An industry insider once revealed back in 2010, why dramas often cast idols despite reviews of bad acting. The article is gaining traction once again in 2021, despite almost a decade passing.

202101181727-main.cropped_1610965673
This image is for illustrative purposes and unrelated to the article. | KBS2

According to the article, idols often ask for a way lower appearance fee as compared to actors. While actors may ask for between ₩50,000,000 KRW ($45,400 USD) to twice that amount per episode, depending on fame, idols often only ask for a tenth of that amount. The industry insider revealed that most idols don’t go over ₩5,000,000 ($4500 USD) per episode, no matter how famous they were.

cha-eun-woo-nm2
This image is for illustrative purposes and unrelated to the article. | tvN

The article also pointed out that even nameless rookie actors would ask for around ₩7,000,000 ($6400 USD) or more, if they had some recognition. From a practical point of view, many directors prefer to cast idols in low-budget dramas, or for roles that did not require that many lines in the first place.

The general opinion towards idol actors from the public is usually not positive, save for a few that have gotten global recognition as amazing actors. Despite this, many directors still continue to cast idols, for not only their raw talent but their fan and face value, or lower budgets.