Actor Daniel Henney, who first shot to fame in Korea in the hit drama My Lovely Sam Soon, is now ready for his Hollywood close-up.
story by ADA TSENG
photographs by MITCHELL NGUYEN MCCORMACK/Corbis | styling: JULIET VO grooming: ERICA SAUER @ The Wall Group | stylist’s assistants: LAURYN STONE and TESS OAKLAND
For the past eight years, Korean American actor Daniel Henney has been juggling roles on both sides of the Pacific. Adored as a heartthrob in Korean dramas and films, Henney shot to stardom after playing Dr. Henry Kim in the drama My Lovely Sam Soon, and soon after that, became a household name in Korea, with leading man roles on the small and big screens, as well as high-profile ad campaigns, like the 2005 one for the South Korean fashion brand Bean Pole International that co-starred Gwyneth Paltrow.
The Michigan-born Henney had decided to relocate to Korea in the first place because he wasn’t getting the acting opportunities he wanted in the U.S. But when he got to Seoul, he realized he had a lot to learn before he could even be competitive in Hollywood. Now that he has fame and clout in Asia, many of Henney’s American fans, who have caught glimpses of him on X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the recent Schwarzenegger flick The Last Stand or even the short-lived CBS series Three Rivers, have wondered when the actor might be coming home to America for good.
Well, the answer is: he’s home. This doesn’t mean he’s given up his jet-setting lifestyle—his next two films include The Negotiator, an action film in Korea, and F*** I’m Pregnant, a romantic comedy in China—but he has a place in Los Angeles and is preparing for the right opportunity to break into the U.S. market. Continue Reading »
by ADA TSENG
The sharply dressed cast of Shanghai Calling, an award-winning rom-com starring Korean American actor Daniel Henney, made their way to Los Angeles on Tuesday night, where they screened the film at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. The movie opens in Los Angeles and New York City on Feb. 15.
The film’s director Daniel Hsia was the first to make his way down the red carpet, and he chatted with reporters about making his very first feature film, loosely based on experiences he and his fellow Chinese American expat friends had when they lived abroad in Shanghai. He was soon joined by producer Janet Yang, romantic lead Henney (who plays Sam Chao), Eliza Coupe (Amanda), Bill Paxton (Donald), Sean Gallagher (Brad) and Zhu Zhu (Fang Fang).
In the film, Sam Chao is an ambitious Manhattan attorney who is relocated temporarily to Shanghai to open the law firm’s satellite office. If successful with the assignment, Sam may make partner at his firm, but the Chinese American, who has spent much of his life ignoring his heritage, isn’t thrilled about being sent to the motherland. Continue Reading »
Here’s your chance to go to the theatrical premiere of SHANGHAI CALLING to be attended by actor Daniel Henney on Tuesday, February 12, 2013, at Hollywood’s TCL Chinese 6. Enter now for your chance to win a pair of tickets to this screening. Just follow the three easy steps below to enter.
U.S. warns North Korea over ‘provocative steps’
The top U.S. diplomat on East Asian policy, Kurt Campbell, warned North Korea on Wednesday against taking “provocative steps” amid concerns Pyongyang may conduct a nuclear test following last month’s rocket launch.
When asked about the North’s potential third nuclear test, Campbell replied, “We are very clear in our position that provocative steps are to be discouraged.”
South Korea accuses North Korea of launching cyberattack against conservative Seoul newspaper
Associated Press via Washington Post
South Korea said Wednesday that North Korea was behind a cyberattack last year against a conservative Seoul newspaper critical of Pyongyang.
North Korean hackers distorted the website of the mass-circulation JoongAng Ilbo newspaper and deleted some data from the paper’s news filing and production system last June, the National Police Agency said in a statement.
The paper quickly restored the system and its newspaper production was done without any major problem. A picture of a grinning cat and the words, “Hacked by IsOne,” were also posted on the paper’s website at the time.
North Korea: Tweeting Its Way to the Future?
New York Times
Twitter in North Korea? It sounds about as likely as snow in the tropics.
Yet the fiercely isolationist state, headed by Kim Jong-un, the 30-ish, third-generation scion of its founding family, does appear to have a Twitter account: @uriminzok. It’s even following three other users, as the British newspaper The Guardian spotted.
Meet Jimmy Dushku, the lone American followed by North Korea on Twitter
New York Daily News
The 25-year-old from Austin, Tex. says he has no idea why he’s the chosen one. North Korea follows only two other accounts on Twitter — both propaganda-related. Dushku says he’s a normal guy, a young entrepreneur and an extreme Coldplay fan.
N. Korea appears to struggle to shed negative image
North Korea actively received foreign guests and increased exchanges with the outside world this year, Pyongyang watchers said Tuesday, raising speculation that the North is trying to shed its negative image triggered by last month’s rocket launch.
The watchers said there have been an unusually large number of foreigners visiting Pyongyang, beginning on Jan. 7 with the arrivals of an economic trade-promotion delegation from China, and the four-day tour by Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.
Toxic Smog Blankets Korea
Toxic smog has blanketed Seoul, Daegu, Jeonju and other parts of the country since Saturday. The smog carries more heavy metal particles than the Mongolian sandstorms that plague the country in spring.
Analysis at a weather station in Bulgwang-dong, Seoul showed that the smog carried 5 to 11 times higher levels of arsenic and 8 to 26 times higher concentration of selenium than last year’s sandstorms, the National Institute of Environmental Research said Tuesday.
Getting ‘inked’ got Daniel Henney into role
The Straits Times via AsiaOne
Korean-American heart-throb Daniel Henney found it really hard to play a bad boy in the American police procedural on television, Hawaii Five-0 recently.
For starters, the character Michael Noshimuri is an ex-convict.
“He’s very different from who I am, it was quite stressful,” recalls Henney, 33, a former model and clean-cut spokesman for brands such as Olympus and Daewoo.
Hollywood’s no breeze for director
Korea JoongAng Daily
Director Kim Ji-woon introduced “The Last Stand,” his debut piece in Hollywood, on Monday at a press conference where he discussed the difficulties of working abroad.
At the Q&A session held at the London Hotel, Kim said he encountered problems but overcame it all by drawing on his years of experience in the Korean film industry.
Kim said more than anything the film was meaningful not only because it was his first time working on a Hollywood flick but also since “The Last Stand” is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first film since 2003.
KT’s Android App Offers K-Pop Fix
Wall Street Journal
Thanks to South Korean carrier KT Corp., fans of Korean pop music in 46 countries will be able to get their fix on their Android handsets.
The “Genie” app is the first global K-pop mobile service out of South Korea, home to big stars such as Psy and his monster hit “Gangnam Style.” It first launched in South Korea nine months ago.
Users in the U.S., Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand can now download and purchase various K-pop content including music files, video clips and photos using the app, which can be downloaded free of charge from the Google Play Store. The app allows the respective music companies to set their own pricing.
U.S. Speedskating considering punishment for Simon Cho
Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)
Officials at U.S. Speedskating have started to convene a disciplinary committee to decide sanctions against short-track speedskater and confessed saboteur Simon Cho, now that they have received the full report on a skate-tampering incident and allegations of coaching abuse that have rocked the federation.
The entire 84-page report from international law firm White & Case was released last week, explaining in greater detail the conclusions that had been reached earlier — that Cho tampered with a rival’s skate at the world championships in Poland two years ago and that it was unclear whether former national short-track coach Jae Su Chun ordered him to do it.
South Korean team pumped for World Baseball Classic
I’m going to plant the Korean flag on the pitcher’s mound in the finals.” (Seo Jae-eung, KIA Tigers)
On Jan. 15 at the Renaissance Hotel in Seoul’s Gangnam district, the Korean national baseball team, led by head coach Ryu Jung-il, revealed its team uniform and showed its readiness to achieve victory in the World Baseball Classic (WBC), which will take place in March 2013.
“If we can achieve that unique Korean teamwork, we will reach an even higher level of performance in this tournament than in the first and second WBC,” Ryu said.
Busan Welcomes Dragons of the Sea
Wall Street Journal
Busan Aquarium has something to celebrate: the first successful captive breeding of weedy sea dragons in Asia.
The weedy sea dragon, a relative of the seahorse native to waters around southern Australia, is an endangered species that is threatened by damage to its natural habitat of seaweed and kelp beds, as well as poaching.
The baby dragons born in Busan come from an adult pair brought to South Korea from Melbourne Aquarium in 2011. The breeding process can take up to six months and involves the female attaching up to 200 eggs to a male for incubation. Only a fraction will hatch.
Asian Americans Undecided Between Obama, Romney
Voice of America
A recent study suggests that nearly a third of Asian American voters have not yet decided between incumbent Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney in the U.S. presidential election, which is less than five weeks away.
The National Asian American Survey released last week found that 43 percent of Asian Americans support Obama, compared to 24 percent for Romney.
But the survey said 32 percent are have not made up their mind – a figure three to four times the national average. It said over half do not associate with a particular political party.
Candidates target Asian-American voters
Fairfax Times (Va.)
With a month left before the U.S. presidential election, candidates are seeking support of minority groups to boost their winning chances in swing states such as Virginia. This strategy puts Northern Virginia localities, the most diverse in the state, on the campaigns’ priority lists.
Fight Over Rocky Islets Opens Old Wounds Between South Korea and Japan
New York Times
The territorial debate over the islets, known as Dokdo in South Korea and Takeshima in Japan, is one of several simmering in Asia that some analysts fear could lead to hostilities, many of them tied to China’s rise and its increasingly assertive claims to territory in the South China Sea. But experts say the increasingly shrill disputes between Japan and its East Asian neighbors, including China and South Korea, are potentially more explosive because the animosity is rooted in good part in anger over Japan’s brutal dominance of both countries decades ago rather than solely in a fight for natural resources.
On Dokdo/Takeshima, such anger is palpable.
Kim Seong-do, one of only two South Koreans who live here but do not work for the government — the other is his wife — is perhaps more animated than most on the subject, but strong feelings over the islets are widespread.
“If the Japanese come to take this place by force,” said Mr. Kim, 73, “I say ‘Give me a rifle.’ ”
Korean American or American Korean?
Above is the title of a lecture that I have to give to a group of University of Maryland students this Friday for a College Leadership Academy session sponsored by the D.C. chapter of the Peace Foundation.
And I am stumped. I can’t believe that I ever agreed to speak on this topic since I have no idea what a Korean American is, although I am supposedly one. And if I can’t define what I am, what chances do I have of lecturing about it and then comparing and contrasting it with its reverse derivative? I mean the title makes for nice copy but to build meaningful substance around it? I feel like that I have been too clever by at least half.
So, I started with the dictionary definition of Korean American. By the way, “American Korean” isn’t a real word, so no dictionary definition exists. Webster defines Korean American as “a person of Korean ancestry who was either born in or is an immigrant to the United States.”
Family Business Disputes $80K DWP Bill
NBC Los Angeles
The monthly DWP bill for a Koreatown coin-op laundromat usually runs $7,000. When the owners were charged more than 10 times that, they knew something was wrong.
Hawaii Five-0 Brings on Alex O’Loughlin’s Old CBS Co-Star
TV Guide via Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Before Alex O’Loughlin rode his current wave of success on Hawaii Five-0, he played an organ transplant doctor on CBS’s Three Rivers. Rivers co-star Daniel Henney is now being transplanted to Hawaii for a November episode.
Henney will play Michael Noshimuri, the beefy, tattooed brother of Adam (Ian Anthony Dale), who was just released from Pelican Bay Penitentiary where he served 15 years. In other words: watch your back, McGarrett!
Korean pop industry boom may boost Christian mission work but it’s harming its young stars.
Clara C provides a little Esc
Northwest Asian Weekly
When Korean American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Clara Chung (also known as Clara C) released her first album, “The Art in my Heart,” she was riding a wave of success after taking victories at Kollaboration 10, KAC Media Juice Night, and Wong Fu Productions and Far East Movement’s ISA and graduating college. Her success kicked off multiple tours, both stateside and abroad, as well as collaborations with Asian American YouTube stars Nigahiga and Dumbfoundead, introducing the world to her brand of folksy pop.
Her second album, Esc, finds Clara in a slightly calmer place in her life (emphasis on slightly) though the calm isn’t reflected in the music.
‘National Security’ Movie: South Korean Torture Film Stuns Audiences
AP via Huffington Post
A film based on the memoir of a democracy activist who was tortured in the 1980s by South Korea’s military rulers is provoking discussion about the country’s not-so-distant authoritarian past and the influence it will have on this year’s presidential election.
“National Security,” which premieres Saturday at the Busan International Film Festival, tells the story of Kim Geun-tae, who endured 22 days of torture in a notorious Seoul interrogation room because of alleged links to North Korea and a plot to overthrow South Korea’s military regime.
The real Gangnam Style: Beauty Belt, wedding town, 24-hour culture
Five quirky trademarks of the “Beverly Hills of Korea”