Hello everyone and welcome back to another post by EonTalk! Today, I’ve got something a little different from my ordinary content. Today, I’ll be combining Korean movies with another Korean industry that’s taking the world by storm: K-pop.
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K-pop, or Korean pop, has gained massive interest and popularity globally, and is one of the crucial reasons why Korean dramas and movies have also been so internationally widespread. And we’ve got the idols, or the K-pop singers, who’ve crossed into the field of acting to thank for that, especially the 1st and 2nd generation idols who’ve paved the way for many more to come.
I’ve had a similar content before, going over my picks of top 10 idol-turned-actors, and there were many notable and talented stars with a wide range of skills introduced in that video, so be sure to check that out as well if you haven’t already. But in today’s video, I’ll be going over more old school idol-turned-actors that were active as idol singers from the 90s to the early 2000s.
Before getting into the list, please note that with all my content, this will be based on my personal preferences, and thus, will be totally biased towards my opinions. If you have differing views and thoughts, please let me know in the comments, as I’m always happy to hear your thoughts as well! Okay then, without further ado, let’s get into the list of my Top 10 old school idol actors.
Starting off the list, the first old school idol-turned-actor I’ve selected was Son Dam Bi.
Son Dam Bi is a female solo artist who debuted in 2007. She was born on September 25, 1983, making her 37 years old at the time of recording, and was nicknamed the “female Rain” during debut for her incredible dancing skills. Ms. Son had cameo appearances before, but had her acting debut with the K-drama “Dream” in 2009, and made her movie debut with the film <The Accidental Detective 2: In Action> in 2018. She also starred as a main lead in the movie <Too Hot to Die>, which flopped big time, but was in K-dramas that were hits such as “What Happens to My Family?” and of course, “When the Camellia Blooms.”
Next, the #9 old school idol that ventured into acting that I selected was Jeon Hye Bin.
Also being born in September of 1983, Jeon Hye Bin made her idol debut in 2002 with the girl group LUV. Although the group itself wasn’t very big, she definitely got her name out, being on numerous variety shows and dramas, as well as a few movie roles as well. She made her acting debut in 2002 with the sitcom “Nonstop 3,” and made her movie debut a couple years later with <Dead Friend>. Some of her other well-received works are the movies <Luck-Key> and <Cheer Up Mr. Lee>, as well as the K-dramas “Sang Doo! Let’s Go to School” and “Another Miss Oh.”
Moving along, the #8 idol-turned-actor I’ve picked was Park Yoo Chun aka Micky Yoochun.
Park Yoo Chun is an idol that made his debut in 2003 with the legendary group TVXQ from SM Entertainment. Being born on June 4, 1986, he is now 35 years old at the time of recording, the youngest on this list. Park Yoo Chun made his acting debut in 2006 with “Vacation” with all of his other members, and later starred in more bigger roles that really gave him his acting stamp of approval, such as the films <Sea Fog> and <Lucid Dream>, as well as the K-dramas “Sungkyunkwan Scandal” and “Three Days.” Park Yoo Chun debuted with TVXQ, but later separated into a new group called JYJ with other fellow members Junsu and Jae Joong, which took the K-pop world by storm. He was also caught up in a few controversies since, and has been in the news for not the most positive things, but I’m hoping he works his things out and wishing the best for him.
The #7 idol-turned-actor from the older generation that I selected for this list was Yoon Eun Hye.
Yoon Eun Hye is an idol from the girl group Baby VOX, and she joined the group a couple years after the group had already made their debut. Ms. Yoon was born on October 3, 1984, which means she is now 36 years old, and is referred to alongside Kim Jong Gook from Running Man a lot for their past loveline on X-Man. She made her acting debut with “Princess Hours” in 2006, and in the same year, she made her feature film debut with the movie <Escaping From Charisma>. She’s also starred in movies such as <Little Black Dress> and <After Love>, but more well-known for her roles in the K-dramas “Coffee Prince” and “My Fair Lady.”
How to Watch K-Movies & K-Dramas on Netflix from Outside of Korea
Before progressing further into the list, please note that the selection of movies and dramas may vary depending on the location you are in. However, if you’d like to access more Korean content, you can do so by using a VPN service and accessing the Korean Netflix server. And I’ve got a VPN service that I highly recommend!
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Moving onto the #6 old school idol-turned-actor, the 6th idol I picked was Rain, or Jung Ji Hoon.
Rain is a solo idol artist, and a lot of people might not know this, but he actually made his debut in the group “Fanclub,” in 1998 before making his solo debut as “Rain” in 2002. He was born on June 25, 1982, making him 39 years old, and made his acting debut in 2003 with the K-drama “Sang Doo! Let’s Go to School.” Following that, he continued his acting success with the massively popular and one of my favorite old-time dramas “Full House,” and also made his movie debut with the film <I’m A Cyborg But That’s OK>. He’s also one of the only very few Korean stars that ventured into Hollywood, starring in the films <Speed Racer> and <Ninja Assassin>, but the quality of those can be… debatable. Anyways, he’s been very active recently again on TV, and is also married to the A-list actress, Kim Tae-Hee.
Now going into the top 5, the #5 idol-turned-actor I chose for this list was Kim Yoo Jin, aka Eugene.
Eugene is from the 1st generation girl group, SES, which debuted in 1997, and is the first girl group introduced by SM Entertainment. Nicknamed the “National Fairy,” Eugene is now 40 years old, being born on March 3, 1981. She made her acting debut in 2001 with a drama special, and movie debut with <Unstoppable Marriage>, but some of her other more famous works include <Paper Flower>, which won a few awards at film festivals, and the K-dramas “Bread, Love and Dreams” and of course, “The Penthouse: War in Life.” She’s now happily married and living with her husband Ki Tae Young, a fellow actor, and their daughters Ro Hee and Ro Rin.
The next idol-turned-actor I’ve selected was Eric.
Eric, or otherwise known as Moon Jung Hyuk, is an idol from the group Shinhwa, which debuted under SM Entertainment in 1998 following the massive success of H.O.T, and is the leader of the group. Being born on February 16, 1979, Eric is now 42 years old, and he made his feature film debut with the masterpiece <A Bittersweet Life> in 2005. Some of his other works include the film <Diary Of June>, and the K-dramas “Discovery of Love” and “Another Miss Oh.” Eric got married back in 2017 to Na Hye Mi, an actress/model, and his group, Shinhwa, is one of the very few old-school idol groups that haven’t broken up yet.
Moving along, the third idol I picked that ventured into the field of acting was Hwang Jung Eum.
Hwang Jung Eum made her debut in 2001 with the girl group Sugar, a group that maintained a very cutesy image throughout their idol career. Hwang Jung Eum was born on January 25, 1985, making her 36 years old, and she made her acting debut in 2005 with the K-drama “Princess Lulu.” A few years later, she made her movie debut with <The Relation Of Face, Mind And Love>, and she’s actually more famous for her K-dramas than movies. Hwang Jung-Eum was heavily criticized for her poor acting at first, but started gaining recognition with her role in the sitcom “High Kick Through The Roof,” and later with “Giant,” “Secret,” “Kill Me, Heal Me,” and “She Was Pretty.”
And now, just two picks left. The #2 old school idol-turned-actor I chose for my list of Top 10 is Uhm Jung Hwa.
Debuting all the way back in 1993, Uhm Jung Hwa is a legend when it comes to the music scene in Korea. She’s a solo artist that released hits, after hits, after hits. She was born in August of 1969, which makes her 52 and the oldest on this list, but her passion has not dyed down. She’s still active in both acting and singing, starring in the film <OK! Madam> last year, and also performing with Refund Sisters. Uhm Jung-Hwa actually debuted as an actor first, having a small role in the 1992 film <The Marriage Life>, and later starred in movies such as <Haeundae> and <Dancing Queen>. Her brother, Uhm Tae Woong, is also a popular actor in Korea.
And finally, the #1 idol-turned-actor from the old school generation that I selected for this list. My #1 pick of old school idol-turned-actors goes to Yoon Kye Sang.
Yoon Kye Sang is from the group G.O.D., which was a group that debuted under the label SidusHQ in 1999, but later signed with JYP Entertainment. Yoon Kye Sang made his acting debut in July of 2004 with the K-drama “My 19 Year Old Sister-in-Law,” and later in the same year made his feature film debut with <Flying Boys>. Some of his other famous filmographies includes <Beastie Boys>, <MALMOE: The Secret Mission>, and of course, <The Outlaws>. His role in <The Outlaws> left such a huge impression on me. He’s also got an upcoming film titled <Spiritwalker> to be released. Yoon Kye Sang is widely recognized for his talent in both the singing and acting fields, and he actually left his group, G.O.D., to pursue acting for a bit. The departure was a little messy, but the members have worked things out, and are on good terms now. The group is also another one of the few old school idol groups that hasn’t broken up. Yoon Kye Sang also recently announced he’ll be getting married, so congratulations to him and wishing him the best!
And that’s it for today’s video on Top 10 Old School Actors. Remember, there are a lot of other great idol-turned-actors, but this list was only on the older generation idols, and not to mention, totally subjective to my opinion. However, I can make another video with more idol-turned-actors, and so if you like this hybrid between K-pop and K-movies, let me know in the comments! With that being said, join the EonTalk Telegram group to further discuss with me and other Korean film enthusiasts. Finally, your support on Patreon will be very helpful in making more content. Once again, thank you to everyone that read til the end, and I’ll see you guys in the next one!
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Please keep in mind this review is composed of solely my own opinions, and should be taken with a grain of salt. I am in no way a professional writer, nor have I majored or studied journalism. This is for informative entertainment purpose only, representing my personal views. I do not own the images and/or videos used in the review. No copyright infringement intended.