Gong Yoo, Jo In Sung
As Male Stars Enlist in Military Service En Masse in 2008… Will It Leave Behind Another Void?
A Korean man cannot avoid his military service, and stars at the busiest time in their careers are no exception. Male stars generally reveal their thoughts on military service upon reaching the appropriate age, and fans accept their absence as a disappointing but inevitable truth.
However, because most of these actors who must leave at the height of their careers are around the same age, they tend to enter their service at around the same time. Moreover, their mass exit from the film and television world leaves a gaping void behind them.
And now, trying something new…
For instance, a string of young men began their military service, including Song Seung Heon, Jang Hyuk, Han Jae Seok in 2004, and Ji Sung, Hong Kyung In, Park Kwang Hyun, So Ji Sub, and Yeon Jung Hoon in 2005. That created an empty space in the entertainment realm for a while following their departures.
For that reason, it was easier for male pop singers to make the transition to acting, and gave a chance for new stars like Hyun Bin to rise to stardom.
The time for the next wave of male stars to leave the entertainment world arrives in 2008. The group of A-list celebrities dominating the film and television world will enlist en masse, including Jo In Sung, Gong Yoo, Kim Rae Won, Jo Hyun Jae, Chun Jung Myung, Yang Dong Geun, and Lee Dong Gun.
Lee Dong Gun, Kim Rae Won
Take Jo In Sung [What Happened in Bali, Dirty Carnival, Spring Days], a superstar with many overseas fans who is planning to appear in director Yoo Ha’s next film next February. He’s still considering whether that film will be his last before beginning his service, or whether he’ll take on one more project. He plans to enlist by the end of next year.
Gong Yoo [One Fine Day, Hello My Teacher, She’s On Duty], who’d solidified his status in the drama Coffee Prince Store #1, had initially received his papers for an October enlistment. However, he’s postponed his enlistment to continue working, and it’s very likely he’ll enter his military service next year.
Kim Rae Won [What Star Are You From?, Love Story in Harvard, Attic Cat], another actor in his career prime who appears in the drama Gourmet, plans to enter his service next year. Because he has film he’s waited to work on since before taking on Gourmet, he’s carefully considering whether to work on that film after the drama ends.
Jo Hyun Jae [Seo Dong Yo, Only You, Tale of the Nine-Tailed Fox] of the recent movie G.P. 501 intends to enlist after finishing with that project. He impressed people when the filming for G.P. 501 was interrupted, and he’d steadfastly waited for work to resume so he could participate, even despite his approaching enlistment. His management company stated that if that movie wraps early, he might have the chance to work on one more project.
Chun Jung Myung, Jo Hyun Jae
It’s expected that Chun Jung Myun [What’s Up Fox?, Goodbye Solo, Fashion ’70s] will start his service sometime early next year. He’d initially received his summons for November, but he pushed it back to appear in the film Hansel and Gretel.
Singer-actor Yang Dong Geun [I Am Sam, Dr. Kkang, Ruler of Your Own World], who’s just started promotional activities on his new album, is considering beginning his service in the middle of next year.
Lee Dong Gun [Smile Again, My Boyfriend is Type B, Sweet 18], who’d successfully changed his image in the movie Are You Living With the One You Love?, will start his military service next year. It appears he’s thinking over whether he will take the break following the film’s release to decide on his next project, or just begin his enlistment then.
Aside from these actors, there are a line of singers who will also be enlisting next year.
Jang Woo Hyuk starts his service on the 15th, and early next year Tony Ahn will, too. Excepting Shin Hye Sung, the members of Shinhwa also plan to begin their service next year. HaHa, who’s been extremely active in the entertainment world, will also begin next year.
Already, many speculate over the various ways in which the departure of these male stars in 2008 will change the lay of the land. The result may be similar to the ‘backup’ celebrities who rose quickly in the void left in 2005, combined with the stars who are being discharged from their duty now to seek a return of the fame of their heydey.
One source said, “With a few exceptions, singers who attempt to act have not been able to meet with favorable criticism, and therefore it’s not easy for singers to make the transition to actor. As there aren’t any outstanding new stars, it’ll be very likely for stars who’ve been discharged from service, such as Won Bin and Song Seung Heon, to resume their busy schedules.”
Won Bin, Song Seung Heon
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