Japan Begins to Recognize Kim Tae Hee’s Star Quality
All eyes have been on actress Kim Tae Hee since she announced her Japanese acting debut. Following in the footsteps of hallyu stars Choi Ji Woo, Ryu Si Won and Kim Jae Joong, drama 99 Days with a Star marks the actress’ first foray into the Japanese market. However, none of Kim’s predecessors have caused a stir quite like she has in the country.
Although Kim was labeled an ‘anti-Japanese actor’ upon being cast in the drama, she has been cast in a new light as an actress with ‘goddess-like looks’ and star quality since the first episode aired. And while some netizens remain skeptical saying, “Why is she putting herself through all this trouble, when her promotions in Korea are more than enough?” entertainment industry insiders have been saying, “Kim Tae Hee has much more to gain from her advancement into Japan.”
The first episode of 99 Days with a Star recorded a viewership rating of 10.2 percent. In the drama, Kim plays Han Yu Na, a Korean top star who falls for her Japanese bodyguard, played by Nishijima Hidetoshi.
The viewer rating is an encouraging sign, and despite movement efforts to boycott the Fuji TV drama, it serves to confirm Kim’s star quality and market potential.
In an interview with enews, a representative from Nihon TV said, “To be honest, Kim Tae Hee became known to the public because of Choi Ji Woo in Stairway to Heaven, but she wasn’t that popular. However, she became known once again through My Princess, the drama she starred in with Song Seung Hun, and quickly became the center of attention for her acting skills and looks that were comparable to Japanese actresses. Not only are her Korean lines [in 99 Days with a Star] garnering interest, her Japanese lines have been well received as well. She is bringing the romantic comedy to life and it’s to the point that we aren’t quite sure why she was criticized for her acting skills in Korea. The right wing, ‘anti-Japanese’ protests have actually had the effect of raising Kim Tae Hee’s profile.”
A source affiliated with My Princess said, “We were able to sell the publication rights because of Song Seung Hun. My Princess is beginning to garner popularity as Kim Tae Hee’s popularity grows. Kim Tae Hee was cast in the drama (99 Days with a Star) after viewers showed interest in her undone and quirky, yet lovable character [in My Princess].”
Kim has proved doubters from her My Princess days wrong, confirming her advancement into Japan, where her acting skills are being seen in a new light, was a smart move.
Japanese viewers of 99 Days with a Star commented, “It’s shocking and cute to see the tomboyish side of someone who looks perfect” and “After listening to Kim Tae Hee’s Korean, I want to study Korean.”
“There’s no other justification for her decision to appear in the Japanese drama other than the fact that Kim has always enjoyed taking on a challenge. Fortunately, contrary to concerns raised in the beginning, the drama is doing well, and Kim Tae Hee is more motivated than ever to work hard,” said a source close to the actress.
Photo credit: Fuji TV