Korean child actors are amazing at crying scenes!

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bad crying scene from a child actor (or adult for that matter)

So many western child actors do that awful fake crying like when a kid isn’t getting their own way and cries but has no tears :slight_smile:

Korean kids though, it can be heartbreaking watching them. Really impressive.


Especially that heartbroken sobbing they do when they’re abandoned or scared :sob: literally hurts my heart


That’s so true T_T
I was just watching "At a distance spring is green’ and the child actor was amazing , I litreally cried when i saw him T_T


FYI ppl. from personal experience I say this things. I saw a YT video where a young Asian girl was asked why she was able to cry so realistic when doing her crying scene at 4 years old. Her answer? ‘‘The cruel Director would tell me that if I didn’t make a good crying scene, I would never see my mother again’’ so I cried hysterically from the terror of not seeing my mom again.

In the USA we have ample LAWS for many many years now that protect children during the filming any dramatic crying/painful scenes. They have to have a child psychologist present and several other professionals around the child during the recording of dramatic scenes so the 4 yr.old child (maybe even less) won’t suffer any mental or emotional pain/damage during the filming of certain scenes. In some cases they even replace the child with adults (the adult are small enough to look like a child).

When I see a child crying so intensely in Asian dramas I always wonder and hope they are not telling them something painful, to make the crying scene more dramatic. The Asian child does cry more realistic, but who knows what’s really behind that crying child. Let’s hope it’s really the art of crying, and not a form of abuse that many may be praising so much.


I have often wondered what kind of life experience these young kids could be tapping into to be able to cry so realistically and heartbreakingly. It would be terrible if the kind of traumatic behind-the-scenes tactics you described are being used frequently. Let’s hope not.


I was looking for the video on YT before adding this comment here; the girl is in her teens now. The YT video must have been ordered to be taken down. I usually save this things so I’m going to look if I ever saved it in my files, and if I find it, i will show it here. I rather have evidence so I’m digging hard hoping I can show the evidence of my statement. Regarding U.S.A. my daughter worked in filming, and those information can be easily found. I think the main reason American kids don’t cry as hard; is really bc they are not suffering as much during those scenes. Is hard for adults to fake cry/imagine for a kid.

The pain in the asian Child cry is so palpable that I don’t doubt they’re still doing that as I write these words.


Unfortunately, I think this practice is more common than we expect. I heard the same thing from NCT’s Jeno. In this case, it was his mother who told him she was leaving, and he cried because he was scared she would actually leave him behind. Though it’s not really my place to say this, I really will never understand parents who sign off their kids into the harsh entertainment industry. Jeno never really had a choice… he just transitioned from acting to singing/dancing, after dropping out of hugh school due to new SK rules. These children never got to decide whether they wanted to be in the spotlight. They never really enjoyed normal school days with no thirsty weirdo fans screaming after them and making them uncomfortable. I can only imagine what it feels like to have those thirst tweets and photoshopped/screenshotted-at-awkward-times pictures of you circling the internet when you’re still a young teen. Its bad enough as an adult, but I wonder what the effect is on your mental state when they’re still in a turbulent time - especially as boys mature a little later than girls. I watched Justin Bieber go through it, and it was painful. One thing I can be glad about is that kpop kids are usually put in groups, so at least they still have other kids their age around them for support, and the pressure to excel and entertain doesn’t fall solely on one pair of young shoulders. They can also be a little grounded to earth and go through everything together.

I worry when I think of Jeno, both because I like him and because he’s only a few years older than me. I am thankful that they seem to have a good team working with them, and they aren’t forced to do boyfriend roleplays, like some other groups I’ve seen - but the entertainment industry is still a very harsh place. When you’re young it’s exciting, but the fatigue will definitely creep in, in a few years. I always wonder whether the medical community lost a very talented doctor when the scouts picked Jaemin up.


That is so awful. And it’s not just the pressure from the outside (fan) world. I’ve watched some clips from a kpop survival show and the way in which they emphasize the competition is so harsh. There are some cultural things at play, too, I think. For example, being a leader of a group and how you are expected to shoulder the mistakes of all the members. I’ve only seen tiny clips here and there, but it made me contemplate how they have to deal with that type of pressure and treatment every second of every day. I don’t know how they do it and not just completely crumble.

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The thing is, most Asian families have that order. The older ones are responsible for the younger ones. In turn, the younger ones are respectful and obedient to the older ones. Even if you watch kpop groups interact, you’ll see that the leader can silence the group faster than the staff can. You will also see that the maknae is pampered, but gets lesser choices. As a member, knowing your mistake is going to affect someone else wil motivate you to do better. Since they work in companies, the leaders’ support systems are usually other group leaders, staff, the CEO/producers or senior group members. Also, only those with leadership capabilities are placed in the leader position(eg. Xiumin is the oldest but Suho is the leader). As a benefit, the leader sometimes gets better privileges. For example, when they went on tour, Suho’s accommodations were the largest, so the groups could meet in his room. The leader accepts awards, gives speeches, and(as far as I’ve seen) is in charge of the group’s casual spending.

When you’re used to living like that, it’s not too overwhelming. It’s a way to co-exist.

I get that this social hierarchy exists, and I get that they are used to it, but in the pressure cooker situations, how can that pressure still not get to you? I’ve watched it happen. I’m really talking more about the unrealistic expectation of perfection and how that plays into it. It’s an in-depth philosophical and psychological discussion that is probably too much for the boards, though.

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I try to avoid shows that revolve around young children. Especially if it’s for thriller, psychological or melodramatic genres. I feel like it’s too dark for children even if they know it’s only a job. The images, words and actions that insinuate certain topics will stick to them for a while.

When I watch those variety shows, the kids always say that they imagine their moms leaving them behind or something similar. This is definitely a common method to get kids to bring out emotional scenes.


I also can’t understand why so many children are included in horror genres. Its just creepy and probabmy traumatizing.


Heck, it traumatizes me as a viewer. Anything involving kids in horror is a NO for me.


Why you think there is such a high index of suicide in SK? The pressure cooker just bursting.

I feel they live such a tortured life where they are never good or perfect enough.

You know how terrible this parents must be? They are willing to let their child live with strangers, and starved, and get overworked, just so they can enjoy their income.

They have documentaries on YT but I stopped watching them bc I was feeling too depressed.

It’s very sad to know all these things, and be so powerless to protect them since is the story of their life, and it will never change.


I don’t know how to really explain it… yes, it’s hard and we do tend to burst in pressure cooker situations, but I’ve also noticed that the will to step out into the unknown, and the ability to stay calm and take control of situations grows. You burst, cry, talk to someone and move on. Pressure cookers cook, maturing a person and making them stronger. I remember having to suppress fear and try to find my way out of hard situations because I had to be brave for my brother who was following me. You struggle with unrealistic expectations and high standards but you also learn to let go of them as you grow. I’ve noticed this same line being repeated by multiple leaders and members of hyung lines.

In a very surprising coincidence, I came across this Rolling Stone interview with Suho yesterday. It’s a recent interview
For background context, Suho is the 30-year old leader of EXO, has been in the kpop industry since he was 15, debuted as a group in 2012, went through depression in 2017, has acted in theatre musicals and dramas, made his solo debut in 2020, and is preparing to release his second album this year. He completed his military service last month.

I’ll post the rest of the interview in the Segue Cafe. He’s an artist I truly admire as a leader and a person.

Certainly, we learn and grow from the challenges we face in life, and some handle them better than others. But I think it’s important for us to recognize the toll it can take, too. I’ve been through things, and I’ve come out on the other side, but that doesn’t mean that emotional scars were not left behind. I am relatively new to the Kpop world, but I think even within the industry the awareness and acknowledgement of the importance of the mental health of these individuals is spreading, though there is still a long way to go (in the world in general, actually).

On a side note, Suho is my personal favorite in EXO. I’ve delved into his history, and I am very much looking forward to what he will bring us in the future, as a soloist and as part of the group.


You know when you start a thread with well-meaning intentions and have no idea where t will lead!!! :flushed:

I very nearly included a jokey comment in my initial post that it wouldn’t surprise me if they told them their parents were dead or similar, to get them to cry. That sounds like it isn’t a million miles away from what can happen! :cry:


I had a chance to take an informal acting lesson led by a professional Korean producer at one point, and for the crying scene, they don’t tell you, “Your parents will never see you unless if you do good job,” or anything crazy like that.

What they do is they ask you to think of a really sad moment of your life and imagine that scene. We had people from little children to grandparents in that class. So different people had different sad moments that they would remember and they would use that emotion in that particular scene. Some children may say something like they would feel sad if their dog was sick or their favorite toy was taken from them or something like that. If children can’t think of any sad moment, they tell the children to think of a scenario which would make them feel sad. So if a child says, he would feel sad if his mom would leave him. Then they would say, then IMAGINE if your mom were to leave you and try to show that emotions here. Acting coaches/producers don’t threaten children that their mom will actually leave or any nonsense like that. I think the youngest kid in that class was 5 years old and she knew what was real vs. acting, and had no problem acting and crying out. Her mom was there with her and she was a very happy and well adjusted beautiful child, and she was an amazing actor, too! So they KNOW that their mom isn’t leaving or dead or anything horrible like that. They are just imagining how they would feel if that would happen, and then act out that emotional scene.

If someone is actually teaching children how to act by being cruel to them, that must be an exception not a norm, and that kind of practice should definitely be banned.


This was really informative! Thanks for sharing.

I agree that this probably isn’t the general way of doing things, but I can confirm that the NCT Jeno story is true. He’s told the story multiple times.


That story about Jeno is just terrible! What kind of mother would do that!