We’re unsure why former leading man Richard Gere is such a huge figure in Japan, but there’s no doubt that he is. They adore him, to the point that legendary director Akira Kurosawa gave him a big role in one of his (Kurosawa’s) last films, “Rhapsody in August.” Gere also got to have an impromptu dance with the former Prime Minister of Japan, Junichiro Koizumi. He’s also appeared in a number of successful foreign remakes of Japanese films.
Again, we’re not really sure why this is. He does plenty of ads, which is pretty common when it comes to American celebs, but the Japanese have really taken to him. In fact, there’s a common joke that Koizumi’s premiership was only so long because he looked a lot like Gere.
Val Valentino – Brazil
You might not know exactly who Valentino is – he’s an American illusionist that is better known as “The Masked Magician.” This illusionist gained a sudden surge in popularity on the other side of the equator when clips of his show “Breaking the Magician’s Code: Magic’s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed” were shown on the show “Fantástico.” It’s a hugely popular program in Brazil, and thanks to it, Val Valentino gained a whole lot of popularity in Brazil.
The show revealed the secrets to several large magic acts, something many find themselves interested in. He’s also quite fondly regarded in Chile, where he made a number of public appearances in his Masked Magician persona before he started going without the mask, and in Japan. In fact, Brazil likes him so much that they gave him the name “Mister M.”
Diane Lane – Japan
With experience acting since 1971 and acting in movies since 1979, Lane is a formidable name in the history of filmmaking. She was in “The Perfect Storm,” “Streets of Fire,” she’s in the DC Extended Universe as Martha Kent, and plenty more. However, she’s likely way more popular in Japan, thanks mostly to the modeling she did for a number of Japanese magazines.
She also had a modeling photo book published and was also in a number of advertisements for cars, soft drinks, and jewelry. A lot of this comes from the aforementioned “Streets of Fire,” which was a critical failure in America, but the style was much more received in Japan. Its aesthetic was even inspiration for familiar titles like “Street Fighter,” “Final Fight” and “Streets of Rage.”
Taron Egerton – Asia
Actor Taron Egerton is incredibly popular in Asia, despite not having the longest CV when it comes to Hollywood. Still, His work in the “Kingsman” series of films put him on the map, and for some reason, South Korea in particular loves his time in the films. K-Pop acts, including the global superstars BTS, will often give shout-outs to both Egerton and his role in the films to this day.
Indeed, South Korea adores the man so much that they gave him the fan nickname “Kim Taron.” Kim is the most common surname in the country, meaning that many consider him an honorary South Korean. The Philippines like him for the things “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” says about certain political figures that may or may not be from the Philippines. His boyish yet chiseled looks also appeal heavily to the male beauty standards of the entire Asian continent.
Olivia Hussey – South Korea
After making it big as the female lead in “Romeo and Juliet” from 1968, Olivia Hussey took a little break before jumping back into the Hollywood machine. Sure, she was in some good movies, but why is she so popular in South Korea? Well...it’s because she’s pretty. Don’t get us wrong, there’s a lot to like about Miss Hussey, but the people of South Korea know her because of her looks.
It’s actually a little weird – she’s a huge influence on South Korean beauty standards. If you look like Olivia Hussey, South Korea thinks you are attractive. It’s so widespread that if the media wants to call a beautiful singer, model, or actress attractive without coming right out about it, they'll compare the figure to Hussey.