Why these 7 idols aren't just pretty faces

3 July 2013 / 3 years 3 months ago

There was a time when critics were not so generous in appraising idol stars who took to acting on the big or small screen.

While that prejudice is still alive, many of them have successfully overcome criticism to grow into full-fledged actors.

Here are the top 7 K-pop idols turned actors, as ranked by The Korea Herald:

1. Park Yuchun (JYJ)

Not many people had high expectations for Park Yuchun in 2010 when the singer said he would start acting.

Park made his first appearance on the small screen with Sungkyunkwan Scandal and excelled at portraying Lee Sunjoon in the fusion historical drama.

The selection of genre for his acting debut was perhaps an ideal one, as fusion historical dramas have historically had mass appeal.

Park could have chosen the safe path of acting by choosing a romantic comedy as his follow-up project.

Against his fans’ expectations, he decided to go for melodrama.

With Miss Ripley costarring Lee Dahae, he built his reputation as an actor.

The last two dramas he starred in -- Rooftop Prince and Missing You -- also confirmed his talent for acting.

Just three years into his acting career, the JYJ member garnered four major acting awards, in the KBS Drama Acting Awards in 2010, Paeksang Arts Awards and MBC Drama Awards in 2011, and SBS Drama Awards in 2012.

2. Lee, Jungshin (CNBLUE)

It was evident at the beginning of My Daughter Seoyoung that Lee Jungshin was starting from scratch.

Beginning from zero, he had nothing to lose, and he had veteran actors such as Chun Hojin and Kim Hyeok as mentors.

Leaving all the awkward reactions and facial expressions in the earlier part of the story, his acting skills remarkably improved through the 50-part series.

Competition between the CNBLUE members could have been the strongest motivation for the bassist.

All four band mates have experience in acting including leader Jung Yonghwa, who acted in You’re Beautiful and Heartstrings.

With My Daughter Seo-young, the musician gained wider recognition as an actor as well.

3. IU

The influx of idols in the K-drama sphere reached its peak in 2011 when Dream High first hit the airwaves.

TV screens were brimming with young artists such as Taecyeon and Wooyoung of 2PM, Eunjung of Tiara and Bae Suzy of MissA.

IU did not have many scenes in her debut drama but she made a stepping stone of it and landed her first lead role in You’re The Best, Lee Soonshin.

Already a successful singer, IU’s acting success is likely to be judged by her current drama and the next role.

4. Seo Inguk

The winner of Mnet’s audition program Superstar K did not have much luck when he first made, his debut as a singer.

Seo Inguk had also tried appearing on variety shows to make himself known, but he was always tagged as “the guy from Superstar K.

‘ His fate began to change forever when he starred in Respond 1997 with Jung Eunji of girl group A Pink.

Riding the waves of ’90s sensation the drama made, Seo finally kicked the label of “the guy from Superstar K‘ and found his real name.

After making his appearance in the weekend series Rascal Sons, Seo came back to where he belongs and gained further popularity through a new album.

5. Bae Suzy

Without a doubt, Bae Suzy is the most successful actress among idol singers.

She gave acting a try in Dream High but no one had expected that she would become the queen of local box office last year.

Architecture 101, Lee Yongjoo’s megahit film that lured 4.1 million moviegoers last year, launched Bae into stardom and gave her the nickname of “everyone’s first crush.

‘ Although she still has that reputation from her debut flick, Bae has not been able to meet her fans’ expectations in Big and Gu Family Book.

6. Choi Siwon

Choi Siwon made his name known as an actor before making his debut K-pop group Super Junior.

His first drama Precious Family was written by popular script writer Kim Soohyun, who also wrote A Thousand Days’ Promise‘and Mom’s, Dead Upset.

After playing several minor and main rles both on the small and big screens he made a breakthrough in his acting career last year with The King of Dramas.

 Choi received positive reviews for depicting his character Kang Hyunmin, a handsome but short-tempered and egoistic actor.

Proving himself a real heartthrob, he made a smooth start to become the king of dramas.

7. Kim Dongwan

Kim Dongwan was an actor at the age of 17 before becoming a member of boy band Shinhwa.

The Hey Come On singer kept his dream as an actor while pursuing singing activities.

With his trademark smiley face he landed more roles in popular dramas such as Children of Heaven in 2002 and A Farewell to Sorrow in 2005.

In 2011, Kim played the male lead in The Peak, set during the Japanese colonial rule.

The two-part series was recognized by the WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival and took the grand prize in the TV Special-Dramatic segment.

Critics say the award-winning drama provided Kim a chance to go beyond his former style of acting and helped him mature as an actor.

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