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From Ro Woon to Cha Eun Woo: Stars Who Made Their Ways as Idols to Actors

Four actors started out as idols and went through the phase of ‘acting idols’ and now are more familiar with being called an actor. While more actors greet the viewers through the small screens after a period that lacked male actors in their 20s, it is worth noting those who grew out of their images as idols. 

Credit: JTBC

Ro Woon of SF9 plays Chae Hyun Seung, a straight-forward character in She Would Never Know. As he came back in about a year after Extraordinary You in 2019, Ro Woon demonstrates the improvement as an actor who is now good enough to lead a show. After showing his potential, he is receiving positive responses from viewers for his natural acting, stable tone, and expression of emotions. 

Credit: JTBC

The former member of ZE:A Im Si Wan now suits the title of an ‘actor’ better than an ‘idol who acts.’ He proved his solid acting skills through a number of movies and dramas, especially in Misaeng: Incomplete Life (2014), The Merciless (2017), and was loved by the public for these works. Im Si Wan has also been mesmerizing viewers recently with his innocently romantic acting on Run On. It is almost regrettable that he did not challenge such a character earlier. He also plans to reveal an OST for Run On in which he participated by writing its lyrics for the first time in about three and a half years. Everyone should keep an eye on his future career decisions now more than ever when he fulfills his roles as both an actor and singer. 

Credit: KBS

Kim Myung Soo, who started off as a member of INFINITE, now appears on the Royal Secret Agent showing extraordinary growth. Started as a supporting role, he grew into a leading actor and was properly recognized by viewers as an actor since in Ms. Hammurabi (2018). After stably supporting Shin Hye Sun’s acting skills on Angel’s Last Mission: Love in 2019, he proudly became the leading character who guides the whole series forward in this drama. Despite the previous disappointing performance of Welcome in 2020 with a 0% of viewer rating, Kim Myung Soo is being recognized for his acting skills in Royal Secret Agent. After the drama finishes, he will release his first single album in 11 years after his debut before enlisting in the Marine Corps.

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Cha Eun Woo of Astro who plays Lee Su Ho in True Beauty should also be mentioned. Though he emerged as an idol who acts through works such as My ID is Gangnam Beauty (2018), Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung (2019), his awkward acting remained regrettable. However, he has been receiving favorable reviews for his improved acting skills in this work. People are saying that Cha Eun Woo has appropriately depicted the feelings of a character who builds a wall due to the relationship with his father and the death of a friend, whilst also demonstrating the bold and rather childish sides when it comes to love. 

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