Newcomer Daniel Henney
is wowing mostly female audiences with the role of Henry Kim, a radiologist who is devotedly in love with Hee-jin (played by Jung Ryeo-won
) in the MBC drama "My Name is Kim Sam-soon
The character the 28-year-old plays at first sight dazzles with chiseled good looks and a disarming smile. But on closer acquaintance he reveals himself as thoughtful and considerate, a man you could easily credit with the courage to throw away everything he has for his beloved, such is the air of old-fashioned chivalry that surrounds him.
Henney started modeling in the U.S. in 2001 and has worked in France, Italy, Hong Kong and Taiwan. After his debut in Korea last year with an advertisement for the men's cosmetics line Odyssey, his face became better known in commercials with Jun Ji-hyun
for Olympus cameras and Kim Tae-hee
for Klasse air conditioners. He only made the leap to drama with "My Name is Kim Sam-soon
He's already a star on the Internet as well, where his personal blog ( Open the link
) gets 4,000 hits a day.
Henney is of mixed extraction, born to an ethnic Korean mother who was adopted in the U.S. and an Anglo-American father. His Busan-born mother speaks no Korean since she was sent to the U.S. at the age of one. In the drama, it's delicately revealed that the mother of Henney's character is also an adoptee.
Casting producer Kang Dae-seon said, "Originally, Henry Kim was supposed to be a Korean adoptee, but listening to Daniel's story, we made his mother an adopted child instead".
But no one was happier than Daniel's mother when he started working in Korea. "When I came to Korea to appear in the drama, my mother cried. She calls me every day to ask what the weather is like and to ask if I'm acting well. My mother is full of feeling, just like a Korean". He said she plans to come to Korea soon to find her biological parents. Her quest will be televised.
A Korean phrase meaning, "Don't take me for granted" which Henney's character somewhat inarticulately yelled after learning it from Jung Ryeo-won
's character, has become something of a fad. In reality, Henney's Korean is slightly better than his character's. When he settled in Korea three months ago, he knew absolutely no Korean, but now has no problems ordering food at a restaurant. "I've been to many nations around the world, but none have been as comfortable a home as Korea. It seems it's like that because it's my mother's country". Henney has vowed to study Korean hard and become active as a "true Korean".