The sole idol-turned-actor in “Descendants of the Sun”: Onew’s unfortunate career after 6 years 

Despite his excellent performance, Onew could not further his acting career due to personal scandal. 

Descendants of the Sun” was a classic drama hit which gathered a high-quality and professional lineup. Within the cast, excluding cameos and extras, Onew was a rare actor with an idol background. Nevertheless, the idol-actor performed his role well and was not the odd one out in the series. 

In the series, Onew played Lee Chi Hoon, a first year resident coming from an elite and powerful background. Chi Hoon always strives to become a real and capable doctor. He is a loving and responsible person. The character brings a light-hearted air to the series. 


Onew is originally a member of the famous group SHINee. Before “Descendants of the Sun”, Onew acted in other series but lacked screen-time as guest stars, which failed to establish himself as an actor. Many people felt Onew was only an excellent idol with a handsome face who could sing and dance well. Thanks to “Descendants of the Sun”, Onew was finally able to establish himself as an actor. Unfortunately, due to a past scandal, Onew could not make any future breakthrough after the drama. 


In 2018, he was caught in a sexual harrassment controversy, seriously affecting his image. He lost several film projects and could not attend SHINee concerts. While the idol was ruled innocent against all allegations, his career was already on a rapid decline. 

From 2018 to now, Onew has made relatively little appearance in front of the public, partly because he is doing his military service. Recently, Onew confirms his return with the series “4 Minutes 44 Seconds”, the first drama where he gets the lead role. Hopefully this show can revive Onew’s career. 

Source: K14, Naver 

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