Lots of K-pop idols are stepping up their game by acting in K-dramas. They may be handsome and beautiful but their extraordinary acting in various roles has attracted both fans and viewers from all over the world.
We list out 10 idols-turned-actors who are currently in the K-drama spotlight.
Cha Eun-woo (ASTRO)
Cha Eun-woo (aka ‘Face Genius’ because of his handsome face) made his small-screen debut as a supporting actor in The Best Hit. Playing as a rising idol MJ, he shows his affection for intern Woo-seung by giving her unreasonable tasks.
He shows a different persona in romantic comedy My ID Gangnam Beauty. Acting as a chic campus guy Kyung-seok, he falls in love with his middle school crush, Mi-rae. He only cares about her inner beauty even though he knows that she had plastic surgery. Viewers and ASTRO’s fans are swooned over by his frosty-turned-warm aura.
His on-screen presence will make your heart stop for a moment because of his emotionless acting and electrifying charisma.
Like ASTRO’s Cha Eun-woo, Bona also acted her first small-screen role in The Best Hit, too! She plays Do Hye-ri, an idol who has feelings for Min-jae.
Having an interest in acting, she further improves her acting by portraying diverse female roles in coming-of-age series Girls’ Generation 1979 and Your House Helper.
Playing as Girls’ Generation 1979’s high school gal Jung-hee experiencing love, friendship, and dreams which we experienced back in our younger days. In Your House Helper, she acts as Da-young, an intern who hopes to get a permanent position in an advertising company. She put herself in the shoes of single women in their 30s overcoming struggles at work and in their personal lives.
Her ‘down-to-earth’ personality is one of the reasons why she captures the viewers’ emotions through her character portrayal.
Lee Junho (2PM)
Whether it is a leading role or a supporting role, he has a strong presence in every scene.
He rose to fame in acting thanks to his leading role Dong-woo in bromance comedy Twenty. You definitely recognize him playing as an aspiring comic artist who juggles with part-time jobs.
His big break in the big screens led him to receive small-screen acting opportunities and play emphatic characters in Memory, Chief Kim, and Rain or Shine. He may look too serious but he is a total sweetheart!
Check out his latest role in Wok of Love where he plays a talented Chinese chef. Not only he has awe-striking Chinese cooking skills, his amazing chemistry with the fellow cast and romantic kiss scenes with actress Jung Ryeo-won continuously ignites Wok of Love’s passionate flame.
Cha Hak-yeon (VIXX)
Known as VIXX’s N, he was moved by Lee Dong-wook’s acting that he decided to be involved in various acting projects.
He played a couple of supporting roles in Ms Perfect, Tunnel, and Familiar Wife. From an overprotective younger brother to a persistent detective to an arrogant bank intern, he takes each character into consideration by fully understanding his characters including their personas & stories.
His patience and determination in acting shine through his various characters which capture the viewers’ attention.
Jun (U-Kiss & UNB)
Who doesn’t like a bad and sentimental guy in K-dramas?
U-Kiss & UNB Jun is one of them as he knows how to strum strings of emotions, leaving viewers to ‘love and hate’ his characters.
He played small roles in Avengers Social Club and Goodbye to Goodbye. Expressing his subtle expressions is one of his strongest points in acting.
Whatever he does will make you shout ‘Why did you do that?’ on your screen.
Lee Gi-kwang (Highlight)
Lee Gi-kwang is known for his temperamental aura (especially his smile) in his previous comedic roles in High Kick! 2, My Princess, and Me Too, Flower.
He later stepped away from that image and went for acting more darker and serious roles. His characters in Monster and Circle: Two Worlds Connected are some of his memorable roles in his acting career. His well-balanced explosive emotions left the viewers with goosebumps.
He brings his acting mojo back in latest romance horror Lovely Horribly, playing as a drama director who has the ability to see spirits. His on-screen romance with Eul-soon (played by actress Song Ji-hyo) definitely spells out the ‘Second Lead’ syndrome.
A sweetheart. A psycho man. Which of his character role you love the most?
Hyeri (Girl’s Day)
Girl’s Day maknae, Hyeri, is known for her spunky personality in playing ‘girl-power’ drama characters. She has been making her characters fun and lively on set since her small-screen debut in Tasty Life.
Although she made her mark in hit series Entertainer, Reply 1988, and Two Cops, netizens harshly criticized her for having the lack of acting potential. Still, others are supportive as they praise her efforts in evoking her emotions with enthusiasm.
Still, she has zealousness to express heartfelt emotions that show how much she has come far to become a better actress.
Music, theatre musical, fashion, variety, emcee…SHINee’s key is a multi-talented artist who thirsts for challenges.
He made his acting debut in Drinking Solo, a slice-of-life series drinking alcohol alone to release their stress from work and study. He acts as a trendy Ki-bum, dressed in colourful sweatpants and styled with a bowl haircut. He is a total natural in bringing his character to life especially delivering his lines in a Gyeongsangdo dialect.
The producer of action-thriller The Guardians was so impressed with his acting that he invited him to be part of its cast. He embraces his character Kyung-soo, a genius young hacker, who brings out laughter from this series. His character also caught in between two leading ladies, Si-young and Seul-gi, and keeps their team together by being cute and comforting their emotional wounds.
He is definitely an ideal guy friend whom you could rely on because of his cheerful image and personality.
Jung Chae-yeon (DIA)
As a member of DIA, she is known to have an innocent and angelic image.
This elegant young lady played a couple of eye-candy roles in Marry Me Now, Reunited Worlds, Drinking Solo, and To Jenny. Mostly acting as high school and college sweethearts, she makes the romantic scenes with other male casts lovable and funny.
Her endless sweet and quirky charms, even the small gestures she make, are one of her strongest points that capture the viewers’ hearts instantly.
Kim Dong-joon (ZE:A)
Did you know that Kim Dong-joon is a member of ZE:A together with Park Hyung-sik?
He made a huge break in his acting career thanks to his supporting roles in Black where he starred alongside Song Seung-hoon and Go Ara. Playing as a second generation chaebol, Man-soo, he was praised for his emotionally-driven lines and on-screen chemistry including a one-sided love with Ha-ram (played by Go Ara).
Early this year, he was casted to play as talented musical director Jae-yoo in About Time after actor Lee Seo-won was dropped out due to sexual harassment. Within a short period of time preparation before its release, he read through the script and transformed himself into the sensitive Jae-yoo who seeks perfection in his musicals. He also pulled off amazingly well in portraying a complex character experiencing love.
You simply can’t take your eyes off from his diverse facial expressions and impactful lines.