Many a Korean woman will become envious when I tell them that I met Daniel Henney today and talked to him for a few minutes when he came to our office. Daniel Henney is one of the hottest stars in Korea right now, apparently more popular with Koreans than Bae Yong Jun. Henney is a model and an actor, and he is the star of Munhwa Broadcasting Company’s hit drama, "My Lovely Samsoon." A straw poll of Korean women I know revealed that Henney is by far their favorite heartthrob. A couple weeks ago, one of my coworkers said that Daniel Henney is her "dream man," and lo and behold, her dream man walked into her life today! She was stunned and flustered at first, too shy to come forward to meet him. However, she composed herself and ended up getting a personal photograph with him. I am very happy for her. Can you imagine? Think of the star you would most like to meet and then unexpectedly meet him or her in person. (I wonder if Bambi Francisco will stop by sometime.) My other Korean coworkers also went absolutely gaga over Henney. Me–I was bemused more than anything. The work stopped for awhile as my coworkers buzzed about the star in their midst. I sprang into action and located a digital camera. My star-struck coworkers happily gathered around Henney for photos (I think he enjoyed the attention.) For the rest of the day, the office was aglow with happy coworkers.
After the photo op, Daniel Henney came to see me. I helped him and thanked him for coming in, making sure he didn’t mind all the attention. (He said he didn’t mind at all.) I knew very little about him, so I asked him a couple of quick questions about his background. He is a very nice guy, completely unpretentious. He’s also an American whose mother is Korean American and father is British American. It’s very impressive to see a foreigner make such a big impact in Korean media, especially someone who did not arrive in Korea until recently. He may not be well known in the U.S. outside of Korean-American communities, but he is hugely successful here. He is someone who beat the odds and made it big in another culture. I wonder if his fame in Asia will eventually lead him to commercial success in the United States.
Blog Note: The photo MSN Spaces used to feature this space is a photo of the building housing the king’s throne at Gyeongbok Palace in Seoul. Gyeongbok Palace served as the seat of power during the Korean Joseon Dynasty until 1910. A family friend of ours wears hanbok, traditional Korean dress, and gives tours at Gyeongbok Palace, much like the women featured in the photo. For more photos of Gyeongbok Palace, see our photo collection.