6 KPop Stars Who Are Also Actors
Being a K-Pop idol and being a K-Drama actor/actress are definitely not mutually exclusive. Many entertainment companies in South Korea are acting agencies as well as music labels, and in the great movement that is the South Korean entertainment industry and the Korean wave, a talented person can be both. .
And for those multi-talented stars with the acting bug, there’s more than one path to go from music superstar to silver screen star. Some idols choose to start performing in K-Drama while their group is still active, while others wait for the disbandment or a general decrease in their group schedules before stepping onto the set. What is certain is that there are many examples of people who have shone in both careers, becoming household names in both music and television.
Here’s your guide to some of the most famous and beloved idol-turned-actors (along with K-Drama tapings, of course)!
Lee Jieun (IU, soloist)
One of the most successful female soloists currently active, Lee Jieun, stage name IU, is a much-loved celebrity in her home country, Asia and the world beyond. So it’s no surprise that she also has a stellar acting career under her belt, a career she pursues alongside her musical work.
The latter started in 2008 when IU was only fifteen years old and debuted under LOEN Entertainment (after being rejected by JYP Entertainment) with the EP FOUND OBJECT. Her acting debut came a few years later, in 2010, with a supporting role in the drama dream high.
Among his ten roles you should definitely check out Luna Hotel— where she plays Jang Manwol, the millennial owner of a hotel that only caters to ghosts. And funny enough, Luna Hotel features two other idol-turned-actors in its cast – Kang Mina, a former member of Gugudan and IOI and Pyo Jihoon, known as PO, one of the rappers of boy group BLOCK B. You can stream it on Netflix.
Bae Suji (Suzy, Miss A)
Nicknamed “The Nation’s First Love”, Bae Suji, popularly known as Bae Suzy, debuted in 2010 with Miss A under JYP Entertainment, one of the most popular second-generation girl groups in K- Pop. Her fame skyrocketed when she made her film debut, however, with the 2012 film Architecture 101-where she played the younger version of the main character.
Since then, Suzy re-debuted as a solo artist in 2017 and has continued to develop her acting career. His filmography has expanded to include almost twenty titles between films and dramas. I especially recommend watching her in action in 2017’s Fantasy Romance while you were sleeping and the thriller 2019 Vagabond—the former is on Viki while the latter is on Netflix.
Kim Jisoo (Jisoo, BLACKPINK)
Jisoo is the lead singer and visual of global sensation BLACKPINK, the de facto most popular K-Pop girl group, especially internationally. Unlike the other three group members, who joined YG Entertainment for the specific purpose of debuting as idols, Jisoo first joined to pursue an acting career, which became a reality in 2021 when she starred in the historical romance. drama snowdrops (which you can watch on Disney+ in some regions or on Viki).
Jisoo’s performance was very well received, although the drama itself was the subject of controversy before and after its release (for the way it handled the particular moment in South Korean history in which it took place).
Kim Tae Hyung (V, BTS)
BTS needs no introduction, nor does Taehyung – stage name V – one of the group’s most popular members and, so far, the only one of the seven to make his acting debut. – although who knows what the future holds now that the band is on official hiatus.
Taehyung’s acting debut dates back to 2016 when he played a supporting role in the star-studded drama Hwarang: Youth Warrior Poet– the story of the formation of the Hwarang, an elite group of warriors from the kingdom of Silla in the 6th century CE. You can watch the K-Drama on Netflix.
Taehyung was one of the youngest people in the cast and he formed a notoriously strong friendship with his “Hwarang hyungs” – something the rest of BTS have always been very jokingly jealous of. One of those Hwarang hyungs is fellow idol/actor Choi Minho, the lead rapper and visual of beloved second-generation boy group SHINee.
Lee Dongmin (Cha Eunwoo, ASTRO)
Lee Dongmin is much better known by his stage name, Cha Eunwoo, which he debuted with in 2016 as the vocalist, visual, and face of Astro. While his acting debut technically took place before that, with the 2014 film my brilliant lifehis escape came when he was cast as the male lead in the 2018 drama Gangnam beauty– which saw its popularity skyrocket immediately after it first aired.
His filmography contains about ten titles between films and dramas, and you certainly cannot miss the period piece Rookie historian Goo Hae-Ryung – which you can see on Netflix – and in particular the hit modern romance true beauty. An adaptation of the webtoon of the same name, it was THE drama of 2020 – you can stream it on Viki and decide which of the two male leads you’re looking for.
Park Jinyoung (Jinyoung, GOT7)
Last, but not least, there is Park Jinyoung, known as Jinyoung, the center and face of GOT7. He first made his debut as an actor – in 2011, with the drama Dream high 2—then as an idol—in 2014, with the EP I understood?.
Jinyoung had and continues to have a very successful career as a member of GOT7 – even now that the group has collectively left their first company, JYP Entertainment – and he has also performed in several K-Dramas. Among the titles of his discography, undoubtedly discover the beloved fantasy romance The legend of the blue sea and psychological romance Yumi’s Cells– you can find the former on Viki and the latter on Netflix.
Who would be you add to this list? And what’s your favorite K-Drama starring a K-Pop idol?
(featured image: tvN)
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