Since Wanna One disbanded in early 2019, each of the 11 members have gone on to have successful careers in different fields. While some returned to their previous K-Pop groups or established their own solo careers, others have focused more on acting, or at least have done some acting work alongside their music careers.
Recently, a post on an online forum titled “Current whereabouts of the Wanna One members in acting” brought up all of the times that eight former members of the K-Pop group have appeared in dramas or film, and the list is quite impressive!
To start with the members that have the shortest filmography, both Yoon Jisung and Kang Daniel, on top of focusing mainly on their solo music careers, have each appeared in one K-Drama. Jisung played the part of Kim Yoochan in the 2021 series Let Me Be Your Knight, while Daniel had the lead role of Wi Seunghyun in the 2022 web series Rookie Cops.
Bae Jinyoung, now a member of CIX, has also been in both a web series and a movie! In 2021 he played the lead role of Shin Yijun in the series User Not Found, and in 2022 he appeared in the Thai-Singaporean anthology horror film The Antique Shop.
After Hwang Minhyun rejoined NU’EST (until they disbanded) once his time with Wanna One was complete, he has also taken part in two different series. His first gig was as the lead role of Go Euntaek in the 2020-2021 series Live On, and he recently grew even more popular as an actor in the highly acclaimed Alchemy of Souls, where he played the part of Seo Yul. He’s also set to play the lead role of Kim Doha in the upcoming 2023 series Useless Lies!
Lee Daehwi became a member of AB6IX after Wanna One disbanded, and has also played roles in two series and one film! In 2019 he had the lead role of Dong Jinwoo in the K-Drama Mon Chouchou Global House, and in 2022 he played a supporting role in Love is for Suckers. He also played a part in the 2022 film The Greatest Shuttle.
Lai Guanlin focused on solo activities in China after his time in Wanna One, and had his first main lead in the Chinese drama A Little Thing Called First Love in 2019. He scored another main role in the 2021 Chinese series Don’t Disturb My Study, and his most recent drama — also Chinese — was the 2022 series Love the Way You Are, in which he also had the lead role. He even won awards as the director for the 2021 Chinese film Winter & Spring Are Fighting!
While Park Jihoon first focused on his solo music career after Wanna One’s disbandment, he has made a name for himself as a skilled actor in several series. Since 2019, he has appeared in the 2019 K-Drama Flower Crew: Joseon Marriage Agency, the 2020 web series Love Revolution, the 2021 drama At a Distance, Spring is Green, and the two 2022 web series Remarriage & Desires and Weak Hero Class 1. He earned notable praise for his role as Yeon Sieun in the last of that list, and is also set to be in the upcoming film Audrey as his debut on the big screen!
Finally, Ong Seongwu has the most extensive list of series and films he has appeared in since Wanna One disbanded. He also has a solo music career, but acting has been his main focus, with his first appearance being the main role of Choi Junwoo in the 2019 K-Drama At Eighteen. He has played the lead role in one other K-Drama — More Than Friends in 2020 — as well as for the upcoming series Strong Woman Gang Nam-soon set to air in 2023. He was also in one web series, Would You Like a Cup of Coffee?, in 2021.
So far Seongwu has also appeared in three films, all in 2022: Seoul Vibe, Life is Beautiful, and 20th Century Girl. Finally, there are also two upcoming films — Jung’s Ranch and Starlight Falls — that he’s set to appear in!
Here’s what fans are saying on the post to show their admiration and interest in the acting work of the former Wanna One members.
- “Wow I feel so nostalgic, everyone is living the hard-working life…”
- “Hwang Minhyun in Alchemy was good”
- “Park Jihoon is seriously freaking good at acting”
- “Wanna One makes me nostalgicㅠㅠ the members are all working hard huh.. I’m thankful. I’ll look forward to them as actors too”
- “I support them all! Acting is different from being an idol so it might be difficult to adjust but seeing how they all made their place there makes me admire them. They seem to work hard and practice hard so seeing kids like them see the light makes me happy!”
- “I like Ong Seongwu’s acting and his face really looks like an actor and he has charmsㅋㅋ I wanna see him more often”
- “Weak Hero was freaking fun and Park Jihoon’s acting is freaking insane. They have to make season 2”
- “Park Jihoon should win one of the big acting awards. His acting was astounding and it didn’t feel like he’s acting at all. Just from his eyes we could see all sort of emotions”
- “And people say that Wanna one’s members are flop. No they work hard, you just have to wait for results especially in acting. Just half year ago people said that Park Jihoon become forgotten. Now Weak hero is top 10 of critically acclaimed dramas. For youth drama with pretty small budget that’s great achievement”
We can’t wait to see what else they have in store for us in the future!