How to be the best fan a Korean actor can have while also helping their career

11 steps to becoming the best fan a Korean actor could hope for

In the world of Korean entertainment, actors often become beloved figures, captivating audiences with their talent, charm, and dedication to their craft.

No matter how wonderful they are though, as a true fan of any Korean actor, your role can go beyond just admiration.

After all, as a dedicated fan, if carried out correctly, your support can profoundly impact a Korean actor’s life. In a good way. As well as help their career.

Here are 11 steps then for how to be the best fan a Korean actor could wish for, while staying respectful, and having a huge amount of fun while doing it.

1. Understand Their Work

To truly appreciate and support your favorite Korean actor, immerse yourself in their body of work. Watch their dramas and movies, paying close attention to their performances, character portrayals, and acting skills.

Understanding their journey as an actor will deepen your connection and admiration for them, as well as give you something to talk about with them if you should ever meet them.

Personally, when I have become a fan of a specific Korean actor (currently Kim Jae Wook, Lee Dong Wook, Jung Woo Sung, among others), I have gone back to their earliest work and watched everything they have ever acted in — in date order.

Not only does it support the Korean actor if you watch their work legally, but its hella fascinating to see how each actor has both changed in appearance, and grown in their craft.

I mean, have you seen Kim Jae Wook in Coffee Prince way back in 2007? Awwwwww.

 

Kim Ji Won is doing an amazing job in Queen of Tears. Don’t you want to support her?

2. Stay Informed About What Your Favorite Korean Actor is Doing

If you want to be the best fan a Korean actor could wish for, keep up-to-date with the latest news about their upcoming projects and public appearances.

Follow each actor you like on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat or TikTok, and turn on notifications to stay informed daily about their activities.

Remember to interact with their accounts too, whether it’s liking, sharing or commenting on posts they make.

I personally think of every like, share or comment I leave as a vote for my favorite Korean actor’s latest work, and for their career. Just like voting for a politician — but better, and less shady.

Remember too, the more interaction Korean actors have on their social media accounts, the more opportunities arise for them to be involved in new acting projects or commercial work.

And that means we all get to see them more.

Of course, you can also keep up-to-date on what your favorite Korean actor is doing via reputable entertainment news sources.

My Drama List is one of the popular ones I head to every day.

I also read the entertainment section of The Korea Times, and browse various Korean news sources via Naver. (Online translation services are your friends – I use DeepL Translate, which is way more accurate than Google when it comes to translating Korean into English).

Sharing accurate information you find, rather than gossip and lies from some of the more scammy sites, also supports positive narratives about your favorite Korean actor, and that in turn helps cultivate a supportive fan community for the person you like.

I spent some time promoting Jung Woo Sung’s last drama Tell Me That You Love Me, as I thought his performance as a deaf man was superb

3. Support Your Favorite Korean Actor’s Projects

Being the ultimate fan of the Korean actors you love means showing your support by watching your favorite actor’s projects as soon as they come out.

Whether it’s a new K-drama, film, or even a variety show appearance, your views and engagement matter, while your viewership directly contributes to the actor’s success and to their popularity.

Remember too, if you can’t watch a variety show appearance live, many platforms share a Korean actor’s appearance on YouTube. So you can support them there as well.

In addition, share trailers, teasers, posters, and other promotional material on your social media accounts to help generate buzz about a Korean actor’s new project, which in turn will attract more viewers.

And remember to encourage your friends and family to watch their dramas and films.

4. Plan a ‘Watch Party’ of Your Favorite Korean Actor’s New Drama

You can even plan a ‘Watch Party’, where you and your friends, family or fellow fans agree to watch the same K-drama or film, and then talk about it.

Viki, by the way, is a great place to do that, as they have set their platform up to make creating a Watch Party as easy as clicking a couple of buttons, then sending your friends a link.

Also make an effort to watch a Korean actor’s work legally through official streaming platforms if you can (sure, sometimes specific dramas or films are not legally available outside South Korea, so do your best), as that ensures your support for them is counted and valued.

Lee Junho held several fan meetings you could have attended late last year if you were in Asia

5. Attend Fan Meetings and Events

If the opportunity arises, especially if you can get to South Korea or somewhere else in Asia, attend fan meetings/fan signings that your favorite Korean actor participates in.

Also attend any public event where you can meet your favorite actor in person.

These interactions provide a chance to express your admiration to an actor directly, even allowing you to give them small gifts, as well as create unforgettable memories for yourself.

Just remember to always follow the event’s rules, and don’t monopolize your favorite actor’s time as there will be many other fans wanting to meet him/her as well.

While you’re there, talk to other fans too.

These are the people who love the same Korean actor you do so, chances are, you’ll have a lot in common.

6. Participate in Fan Projects

Join or organize fan projects with other fans of the same Korean actor, so that a group of you can show your love and appreciation at the same time.

This could include getting supportive hashtags to trend on social media, sending positive messages to the actor, creating fan art, or even organizing charity events in an actor’s honor. (Contact their agency first to find out if the specific cause you would be supporting would be appropriate for them).

Buying birthday gifts for a specific Korean actor as a group is also hugely popular in Asia, and it’s amazing what kinds of gifts some fans are able to buy. (Thai and Japanese fans of Korean actors seem to be especially good at this, even funding billboards promoting their favorite actor’s latest project).

Remember, collaborating with other fans of a specific actor magnifies the impact of your efforts as, what 40 people can achieve is usually a lot more than what you can do alone.

Plus, again, you will make more friends who share the same tastes you have.

Lee Dong Wook promoting Samsonite in Esquire — photo via his Instagram account

7. Support a Korean Actor’s Endorsements

Many Korean actors endorse a wide variety of products and brands. Everything from small, affordable items to extremely expensive high-end designer brand clothing and accessories.

Support their work by purchasing their endorsed products, and promoting them within your social circles.

Your support contributes to your favorite actor’s income, their success, and strengthens their reputation as influencers. Thus affording them even more opportunities.

And remember, the more opportunities they have for endorsements, the more you are able to see them in action. A win-win, eh?

Just don’t buy a Louis Vuitton bag if you can’t afford one, as the last thing your favorite Korean actor wants is for you to bankrupt yourself.

8. Learn About Korean Culture

Expand your knowledge of your favorite Korean actor by learning about Korean culture, traditions, and, if you have the time, even learning the Korean language.

Knowing more about this fascinating culture can give you an insight into your favorite Korean actor’s life, and even explain why he/she sometimes behaves the way they do.

Especially when it comes to things like dating, relationships and behavior when out in public.

Understanding the cultural context in which your favorite actor operates will also deepen your appreciation for both the actor and the Korean entertainment industry they work in.

Even though, sometimes, it might piss you off as well. (Yep, South Korea is a whole different culture than many of us are used to!)

9. Spread Positivity About Your Favorite Korean Actor

As a fan of any Korean actor, strive to spread positivity and kindness within the Korean entertainment fandom community.

That means avoid engaging in fan wars or negative behavior towards other actors or their fandoms, or even getting into arguments with people who belong to the same fandom you do.

After all, even people who love the same Korean actor you do will still sometimes have a different opinion about the person and their work.

Instead, focus on celebrating the achievements of your favorite actor, while also helping create a community where other fans who love the same actor feel welcome, respected and heard.

10. Treat Your Favorite Korean Actor with Respect and Don’t Be a Stalker

While it’s always fun and exciting to be a fan of any Korean actor, especially if you are able to personally connect with them on any level, it is also really important to both be respectful at all times and to respect their privacy.

That’s why any true fan will always avoid behavior such as stalking, trespassing, or spreading gossip or lies.

Not only is that disrespectful and potentially dangerous (for them and for you) (in Korea, you can also be sued for malicious gossip), it can be incredibly frightening for a Korean actor.

It will also sure as hell ensure, if they ever meet you, they really really won’t like you.

Remember the only thing a Korean actor owes you (and even ‘owe’ is too strong a word) is a great performance in their next project and, hopefully, being polite if they ever meet you. As long as you are polite to them.

Other than that, Korean actors are people too. Just like you and me.

Away from the public arena, they have their own lives, their own families and their own friends, and you attempting to intrude on any of that without being asked is really a gigantic “No! No!”.

I always think if more fans, had been nice to him/supported him, Korean actor Lee Sun Kyun might not have committed suicide last year. Because I don’t care what he supposedly did, nobody should have to go what he was forced to go through via police and the news media

11. Never Stop Supporting Your Favorite Korean Actors

Lastly, never underestimate the power of your support as a fan, or of the gratitude your favorite Korean actor will often feel because of it.

That is why you should always continue to cheer for your favorite Korean actor in good times, and in times that are not so good.

In fact, to me the latter is even more important as, if an actor’s career is going through a rough patch, offering encouragement and love during challenging times can really make a difference in how they feel.

By following these 11 tips on how to be the best fan a Korean actor can have, you can help contribute to creating a positive and thriving fan community centered around admiration, respect, and love for Korean entertainment.

And for the wonderful people that create it for us.

About Michelle Topham

I'm a Brit-American journalist, former radio DJ at 97X WOXY, and Founder/CEO of Leo Sigh. I'm also obsessed with music, anime, manga, and K-dramas. Help!