If 2022 is the year of actress Park Eun Bin and her K-Drama Extraordinary Attorney Woo, then 2021 was the year of Lee Junho and his period drama The Red Sleeve.
The MBC drama was a sensation that swept the nation. The love story of a King and the palace maid was one of Korea’s most watched dramas in 2021.
Like Extraordinary Attorney Woo, the drama was also an underdog that saw it compete against dramas like Now, We Are Breaking Up, which starred top star actress Song Hye Kyo and up-and-coming actor Jang Ki Yong.
In comparison, The Red Sleeve starred actors Lee Junho and Lee Se Young, who, at the time, didn’t command the same spotlight as Song Hye Kyo.
It didn’t help The Red Sleeves that Now, We Are Breaking Up was Song Hye Kyo’s first project since her divorce from actor Song Joong Ki.
With all that said, The Red Sleeves dominated in the ratings, finishing with a whopping 17.4%, while Now, We Are Breaking Up‘s last episode saw a respectable rating of 6.7%.
The drama catapulted Lee Junho and Lee Se Young as bonafide lead actors. The actors were praised for their acting and chemistry, as Lee Junho took home a Baeksang Arts Award for leading actor and Lee Se Young took home an MBC Acting Award.
Now it seems Lee Junho’s new fame is paying off where it counts — his bank account.
In a recent episode of TMI News Show, Lee Junho was revealed to now make over ₩100 million KRW (about $76,200 USD) per episode.
Considering a K-drama is usually 16 episodes long, fans of the artist can rest assured knowing that Lee Junho has indeed secured the bag.
Lee Junho certainly paid his due on his way up to where he is now! Pre-The Red Sleeve, he played notable roles in other dramas, such as Good Manager and Rain or Shine. He is also set to appear as the lead of an upcoming drama, titled King the Land, alongside Girls’ Generation‘s Yoona.