There are more and more idol singers who end up becoming actors. However, they are receiving mixed reviews for their acting skills.
Most of the rookie actors who have created a new wave in the home theater since the mid-2000s have established themselves as singers. In particular, promising actors are being repeatedly discovered among idol singers. There are cases where idol singers completely switched to actors after doing music activities for a while, and it is common to see idol singers who work as actors while they are still active in the music industry.
It is common to see actors who used to be idol singers in currently airing works. In KBS2’s Monday-Tuesday drama “Moonshine“, Girl’s Day Hyeri and I.O.I – Gugudan Kang Mi-na took on the roles of Kang Ro-seo and Han Ae-jin respectively. There are also many idol-turned actors on tvN’s “Ghost Doctor“: former Fanclub member Jung Ji-hoon, former After School member Uee and Apink Son Na-eun.
Kim Yo-han, who is starring in KBS2’s Monday-Tuesday drama “School 2021“, is an active idol from the group Wei. Kwon Na-ra from Hello Venus and Kim Woo-seok from UP10TION are appearing in tvN’s weekend drama “Bulgasal: Immortal Souls“. Besides, we also have BLACKPINK Jisoo in JTBC’s weekend drama “Snowdrop” as well as U-Kiss Lee Joon-young, NU’EST Kim Jong-hyun and Wanna One Yoon Ji-sung in SBS’ “Let Me Be Your Knight“.
However, acting evaluations for idol-turned actors are divided. Representative ones are Hyeri and Jisoo. Hyeri’s acting tone in “Moonshine” is said to be not suitable for historical dramas, while Jisoo also shows that there are still many things she needs to improve such as vocalization and pronunciation.
This seems to be an essential element in the growth of idol-turned actors. In the case of idol singers like Hyeri and Jisoo, they are often cast in important roles from the first work, so they do not have room to develop their acting skills. Those who suffered from controversy over their acting ability in the early days showed signs of settling down over time, so this may be seen as a matter of planning ability to lean too comfortably on the value of popular names rather than individual competence.
As the demand for dramas including OTT is increasing in 2022, idol singers are expected to advance into acting more actively. For singers entering acting, it is more important than ever to carefully nurture actors through casting that suits their capability.