Members of 2nd gen idol groups who successfully gained recognition for their acting transformation

Here are some representative “acting idols” from K-pop’s second-generation groups.

2007 was the year when the two representative girl groups of K-pop’s second generation Wonder Girls and Girls’ Generation debuted. Since then, girl groups, such as Kara, After School, Girl’s Day, Apink, etc., and boy groups, such as SHINee, 2PM, BTOB, EXO, etc., appeared in the entertainment industry one after another.

yoona taecyeon

After carrying out idol promotions for a while, some expanded their field of activities and began their acting career. As a result, there would be one “acting idol” in each group. Starting with Wonder Girls Ahn So-hee, you would find one “acting idol” in each group, for example, Girl’s Day Hyeri, HIGHLIGHT Yoon Doo-joon, etc.

In this regard, Xports News selected a list of singers who have successfully established themselves as actors and “made outstanding transformations” among those who made their debut in 2007 and later.

Yoona (Girls’ Generation, debuted in 2007)

Among 8 members of Girls’ Generation, four members, including Yoona, Yuri, Sooyoung and Seohyun, are carrying out acting activities. However, Yoona is definitely the first one to hold a solid position as an actress.

Just before debuting as a member of Girls’ Generation, Yoona made her debut as an actress by playing the role of Shin Joo-young in MBC’s weekend drama “Two Outs in the Ninth Inning”. She then appeared in KBS 1TV’s daily drama “You Are My Destiny” as Jang Sae-byuk. Although the drama’s viewer rating performance was overwhelming, Yoona’s acting skills didn’t leave any impression on the viewers.

snsd yoona

Yoona continued to passionately act in various works, such as “Cinderella Man”, “Love Rain”, “Prime Minister & I”, etc., but still received negative evaluations due to her poor acting skills and choices of drama. However, the public began to have a different look for Yoona ever since she starred in the 2017 movie “Confidential Assignment” as Park Min-young. Later, Yoona took on the lead role of Jung Eui-joo in “Exit”, which was released in 2019, and gained not only compliments for her improved acting performance but also a nomination for Best Actress at the 40th Blue Dragon Film Awards.

Establishing herself as a trustworthy actress, Yoona is proving her presence to the fullest through MBC’s recently ended drama “Big Mouth” and the movie “Confidential Assignment 2: International”, which is currently a box office hit.

Ok Taecyeon (2PM, debuted in 2008)

Junho is attracting the most attention as an actor among 2PM members, but Ok Taecyeon is actually the first who started to strengthen his position in the drama industry. 

After taking his first step as an actor by appearing in the 2010 drama “Cinderella’s Sister”, Ok Taecyeon showed an impressive performance as Jin-gook in KBS 2TV’s drama “Dream High”, which aired in the following year.


Despite causing controversies over his acting skills at the beginning, Ok Taecyeon continued to improve his performance by gaining more acting experience. Starring in various famous works, such as “Who Are You?”, “Bring It On, Ghost”, “Save Me”, “Vincenzo”, etc., he naturally immersed himself in the characters and gradually gained compliments from the viewers for his perfect transformations.

After successfully challenging the historical drama genre by playing the role of Im Joon-young in the movie “Hansan: Rising Dragon”, Ok Taecyeon recently greeted the viewers through tvN’s new drama “Blind”, which aired its first episode on September 16th.

Uee (After School, debuted in 2009)

Among After School members, Nana, Lizzy (Park Soo-young), Lee Joo-yeon, Yoo Soo-young, and Lee Ga-eun are active as actresses, but Uee has the most stable acting career. 

Uee made her debut as an actress by starring in “Queen Seondeok” as Go Hyun-jung’s younger version in 2009. After that, Uee appeared in “You’re Beautiful”, but was criticized for her acting skills.


However, Uee showed her improvement by taking on the role of Baek Ji-eun in the 2011 drama “Ojakgyo Family”. In the same year, she won “Best New Actress” at the KBS Drama Awards, as well as “Best New Actress in TV” at the 48th Baeksang Arts Awards.

After that, Uee showed her strength in weekend dramas such as “Golden Rainbow”, “Marriage Contract” and “My Only One”. She managed to establish herself as a trustworthy actress in weekend dramas. She was recognized for her acting skills as well as high ratings of her works. In 2016, she won “Best Actress in a Special Project Category” for “Marriage Contract” at the MBC Drama Awards and “Best Actress” at the 29th Grime Awards. In 2018, she took home the “Best Actress in a feature-length drama” award at the KBS Drama Awards.

Uee recently opened a cafe in Garosu-gil, drawing attention. 

Suzy (Miss A, debuted in 2010)

Suzy made her idol debut as a Miss A member in 2010, and made her first appearance as an actress when she played Go Hyemi in the 2011 KBS 2TV’s drama “Dream High”. At the start of the drama, Suzy could not avoid criticism for her lacking acting skills. However, she got better reviews towards the end, and successfully completed her debut drama. 


In 2012, she portrayed the character Seo-yeon in her college days in her movie debut, “Architecture 101”, which recorded 4.11 million admissions and set the highest box office record for a Korean melodrama at the time. This is the role that helped Suzy earn the “Nation’s First Love” title. Suzy also won the “Rookie of the Year” award at the 48th Baeksang Arts Awards for her performance in “Architecture 101”.

Unlike the dramas “Gu Family Book”, “Uncontrollably Fond”, “While You Were Sleeping”, and “Startup”, which brought Suzy positive reactions, she received mixed reviews for her performance in the movies “The Sound of a Flower” and “Ashfall”. Suzy recently returned in Coupang Play original series “Anna” and impressed viewers with her mature acting by taking on a dual role. 

Suzy is currently preparing for the release of her new movie “Wonderland” and Netflix’s upcoming original series “The Girl Downstairs.”

Jung Eunji (Apink, debuted in 2011)

Only a year after Apink debuted, Jung Eunji landed her first role in tvN’s 2012 drama “Reply 1997”. She played the main character Seong Si-won, who seems to strikingly resemble her real-life self, and received plenty of good reviews. Thanks to this, Jung Eunji won “Best New Actress in TV” at the 49th Baeksang Arts Awards in 2013.


Since then, Jung Eunji, who won SBS Drama Awards’ New Star Award for her role as Moon Hee-sun in “That Winter, The Wind Blows”, has solidified her “acting idol” image by showing her unique charm in various dramas such as “Lovers of Music,” “Cheer Up!” and “Untouchable.

Last year, she played Kang Ji-gu in TVING’s original series “Work Later, Drink Now”, and again drew keen attention from viewers for her realistic, unfiltered acting. Thanks to the popularity of season 1, production for “Work Later, Drink Now” season 2 has been confirmed and filming is currently underway.

Jung Eunji is currently appearing in tvN’s drama “Blind” where she acts alongside Ok Taecyeon.

Source: Daum

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