When Rain began his two-year mandatory military service in October there were fears he would become little more than a public relations tool in a safe role far from the front lines. But having been criticized for their 'soft' treatment of other male Korean Wave stars who have been forced to undergo their national service or find a really good reason to be excused, it is thought military leaders wanted to send out a strong message that famous or not, 'hallyu' stars were just regular soldiers in their eyes, although they probably wouldn't be brutally bullied by their superiors in the same way. Korean President Lee Myung-bak became one of the first Korean Wave stars to avoid military service after developing a 'bad cough' three weeks into his training, but several weeks into his service, Rain's voice was still said to be fine.
Protesters were said to be shocked by the appearance of Rain at Occupy Seoul, who nevertheless was easily distinguishable from the other soldiers with his make-up on, but many waited in vain to be struck by him as the authorities attempted to clear the streets and restore order in the capital. One protester – 20 year-old university student Kim, handed leaflets out from her Prada bag telling passers-by that capitalism was destroying Korea and making people's lives miserable. Another protester from the same university said he'd joined the protests in the hope of building a fairer society in which he could sleep with Kim.
Rain's career took off nearly a decade ago, and he quickly became one of Asia's biggest entertainers. He made his film debut in 2006 as a young man confined to a mental hospital in the comedy-drama "I'm a Cyborg, but That's OK.", before appearing in two Hollywood action films "Speed Racer" and "Ninja Assassin". But the latter won him an MTV Movie Award, and in a further sign of his problems in the U.S. movie industry, Megan Fox called him a "Korean Justin Timberlake".
Rain is said to be hoping that by the time he completes his military service in 2013, he can put these events behind him, as well as the recently reopened investigation of allegations that he embezzled 2 billion won ($1,880,000) at an entertainment firm in which he was the largest shareholder.
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