Here are 15 female K-Pop idols turned into successful actresses. These beautiful and talented idols have proven that you can have the best of both worlds with passion and dedication.
15 K-Pop idols turned into successful actresses
Lee Ji-eun | IU
Lee Ji-eun known professionally as IU. This multi-talented K-pop idol has established herself as a formidable face on the music charts of her native country. Further cemented her girl next door image as Korea’s little sister. She debuted as a solo artist at the young age of 15. Then ventured into her first acting role three years later in the 2011 teen musical drama dream high. Though it was her first acting gig, she nailed the role. IU was nominated as the best actress KBS drama awards.
She landed her first leading role in a television series 2013 playing the title role in You Are The Best Lee Soon-shin. Since then IU continued to star in various Kdrama series and movies. Most notably, The Producers, Moon Lovers, My Mister and Hotel Del Luna. IU is the most popular female celebrity among the Korean young generation.
Bae Su-ji | Bae Suzy
Bae Suzy is the one of the most popular and most successful K-Pop idols turned actresses. She made her debut in 2010 as a member of the K-pop girl group ‘Miss-A’. Before capturing hearts around the world with her first acting role in the 2011 teen musical drama alongside IU and Kim Soo-hyun. Since then she starred in various Korean drama series. Such as Gu Family Book, Uncontrollably Fond, While You Were Sleeping, Vagabond and most recently as an aspiring entrepreneur TVN K-drama ‘Start Up’ 2020.
With her exceptional talent in acting, Bae Suzy won numerous best actress awards for her performances. Including the prestigious Baeksang Arts Awards for her film architecture 101 and The Sound of A Flower. Suzy is considered South Koreas’ most familiar face and nations’ first love.
Now better known as one of K-drama’s rom-com queen. Hwang Jung-eum first stepped into the entertainment industry as the lead vocalist for the K-pop girl group ‘Sugar’ in 2001. She left the group in 2004 to pursue a solo career and appeared on variety show. Before making her acting debut in K-drama world in 2007 through the romantic melodrama ‘The Person I Love’. Hwang Jung-eum then began playing roles various K-dramas and movies.
Among her notable K-dramas are Kill Me Heal Me, She Was Pretty, Lucky Romance, and The Undateables. Most recently Hwang Jung-eum starred fantasy mystery K-drama Mystic Pop Up Bar and the romantic-comedy To All The Guys Who Loved Me
She debut as a member of the girl group ‘Girls’ Generation‘ in 2007. Which went on to become one of the best-selling artists in South Korea. Apart from her group’s activities, Yoona has started in various K-drama series. Including her first leading role in ‘You Are My Destiny’, which marked her career breakthrough. She earned the best new actress award 45th Baeksang arts awards. Since then she has achieved further public attention and acting acclaimed with a variety of types in Love Rain, Prime Minister and I, K 2, and The King In Love.
Another one of the Rom-Com Queens of the K-drama industry. Seo Hyun-jin debut as the main vocalist of the girl group ‘Milk’ in 2001. She made her acting debut in 2006 in the ‘Musical Sound of The Music‘. The followed by appearances in several K-drama series and films. But Seo Hyun-jin’s big break came in 2016 with her leading role in the romantic comedy K-drama ‘Another Miss Oh. She gained audience attention and awards as a rom-com queen for her cast in that K-drama. She was praised for her portrayal of such an ordinary and relatable character.
She won the Baeksang Arts Awards for best actress also. This was followed by her starring roles in the hit medical drama Doctor Romantic, Temperature of Love, and the fantasy melodrama The Beauty Inside as well as the high school drama Being A Teacher.
Lee Hye-ri rose to fame as the youngest member of the girl group ‘Girl’s Day’. She was named the Nations’s Little Sister by the South Korean media. That is due to her immense popularity after appearing as a fixed cast member on Real Men in 2014. Lee Hye-ri made her acting debut in the SBS weekend K-drama ‘Tasty Life‘. Later became known for her leading role in the hit K-drama Reply 1988. Since then became a sought-after lead actress in top billing shows like Entertainer, Two Cops, and Miss Lee.
Beside acting, Hye-ri frequently a guest on variety shows. She has been described as a ‘Blue Chip’ in the entertainment industry due to her frank and easy going charms, bright energy, and flexible chemistry with other cast members.
Krystal Jung began her career as the lead vocalist of the girl group ‘F-X’ in 2009. Then she makes her acting debut in 2010. She took on few minor roles and gained recognition for her role as a spoiled yet kind-hearted wealthy high school student in the hit teen drama The Heirs 2014. Krystal Jung’s first lead role came a year later in My Lovely Girl, alongside Rain. Followed by supporting roles in The Bride of The Water God and Prison Playbook. She also starred as the female lead in the crime action K-drama Player in 2018. Recently Krystal Jung played an elite army officer in the mystery drama ‘Search’.
Bang Min-ah is another member of the girl group Girl’s Day. She has successfully transitioned from being a cute K-Pop idol to a certified lead actress. She started her acting career by taking part in playing supporting roles. She landed her first leading role in the 2016 romantic comedy series ‘Beautiful Gong Shim‘. This was followed by her starring roles as a special effects make-up artist in 2019 in the romantic comedy K-drama ‘My Absolute Boyfriend’ alongside Yeo Jin-goo.
Jung Eun-ji is best known as a member of the girl group ‘Apink’. She made her acting debut in the coming-of-age drama ‘Reply 1997’ in 2012. Her performance as the female protagonist gained positive reviews from critics. She won several awards including the 49th Baeksang Arts Awards for best new TV actress. Since then Jung Eun-ji starred in various K-drama series including the school K-drama ‘Cheer Up’ and the action melodrama ‘Untouchable’.below.
Yoon Eun-hye debut as a member of the girl group ‘Baby Vox’ at the age of 15 in 1999. She made her acting debut romance comedy ‘Princess Hours’. Eun-hye took on her first leading role in the romantic comedy-drama ‘Coffee Prince’ as the opposite of Gong Yoo. She played a tomboy who was mistaken for a boy by her employer in that K-drama. The drama became a cultural phenomenon and won her the converted best actress award in the 44th Baeksang Arts Awards. She became the youngest actress ever to win the award.
Choi Soo-young is yet another Girls’ Generation member on the list. She built herself up as an actress by starring in supporting roles and guest appearances. She finally landing her big break in 2021 in the medical drama ‘The Third Hospital‘. She scored her first leading role in the melodrama My Spring Days. Since then she starred in various K-dramas such as Squad 38, Man in the Kitchen, and most recently Tell Me What You Saw.
Choi Soo-young gained more popularity in her recent web drama series ‘So I Married an Anti-fan.’
You may recognize her as Park Seo-joon’s first love in the 2020 hit K-drama Itaewon Class. But before that Kwon Nara was best known as a member of the girl group ‘Hello Venus’ for eight years until they disbanded in 2019. Kwon Nara played her first major acting role in the romantic comedy-drama Suspicious Partner. She landed her first lead role in the medical prison drama ‘Doctor Prisoner’. She is bound for another leading role as a female inspector in the newest period drama Secret Royal Inspector alongside Kim Myung-soo.
Park Soo-young | Joy
Known by the stage name Joy, Park Soo-young debuted as a member of the Red Velvet in 2004. She has appeared in variety shows before making her acting debut as the female lead in the music-based drama ‘The Liar And His Lover‘. This was followed by the trilled drama Tempted, in which she received numerous awards nominations for her performance including Best Actress at the 2018 MBC Drama Awards and the Popularity Award for Drama Actresses at the Seoul Awards.low.
Besides singing the maknae of Girls’ Generation is also a talented actress. Seo Hyun started her acting career in 2013 with a supporting role in Passionate Love. She continues to impress us with her incredible performance in Monn Lovers. She landed her first leading role in the 2017 procedural drama ‘The Good Thieves’. She recently played a lead role in the crime K-drama Private Lives as a swindler who has to choose a deceptive path to survive in Korea. Aside from acting on the small screen, Seo Hyun is also known for her brilliant performances as a stage actress.
Kim Yu-jin is best known for being a former member of the girl group ‘After School’ from 2009 to 2017. She made her acting debut in the historical K-drama ‘Queen Seondeok’. But her image as a K-Pop idol turned actress rose into fame when she played Baek Ja-eun in ‘Ojakgyo Family’. She won the prestigious Best New Actress Award at the 48th Baeksang Arts Awards for her role in that K-drama. Since then she has starred in various K-dramas including Golden Rainbow, High Society, Marriage Contract, and My Only One.