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Who Was That American Actor Speaking Perfect Korean?

BY Julie Jones | Apr 14, 2015 08:36 AM EDT


When actors who play Europeans appear on k-dramas they often speak English with some vague European accent, requiring the main cast members to speak to them in English. But the fourth episode of "Falling for Innocence," also known as "Falling For Soon Jung" surprised viewers by introducing a character that was supposed to be European but spoke impeccable Korean.

A few netizens went scrambling to their search engines to discover the identity of the very attractive visiting businessman that Kim So Yeon met at the airport. Within minutes netizens discovered Ricky Kim, a Korean-American actor that some other k-drama fans have known about for a while.

Kim, a model and actor, has appeared in several k-dramas. And just in case you missed seeing Kim in these dramas, here are some facts about his background.

Ricky Kim was born to a Korean mom and an American dad and grew up in Kansas and Hawaii. He didn't plan on becoming an actor but after teaching English in Korea, he decided to pursue a modeling and acting career there. It took a while to launch his career but he was not easily discouraged.

"If you do good things, keep smiling, and if you are happy and enjoying what you are doing work will come some day," he said in 2010 interview with the Korea Times.

He had his Korean acting debut in 2006 when he appeared in the drama "Miracle." Since then he has had roles in "On Air," "Jejungwon," "Midas," "Athena: Goddess of War," "Midas," "I Need Romance" and "The Queen's Classroom." His most recent role before "Falling for Innocence" was playing Kim Gyu Ri's first boyfriend in "Cunning Single Lady."

He's appeared in films such as "My Darling FBI" and musicals such as "Dreamgirls." He's also a regular on the sports variety show "Let's Go Dream Team! Season 2" and appeared on the reality documentary show "Laws of the Jungle."

On an episode of Laws of the Jungle, he once spoke about the challenges of growing up Korean-American and then of moving to Korea. It was hard to feel he fit in anywhere.

"When I came to Korea, I was treated as an American, and when I went to America, I was treated as a Korean," said Lee. "Because of this, I was always a loner. So that's why I exercised and studied hard. Only if I was in first I thought I could show them who I was. I wanted to show them that I was a person."

Since then he has convinced viewers that he is not only a "person" but a person to watch.

The actor is married to Korean musical theater actress Ryu Seung Joo. He met her while doing charity work with Compassion, an international Christian child sponsorship organization. The organization was originally created to help children orphaned by the Korean War. The couple has been married since 2009 and recently announced they were expecting their third child.

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