From films like Seoul Vibe and Life Is Beautiful to K-Dramas like More Than Friends and Strong Girl Nam Soon, Ong Seong Wu is slowly gaining his footing as an actor. However, that almost didn’t happen.
He revealed how his past as a K-Pop idol in the famous project group Wanna One almost ended his acting career before it began.
During an episode of Radio Star, Ong Seong Wu confirmed he had a breakdown on the set of At Eighteen, his K-Drama debut. He told the cast how he completely shut down when filming his first scene.
When I first stood in front of the camera, I just froze. It felt like I was trapped. I didn’t know where to look at.
— Ong Seong Wu
Even though he majored in acting and was ready to finally show his skills, Ong Seong Wu’s body wouldn’t obey. There was a mental block that prevented him from doing so, one that the cast quickly understood.
Surpassing the expectations for an idol-turned-actor weighed too heavily on him. Ong Seong Wu admitted, “The camera was very intimidating. I was also scared of the perceptions and bias.”
The cast immediately understood that Ong Seong Wu was referring to the “perceptions of idol actors” and reminded him that he overcame them. He earned praise for his acting in At Eighteen from the show’s producers and viewers.
If Ong Seong Wu hadn’t been able to overcome the pressure of being an idol-turned-actor, he wouldn’t have been able to film his debut K-Drama. Fortunately, he blew everyone away with his skills and continues to take on new roles.