|Actor Lee Byung-hun. Yonhap|
By Dong Sun-hwa
Actor Lee Byung-hun reportedly gets 150 million won ($134,000) for each of the 24 episodes of "Mr. Sunshine," the new tvN series, although the entertainment channel refused to confirm it.
According to reports, Lee's guarantee of 3.6 billion won ($3.22 million) for the series accounts for about 8.5 percent of the 43 billion won production cost.
"We cannot reveal the exact amount," tvN told media outlet Donga.com.
Big pay checks for celebrities often mean little for crews, who are said to live a poor life.
"Mr. Sunshine" is a drama penned by star writer Kim Eun-sook, whose previous credits include hits such as "Descendants of the Sun" and "Guardian: The Lonely and Great God."
In this series, Lee plays Eugene Choi, a Korean-born U.S. Marine who falls in love with Ko Ae-shin, an assassin who fights for the Joseon Kingdom against imperial Japan, in the turn-of-the-century period drama. Kim Tae-ri, 28, has the role.
The show's first two episodes aired Saturday and Sunday, recording ratings of 8.9 percent and 9.7 percent.