Why do idol actors use their real names instead of stage names?

Some acting idols use short and intense stage names when they meet the public as singers, and their real names when they stand in front of the camera as actors.

Many stars spent a lot of time just to choose a perfect stage name, and some even change their stage names to a better one in the middle of their career. That’s how important a stage name is to celebrities. Some acting idols use short and intense stage names when they meet the public as singers, and their real names when they stand in front of the camera as actors.

Singer IU occasionally becomes actress Lee Ji-eun. Now that she is preparing to meet the audience with the movie “Broker,” she is appearing as her real name Lee Ji-eun. The poster of “Broker” shown the name Lee Ji-eun instead of IU. She also used the name Lee Ji-eun when she appeared in public to promote the previously released work “Shades of the Heart” and “Persona.”

Bona, a member of the idol girl group WJSN, is also an actress and uses her real name alongside her stage name. The highlight videos of the tvN drama “Twenty-five Twenty-one,” which recently ended, use her real name, Kim Ji-yeon. As the drama was loved by many, Bona has even made her real name Kim Ji-yeon known to the public.


EXO’s D.O. is one of the leading idol actors. He has also introduced himself using both his stage name and his real name. As D.O. has been active as an actor, even those who are not fans of EXO are familiar with his real name Do Kyung-soo. D.O. used his stage name when he is active as an EXO member and released his first mini-album “Empathy” last year, but posters of movies such as “My Annoying Brother,” “Room No. 7,” and “Swing Kids” included his real name.


Hani, who was loved as a member of girl group EXID, also introduced herself sometimes as Hani in public, and sometimes as Ahn Hee-yeon. The poster of the JTBC drama “IDOL” used Ahn Hee-yeon, but when she attended the online production presentation, she introduced herself as EXID Hani.

To build another image that is not an idol

If one starts acting with the title of a (former) idol, they can get more attention from the public. Nevertheless, many idols put down their idol stage names for a while and started acting. What is the reason? An official from an entertainment company where an acting idol belongs explained, “If they use their idol stage name, they can be seen as the artist who performs on the stage, and not as the character itself in the work they act in.”

The opinions of other agencies are similar. “It is sometimes a loss as their existing image is strongly imprinted on the public’s mind. Therefore, there are cases where the company proposes to use their real name,” they said, “After the proposal, we fully discuss it with the artist and make a decision together.”

Another advantage is that if they use their real name, they can erase some of the public’s preconceptions about “acting dols.” In the case of idols whose names are famous but faces are not well known to the public, fewer viewers recognize them if they use their real names. As a result, more and more people will be able to evaluate their acting skills without prejudice.

Ye-sung, Key… Idols who use the same stage name for all activities

Of course, there are stars who keep their stage names for music promotions as they are when carrying out acting activities. One of them is Ye-sung from the idol group Super Junior. Attending the press conference for OCN’s drama “Voice”, Ye-sung said, “I think my stage name sounds better than my real name. I debuted in 2005 under the name Ye-sung and many people remember me with this name so I decided to use it for all activities.” Ye-sung also used his stage name instead of his real name Kim Jong-woon when he greeted the public with the movie “The Girl on a Bulldozer”, which was released in April this year.


Key from SHINee also expressed his thoughts on using his stage name in different activities at the press conference for MBC’s drama “The Guardians”. At that time, he drew attention by confessing, “My company asked me what name I wanted to use. I thought, ‘I don’t need to change my name and the career I have built as SHINee’s Key’. All of my entertainment activities are done under the name Key.”

Source: Nate


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