When it comes to Korean film, it only makes sense that its biggest stars are of Korean descent. Lee Jong Suk, Park Shin Hye, Lee Min Ho, and Park Hae Jin are just some of many top-notch stars to lead the pack of actors in K-movies and K-dramas today. Thanks to the Hallyu or Korean Wave (increase of Korean entertainment and culture outside of Korea), Korean film is becoming prominent internationally. As a result, there are more international actors, ones not born in Korea, who are being featured. First starting with East Asian countries like Taiwan, China, and Japan, the range has now reached countries in Africa, Europe, and North America.
Presently, there is a new K-drama that is breaking barriers by featuring international actors, not just as cameos or guest appearances, but part of the supporting cast. It is called Moorim School and said international supporting cast is being led by Sam Okyere and Daniel Lindemann.
For those who are unfamiliar with Moorim School, it is a K-drama that is best-described as a high school drama mixed in with both martial arts elements and supernatural fantasy. Its plot, according to AsianWiki, centers on two young men, Yoon Shi Woo (played by Lee Hyun Woo) and Wang Chi Ang (played by Hongbin of VIXX). Being kicked out of every other major international school, Moorim School is the last one to take in Chi Ang. Hyun Woo, on the other hand, seeks Moorim School because he was told its dean, Hwang Moo Song (played by Shin Hyun Joon) can help him with his physical problem having to do with his ears.
The aforementioned plot synopsis is just a basic detail of what Moorim School has to offer. Most have said after watching the first and second episodes that it is a lot deeper than the average high school dramas because it doesn't follow the same overused plot points from previous high school dramas. As a matter of fact, KdramaStars was so enthused by it, they provided five reasons why K-drama fans should give Moorim School a chance. They included in their list the combination of magical realism with martial arts and providing a twist on the fantasy teen genre comparing its elements to the Harry Potter series.
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The one reason the prior source provided on why K-drama fans should give Moorim School a chance that received the most attention was the featuring of an international cast. Prior to Moorim School, Korean actors of international descent were few and far in between only being featured as part of the extended cast with minor or guest roles. According to DramaFever, there are five international actors that should be noticed in Moorim School.
Leading the pack is Sam Okyere. Born in Ghana on April 21, 1991, Okyere went to South Korea after being accepted into the Korean Government Scholarship Program in 2009. He was studying to become an engineer. However, he loved Korea so much, he stayed and became fluent in the language. He then decided to enter the Korean entertainment industry, in which he had numerous variety show appearances including Running Man, Law of the Jungle, and Infinite Challenge. However, Okyere received worldwide notice with his minor role in Warm and Cozy. Soon after, he had a role in the movie Intimate Enemies.
Daniel Lindemann is the other international actor leading the pack, and he too is just as popular as Sam Okyere. Born in Germany on October 16, 1985, Lindemann studied Korean language at the University of Bonn. He eventually went to South Korea to work for a company there. Eventually, he broke into the Korean entertainment scene as a cast member of variety shows In Depth 21, Non-Summit, and Where Is My Friend's Home? Moorim School is his first drama acting role.
Shannon Williams, Alexander Eusebio, and Pop Supasit aren't as prominent as Sam Okyere and Daniel Lindemann in Korean dramas, but they do provide their unique flair. Williams was born in England in May 26, 1998 and is half Welsh, half Korean. She is pursuing a career in K-pop but is also crossing over in acting. Eusebio is amazing because he too was part of the popular K-pop idol boy group U-KISS. He also can speak eight languages. Finally, Supasit was part of Thai boy group Rookie BB and does have acting credits appearing in a few Thai movies.
Moorim School airs on Mondays and Tuesdays at 9:55 KST on the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) channel KBS2, and will run for 20 episodes. For those who do not have access to KBS2, the drama can be viewed for free (with ads) on DramaFever and Viki.
[Image via Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) Promotions for Moorim School]