While many K-Pop idols dream of pursuing a career in acting, the reverse is true for some actors and actresses. There are several well-known actors and models who wanted to become idols but ended up debuting in a parallel profession – and some even released music first before changing their career focus. While they’ve all become extremely successful as actors, these 6 celebrities wanted to become idols at first.
1. Lee Jongsuk
Lee Jongsuk revealed on an episode of Entertainment Relay that he had actually dreamed of becoming an idol like Rain. He started modeling at a young age, but moved to SM Entertainment to train as an idol for around three months. He ended up quitting because they broke their promise of debuting him.
He said: “In middle school, I watched the drama Full House, but it didn’t make me want to become an actor. I decided that I wanted to be like Rain. I joined an agency and they wanted to prepare me to become an actor, but I ended up modeling instead. Since I chose the wrong agency, I started out as a model. When I stopped modeling, I moved to a music agency. I then trained to be part of an idol group. I prepared for around three months, and then I ran away.”
2. Gong Seung Yeon
TWICE‘s Jeongyeon‘s older sister Gong Seung Yeon was an
3. Honey Lee
A well-known story among fans, Honey Lee first began her journey as a trainee in YG Entertainment and almost became a member of 2NE1, but in 2006, after winning Miss Korea, turned to acting.
She is not only a talented actress, model and singer, but is also a classical musician – she is a professional gayageum player, performing together with groups like Epik High. She has released CDs and held concerts in more than 25 countries.
4. Park Bo Gum
In a similar story to Lee Jongsuk, Park Bo Gum joined his agency with the intention of pursuing singing and music, as growing up he had always loved singing and playing the piano.
His dreams of becoming a singer-songwriter were diverted by his agency, which recommended he become an actor as it suited his talents better. Since taking his company’s advice, Park Bo Gum has had a very successful acting career, and still performs songs at fan events.
5. Goo Hyesun
Originally, Goo Hyesun was a trainee under SM Entertainment before she moved to DSP Media and prepared to debut with a girl group. However, plans fell through, so she moved to YG Entertainment. She was supposed to debut with some of the 2NE1 members, but then she was advised to switch to acting, where she eventually hit it big with a lead role in the drama Boys Over Flowers.
She has mostly continued her career as an actress; however, she is a true entrepreneur, having been featured as a singer-songwriter on drama soundtracks, released her own singles, written books and has her own film production company as a director.
6. Min Hyorin
Min Hyorin is famous for her TV appearances – and, of course, for being the inspiration for BIGBANG‘s Taeyang, who is now her husband – but she actually debuted as a singer with JYP Entertainment in 2007. After releasing her first studio album, she made her acting debut in 2009’s Triple.
She then began getting lead roles in dramas and movies, and although she is still associated with singing, having appeared in the musical drama Persevere Goo Hae Ra, she has pursued acting and modeling as her lead professions.