Did You Know? Hierarchy Star Kim Jae-won Got His Start On A Filipino Series

The Filipino web drama to Netflix K-drama pipeline is real.

Before he was turning heads on Hierarchy, Kim Jae-won was learning how to speak Tagalog on a Filipino web drama directed by Kristel Fulgar.

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If you have your ears close to the K-drama world, then you’ve probably heard and even seen the newest series that has gotten netizens talking, Hierarchy. But in case you haven’t, we’ll catch you up. 

Hierarchy is a K-drama that premiered on Netflix last June 7. The show is set in Jooshin High School, which was founded by South Korea’s top conglomerate, the Jooshin Group. This elite school is where the top 0.01% of South Korea’s children get their education. Throughout seven episodes, we follow a story of love, revenge, drama, dark secrets, and more among the young elite. 

The show has proven to be quite the hit, as proven by how it has taken over the TikTok FYP for some and topped the Netflix Philippines Shows chart. And, of course, like with any hit K-drama, the actors of Hierarchy have been receiving their fair share of attention, including one of the lead actors, Kim Jae-won. He plays Kim Ri-an, the number one high school student and successor to the Jooshin Group.

But before he led major K-dramas, the 23-year-old actor got his start on a project that was directed by none other than Kristel Fulgar. 


Kim Jae-won’s journey to being a rising star can trace it’s start to the Philippines. Specifically, it’s the Korean-Filipino web series, Love From Home, which premiered on One Click TV’s YouTube Channel in 2021. Set in both the Philippines and South Korea, Love From Home follows Jana (Joyselle Cabanalong), a young Filipina woman who teaches English to Koreans.

One day, she is informed that a student wants to learn Filipino, which is an odd request, but accepts it since it’s double pay. This is when she meets Jay (Kim Jae-won). As the series progresses, the two develop a friendship that turns into something more as Jay’s intentions for wanting to learn Filipino are revealed. No spoilers here, but it’s a bit of a gag. Even then, the actor’s potential was showing through this wholesome series. He had the looks, charisma, and skills.

Love From Home was directed by Kristel Fulgar, which was a particular achievement for the content creator and actress as she always wanted to direct her own K-drama. Since the series was shot during the pandemic, most of Love From Home was told through video calls, with Kristel directing the Philippine-set scenes in person, and via video for the Korea-set scenes. It was Kristel Fulgar, in fact, that you can thank for discovering Kim Jae-won, as she was the one who interviewed, auditioned, and cast the actor in his first-ever drama role, which you can check out here

Since then, the Korean actor has peppered his resume with appearances on shows like Our Blues, King the Land, and Hierarchy. Who knows where Kim Jae-won will end up next given rising star status. Reunion project with Kristel Fulgar? Fingers crossed. 

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