Having both handsome faces and impressive heights, the following male stars started out as models before becoming actors.
Many Hallyu stars, especially actors, entered the entertainment industry as models before making their debuts on the screen. There are also actors with captivating auras and enviable physiques who decided to challenge themselves in modelling. In this article, let’s take a look at 8 most outstanding Korean male model-turned actors!
Wi Ha Joon
The handsome police officer from Squid Game, Wi Ha Joon was a model before he shifted his focus onto acting! Prior to his breakout role in Squid Game, Wi Ha Joon starred in various well-known dramas, including Romance is a Bonus Book led by Lee Jong Suk and 18 Again as a famous baseball player.
But it was not until Squid Game that he shot to fame all over the world. Thanks to the success of Squid Game, Wi Ha Joon has captured the attention of writers and directors as well as different popular brands. Next month, Wi Ha Joon will greet the audience again in the OCN drama Bad and Crazy!
Ahn Bo Hyun
In October, Ahn Bo Hyun was probably one of the actors with the most media coverage since he continuously took on leading roles in dramas namely Yumi’s Cells and My Name. He played supporting roles for many years before getting his first breakthrough role in the hit drama Itaewon Class (2020). Ahn Bo Hyun’s acting skills are recognized by both the viewers and the professionals.
Thanks to his outstanding appearance and captivating physique, Ahn Bo Hyun made his way into the entertainment industry as a model under FN Entertainment. Before he was known as a model and actor, Ahn Bo Hyun once participated in a professional boxing competition and even excellently won a gold medal.
Hwang In Yeop
In an interview, Hwang In Yeop shared that he once dreamed of becoming a fashion designer, and even graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design in 2012. Thanks to his passion for fashion, he became interested in modeling. Hwang In Yeop immediately registered to participate in a modeling contest after completing his military service.
When it comes to acting, Hwang In Yeop made his debut as an actor in the drama The Tale of Nokdu in 2019. In 2020, thanks to the webtoon-based romance True Beauty, he successfully boosted his popularity and public recognition. His upcoming TV series include Why Oh Soo Jae? and The Sound of Magic.
Nam Joo Hyuk
After making his debut in the entertainment industry as a model in 2013, Nam Joo Hyuk won first place at various modeling contests. Nam Joo Hyuk originally pursued modeling professionally. He once opened up about his passion when asked about his time on the runway on Radio Star.
Perhaps he fell in love with acting after appearing in AKMU‘s music video and receiving many compliments from the viewers. Since then, he has focused more on acting and continuously made a good impression on the audience through various hit dramas, such as Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo or Start-Up. Currently, Nam Joo Hyuk is filming for tvN’s new drama Twenty-Five Twenty-One, which is scheduled to air in the first half of 2022.
Jang Ki Yong
With his flawless appearance and physique, it’s no surprise that Jang Ki Yong actually started out as a model. Even during the early days of his career, he even appeared on the runway with braces on but still captured the attention in the fashion industry. Jang Ki Yong also has a successful modeling career, as he won Fashion Model at the 2014 Asian Model Awards.
After appearing for the first time in a drama through It’s Okay, That’s Love, Jang Ki Yong started to take acting more seriously. In many interviews, he also expressed his wish to break the stereotype that models can’t act. Over the years, the viewers have been able to witness Jang Ki Yong’s growth in acting through TV series such as: My Mister, Search: WWW and My Roommate is a Gumiho. Although Jang Ki Yong has now enlisted in the military, the audience still have the opportunity to watch him on the ongoing drama Now, We Are Breaking Up, in which he plays the male lead alongside the A-list actress Song Hye Kyo. .
Byun Woo Seok
Starring in Record of Youth as model Won Hae Hyo, Byun Woo Seok also debuted as a model in real life before pursuing an acting career. The potential actor started off on the screen with cameos and minor roles, before taking on the supporting role in Flower Crew: Joseon Marriage Agency.
Through his works, Byun Woo Seok impresses the public with his natural acting and charming visuals. If you are a fan of Byun Woo Seok, don’t forget to check out his Netflix series 20th Century Girl and When Flowers Bloom, I Think of the Moon!
Lee Kwang Soo
Lee Kwang Soo is no stranger to fans through his role as one of the original cast members of the hit reality show Running Man. With his impressive height of 192 cm, it’s not at all surprising that he started out as a model. Lee Kwang Soo debuted as an actor in the sitcom Here He Comes. Since then, he has participated in many memorable dramas, such as It’s Okay, That’s Love, Confessions, The Sound of Your Heart, and Live.
Recently, he saddened many fans of Running Man as he announced to withdraw from the show due to health reasons. But don’t worry, we’ll still get to see Lee Kwang Soo often as an actor! In 2021, he starred in the movie Sinkhole, the fastest Korean movie to surpass 1 million ticket sales in Korea this year.
Lee Jong Suk
Debuting as a model in 2005, Lee Jong Suk became the youngest male model ever to participate in Seoul Fashion Week. Regarding his acting career, he has achieved great success and is considered one of the top actors in Korea. After his drama debut in Prosecutor Princess and attracting much attention thanks to his minor role in the hit “Secret Garden”, he continuously proved himself through many famous TV series, such as School 2013, I Hear Your Voice, W, etc.
His most recent drama was Romance is a Bonus Book in 2019, which was filmed before he enlisted in the army. Lee Jong Suk is getting ready to return to both the small and big screen after he was discharged from the army earlier this year. He is in the process of filming Decibel, The Witch 2 and Big Mouth, alongside Girls’ Generation’s Yoona.