Idol-Turned-Actors Thriving in Solo Careers After Leaving Their Groups

Recently, many idol-turned-actors have already embarked on the path of acting after leaving their groups

Recently, the singer and actor Rowoon announced his departure from the group SF9 to focus on his acting career. Prior to Rowoon, several idol-turned-actors have already walked the path of acting after leaving their groups.

Rowoon officially left SF9 on the 18th, after seven years with the group. His agency, FNC Entertainment, stated that SF9 would continue with the remaining eight members, while Rowoon would dedicate himself to acting and other personal activities.


Rowoon expressed his innermost feelings through a handwritten letter on that day. He mentioned feeling frustrated at times when he couldn’t clarify both small and big misunderstandings. He acknowledged the need for courage to confront misunderstandings but often chose to keep them hidden. He sincerely apologized to fans who felt hurt or disappointed by his careless attitude.

He went on to say, “I plan to take on new challenges this year as I turn 27. I was unsure of where to start and what to say, but I want to convey my willingness to embark on new endeavors. Please watch over me as Kim Seokwoo at 27, who is responsible for his own life. I hope to remain the person you remember.”

Rowoon has juggled both singing and acting throughout his career. However, as he gained recognition as an actor, his involvement in SF9’s activities decreased, and he did not participate in new song promotions, fan concerts, or fan sign events. His departure from SF9 was something many had foreseen.

Rowoon began his acting career in 2017 with “School 2017” and went on to solidify his position as an actor with roles in dramas like “About Time,” “Where Stars Land,” “Extraordinary You,” “Lipstick Prince,” “Yeommo,” and “Tomorrow.” Currently, he is captivating audiences with his performance as lawyer Jang Shinu in JTBC’s “This Love Is Inevitable.”

Before Rowoon, idol members like Yeonwoo, Son Naeun, Jang Gyuri, and Jiho also left their groups to pursue acting careers.


Yeonwoo left Momoland in November 2019 due to psychological anxiety and panic disorder. Her agency stated that while she had a deep affection for group activities, they believed it would be challenging to balance them with her acting career.

Starting with the web drama “TALK! The Following Season 2” in 2017, Yeonwoo has impressed with her diverse acting in dramas such as “Thrice Married Woman,” “Touch,” “Alice,” “Live On,” “If You Cheat, You Die,” “Dali and Cocky Prince,” “The Rich Son,” and “Numbers: Guardians of the Building.”

Son Naeun departed from Apink in April last year, ahead of the group’s 11th anniversary. The agency announced that the group would continue with five members and that Son Naeun would conclude her group activities.

Son Na-eun

After the news of her departure, Son Naeun expressed her feelings to fans through a heartfelt letter. She stated, “Apink has been like a family to me, and after much deliberation, I made a difficult decision. It wasn’t an easy choice, but now I want to support Apink as another Panda (Apink’s fandom) member. I am sincerely grateful to everyone who made my teenage and twenties shine brightly and gave me happy moments.”

She promised to carry the name Son Naeun in her heart and work hard to live up to it. Son Naeun debuted with Apink in 2011 and ventured into acting with the drama “The Great Seer” in 2012. She continued with roles in dramas like “Sassy, Go Go,” “Second 20s,” “Cinderella and Four Knights,” “The Most Beautiful Goodbye,” “Shall We Have Dinner Together,” “The Uncanny Counter,” and “Ghost Doctor,” where she gained recognition for her lively acting.

Jiho also left Oh My Girl in May last year after being with the group for seven years. WM Entertainment, her agency, explained that Jiho, along with the members and the company, had engaged in deep discussions and decided to part ways to pursue new dreams.


Jiho posted a handwritten letter on Oh My Girl’s official fan cafe, expressing her intention to support the group as a part of the Miracles (Oh My Girl’s fandom). She thanked the Miracles for creating miraculous moments in her life and stated that she had grown and been happy for the past seven years because of them.

After leaving the group, Jiho signed an exclusive contract with Park Hyungsik’s agency, P&F Studio, and announced her new activities under the name Gong Jiho. She is expected to meet the public through various works in her acting career.

Jang Gyuri also left fromis_9 in July last year. She terminated her fromis_9 activities and exclusive contract to embark on a new challenge. Jang Gyuri signed an exclusive contract with Just Entertainment, which represents accomplished actors like Yoon Kyesang, Park Jihwan, and Kim Shinrok.

Jang Gyu-ri

During her time with fromis_9, Jang Gyuri played the role of a nurse in the tvN drama “Psycho But It’s Okay,” leaving a strong impression. After leaving the group, she portrayed Taechogi, the head of Yonsei University’s cheering squad, in SBS’s “Cheers.” Jang Gyuri, known for her idol background, showcased her unique charm as a cheering squad leader. Notably, she won the Best New Actress award at the 2022 SBS Drama Awards for her role in “Cheers.”

In an interview following the conclusion of “Cheers,” she expressed her passion for acting, saying, “I did my best during my time as a girl group member and had fun. I want to act until the end. I’m at the beginning stages, so I want to build my filmography by taking on various roles. I want to become an actor who has a long-lasting career.”

These idols-turned-actors, who have left their long-time groups to pursue solo careers in acting, are highly anticipated for the unique performances they will deliver in their acting careers.

Source: daum

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