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 Chung Ryeo-won) in the MBC drama "My Name is Kim Sam-soon."
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 Jeon 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."
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 Chung
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