Will Lee Da Hae Become the Next Big Hallyu Star in China?
Actress Lee Da Hae (28) may have been popular in Korea for the past decade, but she′s expanding her horizon and becoming a hallyu star these days. Her popularity in China spread through her role in KBS2′s 2005 drama, My Girl. Her confirmed role in an upcoming Chinese drama Love Recipe has further raised her appeal there.
Since My Girl came out seven years ago, we were curious to see if Lee Da Hae was still attracting the interest of the Chinese people. Therefore we went and found out just how popular she was in China.
On March 2, a rep from her agency said, "Lee Da Hae has been cast as a lead in the Chinese drama Love Recipe and will head to Shanghai on March 5 to start filming for the production."
In Love Recipe, Lee Da Hae plays the role of Soha, raising her niece on her own and overcoming many obstacles to become a successful dumpling restaurant chef.
A rep from the drama revealed that rising Chinese star Joseph Cheng will also star in the drama. According to a Chinese portal website, Joseph Cheng ranked as the 36th most popular celebrity in China.
Taiwanese director Lin He Long, known for his romantic comedies such as Flower Boy Basketball Court, Why Why Love, and Hi, My Sweetheart, has been picked as the drama′s director. It appears Lee Da Hae is in good hands under Lin He Long′s direction, and should be able to increase her popularity in both China and Taiwan.
It doesn′t end there. Lee Da Hae also has 2,670,000 fans on Weibo, China′s version of Twitter. More incredibly, she gets anywhere from 1000-3000 replies in a matter of seconds whenever she posts something in Chinese. Furthermore, the press has been following her every move, enough to completely fill her Cyworld homepage with pictures.
Of course, it′s still too early to declare Lee Da Hae as the top hallyu star in China. Following in the footsteps of Lee Min Ho, Choo Ja Hyun, Lee Young Ae, Song Hye Kyo, and Jun Ji Hyun have all built a considerable fan base that exceeds Lee Da Hae’s following.
However, the fact that she is appearing in a Chinese drama is no small feat. Her popularity could skyrocket just as Choo Ja Hyun′s had, and her fluent Mandarin could prove to be a big advantage. It will be interesting to see if Lee will be able to propel herself as China′s top Hallyu star through her appearance in Love Recipe.
Photo credit: IM Community, Lee Da Hae′s Weibo