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East of Eden: Viewers up, paychecks down

The actors of MBC’s Monday-Tuesday drama East of Eden, including star Song Seung-heon, are taking a pay cut — as much as 50% from their current pay rates.

The drama boasts a large cast of name actors — Yeon Jung-hoon, Yoo Dong-geun, Lee Mi-sook, Jo Min-ki, Lee Yeon-hee, Lee Da-hae, Han Ji-hye, Park Hae-jin — all of whom are pulling in lead-actor rates. Those add up quickly in what is already a high-budget production (approx 25 billion won).

Perhaps the actors are feeling secure now that Eden has established itself as a ratings success. For those who aren’t already A-list, this drama will likely shoot them up in that range (Yeon Jung-hoon, for instance, playing Dong-wook, or the young ladies; they’re on the rise, but this ought to solidify their places in the next generation of young actresses). One unnamed actor explained, “East of Eden is a project I chose because I had faith in the drama’s quality, writer, and director, more than because of the acting fee.”

A production team member said, “It’s a difficult feat to get this many actors of this caliber acting together, and thanks to the care they’ve poured into the drama, East of Eden has been able to receive this kind of love.”

Also, Song Seung-heon has volunteered to return his pay and receive it after the show ends, saying, “These days, a lot of dramas run into difficulties while filming because of sudden increases in production costs. I can receive my pay later, if that means our production process can continue smoothly.”

I say: It’s a small gesture on the part of the megastar (who no doubt isn’t hurting for cash), but a fabulous thing for his PR.

Via Seyge.com, Hankyung

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my hat is off to you song seung hyeon for that noble gesture of getting paid after the production is done! way to go -- you're one of my 10 best K-actors of all time! I've been enjoying East of Eden since its inception and what a great casting indeed! To the producers/directors, behind the camera staff, it pays off to have a great production such as this let alone the choice of great casting you have! I can't wait to purchase the DVD of this drama to add it for my collection! Korean dramas are 99% great & since I've started watching Kdramas, I never wanted to watch any other programs anymore! Keep up the good work & to the casts: you're all great! Aja aja! God bless you all as you continue to give us, audience a great masterpiece!

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i don't mean to sound like a hater... but oh please. what a "gesture" considering he's still getting paid. he's got enough dough for him to roll around in until payday... and even without payday. CF's are where the money's at, and this drama has secured him those, no doubt.

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Lol, I so agree about the PR part.
Its not like he won't be getting the money -_-

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thats true. i agree with the last two comments. im pretty sure SSH has a lot of leftovers when its all said and done. even if he did decided for a later payoff.
i mean if he actually said, u can my half to do other stuff that benefits everyone else.. extras who work hard, crew who shoot day and night that kind of thing.. and u dont need pay back id be impressed but that pretty much be too much to ask.. or if these these a listers and the soon to be's really believed that they work for the great cast, drama, script and director than the fee then hats off to them.. but then again this is showbiz..

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To those who have been following EoE: Is it any good? The plot sounded decent to me, but 60 episodes is a looooonnnnggggg time.

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^ I though it was 50 episodes? If it really is 60 I'm so going to take a pass on this one.

A part of the inner cynic wants to say that he didn't actually, you know, opt to work for free, but it's a nice gesture, nonetheless.

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yeah there's been a trend of stars & their accomplice the media (ha!) promoting their fee-slashing...gesture of goodwill? a lot of the claims are no-brainers, simply because the films neither justify big budget, nor guarantee huge return because of the perceived drawing power of story, unproven talents etc. (Gosa was an MV-director's debut with mostly unknown cast; My Dear Enemy is indie director + name stars doing a dry, small drama - ditto for My 11th Mom; leads of Movie Is Movie weren't B.O. names at all.) a lot of them lower fees just to get the job. SSH needs this pay it forward PR now (a few weeks ago it was "gallantly turned down 8 CF contracts for EoE"?), because A Destiny bombed!

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i was wondering how they could afford such a huge cast. i just wish other actors could do the same thing to sacrifice for that sake of a drama. i can't wait for EOE to start on MBC America, they aired the special but without subs. i saw some TV Section thing & they mapped out the love relationships, & that made me interested in seeing this drama.

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I think he's doing a good thing, I'm usually quite a cynic, but it's not like he's obligated to receive his money later or take a paycut.

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i am proud of SSH's decision. to many they can call it PR, at least he is concerned of the entire production including its budget. yes, he is an A-lister, and it is true he still have money. while he was in the military, it seems he still was earning money from merchandise in using his names. i never heard about the 8 CF's he turned down, though. but i heard about a Japanese Agency who offered him $20M (or was it $40M) contract which he turned down because of EOE.

anyway, with many many actors in the story, 50 or 60 episodes are actually not enough as each character has a story to tell. who knows this series gets extended from the original 50 episodes.

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I have watched the first 12 eps of EOE and this drama was worth watching. There was suspense, action mixed with a bit of corniness and alot of drama. Acting was superb for the most part.

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I highly agree with Ina^

East of Eden is a masterpiece just by looking at the already aired 12 episodes, the acting is the best as I've scene from all korean dramas, emotions are well portrayed , and the tears..... they dont look like eye drops but I assume it is ....

It's bassicalyy a 5star drama, I hope they make a lot of money off of it, even though I am watching it online xD, but I'll buy the box set afterwards, even if it'ss be over 100 dollars =( Hopefully YA Entertainment will bring it in N.AMERICA, with subs!

I hope all the actors/actress get a well deserved pay check at the end of teh airing =P
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ive never seen a drama where all the actors are good at their job

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"ho knows this series gets extended from the original 50 episodes."

Oh, this show WILL get extended past 50 episodes. MBC is not going to let this cash cow go!! :D Only way this doesn't happen is if the show takes a huge hit from the World That They Live In. But even then, I could see a total 50 rating combined from both shows.

The asking rate makes sense because the show will likely extend. Also I think some of the roles were significantly expanded. Han Ji Hye's character was originally supposed to be minor, but since she was cast, her character was vastly expanded. This is also a great comeback vehicle for Lee Dae Hee, who's still kinda in and out of the show. This show also is going to be a BIG BIG BIG success in pan-Asia (it plays like a HK-style thriller, but the emotional intensity/histrionics between the brothers and the women is much stronger than what we usually see in HK drama), and so everybody is probably collecting bling from that too.

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since THE WORLD THEY LIVE IN is sort of a copycat from ON AIR, i doubt the KBS series can even be at par with ON AIR's achievement. SPOTLIGHT failed to do so, moreover TAZZA is also holding strong on above 12%....i would guess that the HB-SHG series will be another SNOW QUEEN. i hope SHG will deliver a compelling performance in the series. i can tell there is the chemistry, but then if the chemistry cannot boost the storyline, it will get disappointing rating. THE WORLD THEY LIVE IN is creating a buzz on the casting aspect, but HB's popularity is no difference to Lee Dong Wook's popularity and other actors/actresses who had had well-loved series, and yet their follow-up series were all disappointing. we'll see though as SHG has not broken the jinx yet of the success brought by FULL HOUSE...what i meant by the jinx there is...after one very successful series domestically and abroad, the follow-up series usually is a disappointment take for instance Song Il Gook from Joo Mong to Lobbyist, Kim Sun Ah from Kim Sam Soon to When It Is Night, Lee Dong Wook from My Girl to Bittersweet Life, Lee Da Hae from My Girl to Hello Miss and Robbers. Kim Jung Eun from Lovers in Paris to Princess Lulu, Kwon Sang Woo from Stairway to Heaven to Sad Love Song and Bad Love, Rain from Full House to A Love To Kill, Choi Ji Woo from Stairway To Heaven to Air City, Lee Dong Gun from LiParis to Stained Glass, Smile Again, When It Is Night.

THE WORLD THEY LIVE IN i hope will not suffer the same fate as BAD LOVE where the major HALLYU STAR KWON SANG WOO could not even save the series even if he will be shirtless in the entire series as the storyline was really BAD.

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East of Eden will most likely be extended it is MBC's cash cow right now. Knowing MBC and their strategy... they'd never let that go.

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yay for the EoE stars taking a paycut to preserve the integrity and quality of hte show. Though it might all just be PR, i'm glad they did it and it's the right thing to do considering they-as a group- commanded such ridiculously high paychecks to begin with. This drama is going to increase their worth in the future so in a way, they'd get all that money back in the future anyways- so it's like an investment.

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I´m so glad this drama is doing good in the ratings :DDD I only wanted to check it out because of SSH and because the rest of the cast is also amazing but I´m actually enjoying it a lot :P
I hope they don´t extend it too much though, 50 episodes is already A LOT. Hell, I sometimes have trouble finishing 16 episode dramas DDD:

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got curious about EofE coz of it's big casts plus the fact that I haven't watch SSH in any of his dramas (coz I hate tragic dramas!) and heard that both his Autumn
Fairy Tale and Summer Scent are tragic dramas so didn't even attempt to watch them even though some said they're a big hit? anyways, got my chance to watch SSH in EofE. And I must say am not that impressed with his acting, esp when the 2 brothers are calling each other, I mean, do they always have to shout when they call each other? But still, am already hooked with this drama, already curious about the ending so got to finish this one till the end. One thing I also notice in EofE, Lee Da Hae is not such a good actress? I mean I love her in My Girl but in EofE she always overacts esp the scenes when she's showing her anger, she tends to make her eyes round to show her anger? Anways, just my observation, but like I said still love EofE despite some overactings.....and still applaud SSH decision to postpone getting his paychecks, be a PR thing or not, I think that his small gestures will still help the productions of EofE in some other ways....

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~I think that Lee Da Hae has done a very good job in potrying her character...for the anger part..its good also coz..I believe there are certain people who will tend to round their eyes when they are in anger... It all depends on what the character requires out of the actor/actress. For this, I truly think that Lee Da Hae excels..

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Hmm... I think she took the rounding her eyes tip from jang hyuk. *chuckles*
But I love the scenes where she quarrels with her stepmum (and dad). They're impressive. (:

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Can't find a drama better than this

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