In the past, it was very rare and unusual for a singer to appear in a sitcom and drama as a main character it was something nobody could imagine. These days however, idol stars can be seen everywhere in sitcoms, musicals, dramas, movies and even in historical dramas, which is known to be difficult even for professional actors. As a result of the mix of roles between the music and the filming industry, idol stars that are planning to begin their acting careers are growing significantly.
Idol stars who have become successful actors include:
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Girls' Generation members Yoona, Yuri, Tiffany, Jessica, Sooyoung, and Taeyeon.
2PM members Taecyeon, Wooyoung, Chansung, and Nichkhun.
T-ARA members Eunjung, Jiyeon, Boram, Qri, Soyeon, and Hyomin.
BEAST members Yoon Doojoon and Lee Gikwang.
Wonder Girls member Sohee.
miss A member Suzy
f(x) member Krystal
TVXQ members Yunho and Changmin.
SISTAR member Hyorin.
After School members Uee, Jooyeon and Kahi.
Brown Eyed Girls members Gain and Narsha.
A-Pink members Son Naeun and Jung Eunji.
Super Junior members Siwon, Eunhyuk, Yesung and Sungmin.
INFINITE members Hoya, Sunggyu and Woohyun.
What's up with the sudden increase of actor-dols?
For idol stars who have reached the top usually enter the filming industry in order to prolong their top star statuses. This is so because in the music industry, the top stardom doesn't last long. As idol group members get older, it becomes harder and harder for them to maintain their popularity.
A drama production representative stated, 'When we cast popular idol stars in our dramas and films, we are able to broaden our audience and it becomes easier to attract investors. Now days, the audience for our dramas are not only Korean citizens but people worldwide so casting a popular K-Pop star will only be helpful to the drama in aspects of financial gains and drama popularity; which is why we prefer to keep casting idol group members. On the other hand, idol group members know themselves that their music career is very limited so they also prefer to broaden their work field and begin their acting careers.'
Recently however, idol group members who begin their acting careers are getting younger and younger. Even members of groups recently debuted have been training years before their debut to become actors. Why is this happening and when did this begin?
Representatives stated, 'It's hard for the artists to gain popularity and make their face known without acting.' It's almost impossible to get the names of the individual members known to the viewer's just by their appearances on music programs. As a result, idol group members often appear on talk shows and comedy shows in addition to their other busy schedules. Idol stars are resorting to acting because even with their hectic schedules, their popularity level remains the same.
One representative from an entertainment company stated, 'When they begin to act, they are able to reach out to teenagers as well as to the older audience so they are able to get their names out there by appearing in shows and dramas. On the other perspective, when idol stars appear in dramas and shows, the viewing rate goes up significantly so they prefer casting idol stars. This also applies to product endorsements.'
Another agency representative stated, 'When idol groups appear at individual events, the reaction of the audience is important. When idol stars appear at event in rural areas, the audiences are all senior citizens who have never heard of the idol stars before. Senior citizens don't watch music programs. Instead, they watch dramas and talk shows. This is a major factor in why idol groups are appearing in more and more shows and dramas.'