These former girl group members all decided to quit being idols. Will they succeed in acting?
K-pop girl group members are stepping into new areas and finding new directions in the industry. In the past, most girl group members chose to engage in acting while still being active in their groups. However, many of them now wrap up their idol promotions and start anew as actresses. This is considered a smart move as it reduces confusion among fans and does not affect the group’s activities.
Former Oh My Girl member Jiho announced her departure from the group and left WM Entertainment earlier this year after 7 years of working under the company. Other than Jiho, the rest of Oh My Girl all renewed their contracts.
Despite being upset, Oh My Girl’s fans still cheered for Jiho’s future. Jiho was always faithful to the group’s activities during her years in Oh My Girl. She did not make a solo or acting debut in the last 7 years.
Jiho has now moved to P&Studio, which houses Park Hyung Sik and Sung Yu Bin. P&Studio is an affiliate of UAA, the agency of Song Hye Kyo and Yoo Ah In.
Jiho has also announced Gong Jiho as her new stage name. From now on, she will greet the public as actress Gong Jiho instead of idol Jiho of Oh My Girl. Moving on from her innocent and fresh image that she showed in Oh My Girl, Jiho is raising expectations for her acting career by showing a mysterious and elegant charm in new profile pictures released by her current agency.
Former IZ*ONE member Kim Minju is also discussing an exclusive contract with Management SOOP, a well-known agency that manages top actors such as Gong Yoo, Gong Hyo Jin, Seo Hyun Jin, Jeon Do Yeon, Jung Yu Mi, and Suzy.
After IZ*ONE officially disbanded, Kim Minju is the only member who has not been active in new activities other than being a music show MC. She was rumored to leave her current agency and re-debut in HYBE’s new girl group, but she ultimately refused to join HYBE.
Kim Minju aspired to become an actress from the beginning. Before she competed on Mnet’s idol survival show “Produce 48”, she was 17 when she filmed “The Fault Is Not Yours.” After successfully auditioning and getting cast in the role, she got her first acting gig following her IZ*ONE debut.
Kim Minju also showed a short but powerful performance in the drama “Tempted” and the web drama “A-Teen Season 2”. She was recently selected to star in the upcoming drama “The Forbidden Marriage”.
Jang Gyuri recently withdrew from fromis_9 to focus on acting. When fromis_9 was transferred to Pledis Entertainment, Jang Gyuri kept the terms of her contract unchanged and left the group after completing the period of her activities.
After deciding on a full-time career as an actress, Jang Gyuri wanted an agency with good communication and specialized in managing actors. Therefore, Jang Gyuri signed with Just Entertainment, where Yoon Kye Sang and other actors belong.
Just Entertainment scouted Jang Gyuri as they believe in her potential as shown in tvN’s drama “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay” and tvn D’s web drama “Dating Class”. Jang Gyuri recently received a part in SBS’s new Monday-Tuesday drama “Cheer Up”, which is now filming.
Expectations are high for Jiho, Kim Minju, and Jang Gyuri as to whether they will be able to establish themselves as popular actresses as much as their activities as members of popular girl groups.