like An Affair (1998), Il Mare (2000), The Face Reader (2013) and Assassination (2015).
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  • Squid Game’s Lee Jung-jae made his directorial debut with Hunt in Cannes, and signed with an agency that represents Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks and George Clooney
  • Yoo Teo is set to star in A24’s Past Lives with Greta Lee, while Bae Doona will work with Zack Snyder, the director behind Wonder Woman and 300, for Rebel Moon