Even when they are not the female leads, these actresses still stand out.
Most K-drama actors started out in minor supporting or second lead roles. If some stars somehow lose the hype once they play the main characters, others see a significant rise in popularity when taking on leading roles. 6 following actresses are perfect examples.
Lee Sung Kyung
Model-turned actress Lee Sung Kyung began her acting career with supporting roles. With her pretty visuals and impressive height, Lee Sung Kyung never fails to draw attention. Playing supporting characters in It’s Okay That’s Love, Cheese In The Trap, and Doctors, Lee Sung Kyung is not any less outstanding than the female leads.
After the success of these 3 dramas, Lee Sung Kyung finally got her first drama as the leading lady. Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo boosted Lee Sung Kyung’s popularity across Asia. Kim Bok Joo became Lee Sung Kyung’s most iconic character thanks to her adorable appearance and lovely personality. After that, Lee Sung Kyung continued to leave a good impression with her convincing performances in About Time, Dr. Romantic 2,…
Kim Ji Won
Kim Ji Won also started from supporting roles and worked her way up to become one of the most appreciated actresses of the current generation. Her two most memorable supporting characters that helped her shoot to fame are Yoo Rachel of The Heirs and Yoon Myung Joo of Descendants of the Sun. Kim Ji Won’s portrayal of these two characters is so excellent that many viewers think she even overshadows the female leads.
After Descendants of the Sun, Kim Ji Won was cast as the female lead of Fight For My Way and achieved much success. In 2021, she returned to the small screen in Lovestruck In The City with Ji Chang Wook. Although it is only an OTT series, the main couple’s chemistry and the relatable storyline of Lovestruck In The City are well-received. Besides acting skills, Kim Ji Won also has an amazing talent for sparking chemistry with her male co-stars.
Han So Hee
Han So Hee is unarguably one of the most popular actresses born in the 90s at the moment. Although she only got her first female lead role in 2021, Han So Hee’s reputation is increasing rapidly day by day. Having a beautiful face that is said to resemble Song Hye Kyo, Han So Hee spent 3 years playing supporting characters before getting cast as the leading lady. Dramas such as 100 Days My Prince, Abyss, The World of the Married were perfect stepping stones for Han So Hee to rise to stardom.
Han So Hee’s first K-drama leading role as the character Yoo Na Bi of Nevertheless has left much impression on viewers. Although her acting in Nevertheless drew mixed reactions, this role still successfully helped her become more noticed among the current rising actresses. In Netflix’s My Name released in the second half of 2021, Han So Hee stunned with her improvement in acting and transformation of image. Last year was a successful year and 2022 promises to be another explosive year for Han So Hee.
Moon Ga Young
Moon Ga Young has had a very long acting journey since she was a child. After becoming an adult, it took her a long time to blow up, even though her beauty is also very prominent. There are many outstanding dramas where Moon Ga Young took on supporting roles such as in “Mirror Of The Witch”, “Dong Dare To Dream”, “Tempted”… Each role has a different color and Moon Ga Young has shown her amazing acting skills that make a strong impression.
Since 2019, she has started to play lead roles with “Welcome To Waikiki 2” and “Find Me In Your Memory”. She attempts with diverse roles and transforms herself into each character. Moon Ga Young is cute in gentle characters and gripping in villain ones, so she just needs a hit to get recognized and “True Beauty” has appeared. After the drama, Moon Ga Young has become more confident in the female lead role.
Shin Hye Sun
She has really created a strong attraction and impression in the hearts of Korean movie fans with her extreme comedy style. This is also the female lead role that makes Shin Hye Sun‘s multi-year career really blossom in 2021. However, it was not an overnight success but a carefully prepared success that is achieved after many years of diligently pursuing acting, playing small and supporting roles.
Her cult supporting roles are in “Forever Young”, “Oh My Ghost” or “Legend Of The Blue Sea”… Whether it’s the villain, the protagonist, the weak girl or the strong girl, Shin Hye Sun can portray excellently and leave a deep impression. Shin Hye Sun’s success today is a reward for her years of hard work and dedication to acting.
Being an idol is a great advantage for Kwon Nara to change her direction to acting and get the main role right away. However, this girl started from a low position, playing from the supporting roles to main ones. Her roles in “Entertainer”, “Suspicious Partner”, “My Mister” and “Itaewon Class” are all supporting roles that make Kwon Nara gradually appreciated. Her supporting roles are as outstanding as the main ones, her beauty and acting are both very promising, which is not an easy success.
In 2021, Kwon Nara became the main actress in “Royal Secret Agent” after 9 years of acting. Although it is a small drama with no big names, this historical work has quite good ratings, which helped Kwon Nara gain more love from the audience. In early 2022, the name Kwon Nara was associated with “Bulgasal”, tvN’s new fantasy blockbuster next to Lee Jin Wook. Although the work did not explode in popularity, the quality of the content and the uniform performance of the cast helped the drama gain a certain place in the hearts of viewers. The 1991-born beauty continued to have a second memorable main role in her career.
Blowing up from a supporting role is not an easy thing, but if you can do it and maintain your form in both choosing the role and acting, success will come immediately, which is also the advantage of the beauties mentioned above. They all took the opportunity and shined. Let’s hope that in the future there will be more stars going in this direction so that their acting abilities are built in parallel with fame.