Many K-pop idols are popular for their exceptional talent in music. But some of them are also recognized as celebrity stars who can play as topnotch actors. Besides their handsome, good-looking faces, their emotionally-captivating acting skills is definitely wow. Right now, there are many K-pop male idols who are not just shining on stage, but conquering the drama and movie world as well. Some of them have won several awards in recognition of their brilliant acting skills. Pretty cool, right?
How adorable it would be to see our favorite K-pop idols on our TV screens playing as an actor and not a music idol! Seeing a different character in them is a total turn on, especially when they are wearing that royal historical costumes, becoming a smart detective, wearing the doctor gown, or being a cute high school student. Surely, these ultimate guys are also called as 'actordols' because they stand as the 'jack-of-all-trade' in their group. In this article, we will introduce 25 K-pop male idols turned actors who proved themselves really talented successful, and capable.
Note: This list is not in order.
1. Taehyung (BTS)
He is probably one of the strongest reasons why we are watching the youth historical drama, Hwarang. Brace yourselves, Army! Kim Tae-hyung, who is also known by his stage name, V, is now a certified 'idol-turned-actor'. He might not be the main character of the drama, but all of his screen time are precious. He plays the role of Han-sung, the youngest hwarang and holds the identity of being the last real 'jin-gol' of their clan. His role as a handsome elite and a flowery knight is just so fitting, because his physical beauty is the exact definition of what a 'flower youth' is.
- 2016-2017 - Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth as Seok Han-sung
2. D.O Kyungsoo (EXO)
If we are going to describe him in one word as an actor, that would be 'terrific'. Born with extraordinary talent in singing and acting is EXO's eighth member, D.O Kyungsoo. He had proven himself great in acting since his debut on TV in the 2014 romantic comedy drama, It's Okay, That's Love. His acting was praised by critics, and gained positive comments from the netizens. Audiences were left astonished by his performance, which made him nominated for the Best New Actor and Male TV Popularity awards at the 51st Baeksang Arts Awards.
Drama and Film Roles:
- 2014 - Cart as Choi Tae-young
- 2014 - It's Okay, That's Love as Han Kang-woo
- 2015 - Hello Monster as Teenage Lee Joon-young
- 2016 - Pure Love as Beom-sil
- 2016 - My Annoying Brother as Doo-young
- 2017 - With God as Won Il-byung
- 2017 - Room #7 as Tae Jung
3. Jinyoung (B1A4)
With his charming eyes and pretty face, many girls would fall for him, right? But in the drama world, he always ended up being heartbroken. Jinyoung, who played recently as Kim Yoon-sung in the teenage rom-com historical drama, Love in the Moonlight, is also the leader of K-Pop boy group, B1A4. No one can pull off that noble role of Yoon-sung in a very elegant way like he did. It's really amazing how he realistically brought the one-sided love tragic story into life. That's why BANAs are hoping to see him in a drama where he could have an achievable love. His passionate performance brought him the Best New Actor award at the 30th KBS Drama Awards.
Drama and Film Roles:
- 2014 - Miss Granny as Ban Ji-ha
- 2013 - She is Wow as Gong Min-gyu
- 2015 - Persevere, Goo Hae-ra as Kang Se-chan / Ray Kim
- 2015 - Warm and Cozy as Jung Poong-san
- 2016 - Love in the Moonlight as Kim Yoon-sung
4. Minho (SHINee)
If he is your doctor, would you mind being sick? Another familiar face both on stage and on screen is Shinee's Choi Min-ho. He gained popularity as an actor for his performance in the 2012 romantic comedy teenage drama, To The Beautiful You. After playing as Kang Tae-joon in the drama, the baby faced actor took the role of Kim Seong-woo, the youngest surgeon in the 2013 medical drama, Medical Top Team. In 2016, he also starred as Kim Soo-ho in the drama, Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth. In this drama, he is a handsome, hot-blooded, and playboy warrior born in the nobility.
Drama and Film Roles:
- 2012 - To The Beautiful You as Kang Tae-joon
- 2013 - Medical Top Team as Kim Seong-woo
- 2015 - Because It's The First Time as Yoon Tae-oh
- 2016 - Derailed as Jin-il
- 2016-2017 - Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth as Kim Soo-ho
5. Baekhyun (EXO)
Many of us were left heartbroken when Baekhyun's character died in episode 16 of Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo. It's sad and cruel, right? Prince Wang Eun's love story was so tragic that it even lead him to his bloody death. That's why we want him to see in another drama where he could have a happy life in the end. It was actually Baekhyun's small screen debut, acting alongside Lee Joon-gi, Kang Ha-neul, Lee Ji-eun and label-mate Seohyun. He received the New Star Award at the 2016 SBS Drama Awards for playing the role of Wang Eun.
- 2016 - Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo as 10th Prince Wang Eun
6. Onew (SHINee)
Surely, fans of Descendants would recognize this fragile but brave doctor. Onew from K-Pop group Shinee, proved his superb acting skills in the small screen in the 2016 hit drama, Descendants of the Sun. He took the role of Lee Chi-hoon, a doctor who was sent to Uruk as one of the volunteers who joined Dr. Kang Mo-yeon's team. He perfectly portrayed the hardships of Chi-hoon, especially the scene when his patient died and he is struggling to bring him back to life. His brilliant acting is totally on-point, which made him won the Newcomer Scene Stealer Award at the 2016 Scene Stealer Festival.
- 2013 - Welcome to Royal Villa as Baek-soo
- 2016 - Descendants of the Sun as Lee Chi-hoon
7. Sungjae (BtoB)
One of the biggest reasons why many are watching Goblin is not just for Gong Yoo's comeback, but for Sung-jae's role as well. He's been getting a lot of drama roles, including Moonlight Drawn By Clouds and Shopping King Louie, but they were turned down due to his busy and conflicting schedules. We love him for his adorable performance in School 2015 as Tae-kwang. But he's even more lovable now that he's playing a hilarious side to him as the chaebol heir, Yoo Deok-hwa.
- 2014 - Reply 1994 as Sooksookie
- 2014 - Plus Nine Boys as Kang Min-gu
- 2015 - Who Are You: School 2015 as Gong Tae-kwang
- 2015 - The Village: Achiara's Secret as Park Woo-jae
- 2016 - Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (Goblin) as Yoo Deok-Hwa
8. L (Infinite)
When he starred as Lee Hyun-soo in Shut Up Flower Boy Band, he became popular for his attractive, chic, and extremely cool image yet his heart is as cold as an ice. He acts like an 'ice prince' in the drama. With his short temper, hot and boiling aura, he is seen as a mean guy. But that what makes him an interesting and charismatic actor. L, whose real name is Kim Myung-soo, has established his positive profile as a great actor idol because of his brilliant performances in his dramas.
- 2012 - Shut Up Flower Boy Band as Lee Hyunsoo
- 2013 - Master's Sun as young Joo Joongwon
- 2014 - My Lovely Girl as Siwoo
- 2017 - Ruler: Master of the Mask as fake Lee Sun
9. Yong-hwa (CNBLUE)
Playing the romantic, playful, and bright man in every romance drama is Jung Yong-hwa of CNBLUE. Since he took the role of Shin-woo in You're Beautiful, he's been getting attention for his acting skills. He had his first leading role in Heartstrings alongside Park Shin-hye, who is also a good friend of him in real life. He flawlessly portrayed the character of Lee Shin, a man who wants to have a musical journey in life. He is also popular for his role as Se-joo in the time-travel romance drama, Marry Him if You Dare in 2013.
- 2009 - You're Beautiful as Kang Shin-woo
- 2011 - Heartstrings as Lee Shin
- 2013 - Marry Him If You Dare as Park Se-joo
- 2014 - The Three Musketeers as Park Dal-hyang
- 2017 - The Package as San Ma-Roo
10. Siwan (ZE:A)
One of the most promising actor idols in the entertainment industry is Im Si-wan from the K-Pop boy band, ZE:A. He gained extreme popularity as an actor when he starred as Park Jin-woo in the 2013 film, The Attorney. The film was a huge success, which brought him several awards as Best New Actor. He is also recognized for his brilliant performance in the drama, Misaeng, as he played the life of Jang Geu-rae. The drama became a cultural phenomenon and gained high viewership ratings.
Drama and Film Roles:
- 2012 - Moon Embracing the Sun as young Heo Yeom
- 2013 - The Attorney as Park Jin-woo
- 2014 - Triangle as Jang Dong-woo/Yoon Yang-ha
- 2014 - Misaeng as Jang Geu-rae
- 2016 - My Catman as Ji Baek
- 2017 - The King Loves as Wang Won
11. Yoochun (TVXQ)
Probably one of the most familiar faces in drama world is Park Yoo-chun, who is a former member of TVXQ, a best-selling K-pop boy band in 2003. He looks pretty attractive whenever he's taking a role in a sageuk, such as in 2010's Sungkyungkwan Scandal as one of Joseon's F4. His upright, ice-cold character brought him the Best New Actor and Most Popular Actor award for the 47th Baeksang Arts Awards. He also became a Joseon prince once in 2012 romantic comedy Rooftop Prince.
- 2010 - Sungkyunkwan Scandal as Lee Sun-joon
- 2011 - Miss Ripley as Song Yoo-hyun / Yutaka
- 2012 - Rooftop Prince as Lee Gak / Yong Tae-yong
- 2012 - Missing You as Han Jung-woo
- 2014 - Three Days as Han Tae-kyung
- 2015 - The Girl Who Sees Smells as Choi Mu-gak
12. Top (Big Bang)
Top's image as a manly guy will never perish both on stage and on screen. He looks so incredibly cool with his low-toned voice, especially when rapping. But when he's holding the gun and aiming it directly at the enemy, he is just so hot. Showcasing his topnotch acting skills is what makes Top of Big Bang successful. His performance as Vick in 2009 action drama, Iris, is no joke. He's the real deal when it comes to playing the role of an assassin. Iris became a critical hit drama in 2009.
Drama and Film Roles:
- 2009 - Nineteen as Seo Jeong-hun
- 2009 - Iris as Vick
- 2010 - 71: Into the Fire as Oh Jang-beom
- 2013 - Commitment as Lee Myeong-hoon / Kang Dae-ho
- 2014 - Tazza: The Hidden Card as Ham Dae-gil
- 2016 - Out of Control as Tom Young
13. Hongki (F.T. Island)
Before his debut as the main vocalist of F.T. Island in 2007, Lee Hongki was a child actor. He debuted in 2002 in the KBS2 TV series Magic Kid Masuri as Masuri's friend. The show became popular to grade school students. In 2009, he gained more fame as he took the role of Jeremy in You're Beautiful. He won the New Star Award in 2009 SBS Drama Awards for that role. Besides acting, he is also one of the best vocalists in K-Pop, with a talent in rap and beat box. Also, he has a passion for nail art. Amazing, isn't it?
Drama and Film Roles:
- 2009 - You're Beautiful as Jeremy
- 2011 - Muscle Girl! as Yoo Ji-ho
- 2011 - Noriko Goes to Seoul as Kim Min-ha
- 2013 - Rockin' on Heaven's Door as Choong-ui
- 2014 - Bride of the Century as Choi Kang-joo
- 2014 - Modern Farmer as Lee Min-ki
14. Min-hyuk (CNBLUE)
One of the most familiar roles of Kang Min-hyuk from CNBLUE would be his role as Yoon Chan Young in the 2013 hit drama, The Heirs. He is the cute, lively, bright, and loving student who is always with Lee Bo Na (played by Krystal from f(x). His chemistry with Krystal is so charming, which makes them a very cute supporting couple. His character is the most lovable in the series, and his appearance is always heartwarming. He won the New Star Award at 2013 SBS Drama Awards and was nominated as Most Popular Actor at 50th Baeksang Arts Awards.
- 2010 - It's Okay, Daddy's Girl as Hwang Yun Doo
- 2011 - Heartstrings as Yeo Joon Hee
- 2012 - My Husband Got a Family as Cha Se Gwang
- 2013 - The Heirs as Yoon Chan Young
- 2013 - The Miracle as Yoon Chan Young
- 2016 - Entertainer as Jo Ha-neul
15. Hoya (Infinite)
The main dancer and rapper of boy band, Infinte is also known for his drama and film roles. Hoya, whose real name is Lee Ho-won, is a talented idol. He rose into fame in the world of drama in 2012 for his role as Kang Joon-hee in Reply 1997. He played a very interesting character in this drama. Joon-hee is not your ordinary man, because he harbors a deep crush on Yoon-je, who is not a girl but a guy (played by Seo In-guk). Yes, he has a secret - he is in love with his guy best friend, and his sweet and gentle character is just a mask to hide it. That critical role is just a proof of Hoya's ability in acting.
Drama and Film Roles:
- 2012 - Reply 1997 as Kang Joon-hee
- 2014 - My Lovely Girl as Kang Rae-hoon
- 2015 - Mask as Byun Ji-hyuk
- 2016 - Hiya as Lee Jin-ho
16. Kim Hyun-joong (SS501)
Kim Hyun-joong is not only recognized for being the leader and main rapper of boy band, SS501. He is also a popular actor idol who is guaranteed to make the girls' hearts flutter. Since 2009, he is recognized as a famous actor, thanks to his charismatic role as Yoon Ji-hoo in Boys Over Flowers. His performance was praised by many viewers and critics, and later received the Popularity Awards at the 45th Baeksang Arts Awards. He continued to become popular in his acting career in 2010, where he took the main role of Baek Seung-jo in the drama, Playful Kiss. To this day, these dramas are still popular as one of the best romance dramas ever.
- 2009 - Boys Over Flowers as Yoon Ji-hoo
- 2010 - Playful Kiss as Baek Seung-jo
- 2014 - Inspiring Generation as Shin Jung-tae
17. Lee Joon (MBLAQ)
Another intense and promising actor idol is Lee Joon of MBLAQ. Recently, he played the role of Yoon San in the 2016 drama, Vampire Detective. He is a private detective who is turned into a vampire. Sounds pretty appealing, isn't it? The vampire Lee Joon never failed to make the viewers go crazy over him, as he perfectly portrayed the dark side of Yoon San's character while maintaining his totally handsome image. He is an incredible actor who won the Excellence Award in 8th Korea Drama Awards for his drama, Heard It Through the Grapevine.
- 2013 - Iris II as Yoon Shi-hyuk
- 2014 - Gap-dong as Ryu Tae-oh
- 2014 - Mr. Back as Choi Dae-han
- 2015 - Heard It Through the Grapevine as Han In-sang
- 2016 - Vampire Detective as Yoon San
- 2016 - Woman with a Suitcase as Ma Suk-woo
18. Siwon (Super Junior)
One of the pioneers in the K-Pop and entertainment world is Super Junior's pride, Choi Si-won. He was an excellent supporting actor in Athena: Goddess of War and a brilliant leading actor in Poseidon. In these heavily-packed action dramas, Siwon impressed us with his flawless actions. He looked so awesome with those guns and weapons that he's carrying while he is out for a mission. His acting is so convincing, intense, and hyped, which made him a popular action drama actor.
- 2006 - Spring Waltz as Park Sang-woo
- 2010 - Oh! My Lady as Sung Min-woo
- 2010 - Athena: Goddess of War as Kim Jun-ho
- 2011 - Poseidon as Kim Sun-woo
- 2012 - The King of Dramas as Kang Hyun-min
- 2015 - She Was Pretty as Kim Shin Hyuk
19. Baro (B1A4)
Who would've thought that the super-cool, low-toned rapper of B1A4 can also be an adorable teenager? He started his acting career in Reply 1994 as Kim Dong-jun and was praised for his great acting skills. But Baro's role as Ki Young-gyu in the 2014 drama, God's Gift 14 Days, is a solid proof that he is a great actor. In fact, he portrayed a mentally-ill teenager who struggled enough to find the culprit behind the death of his little best friend. Aww, isn't he cute? He received positive critics for his performance and was nominated as Best New Actor and Most Popular Actor in 50th Baeksang Arts Awards.
- 2013 - Reply 1994 as Binggeure/Kim Dong-jun
- 2014 - God's Gift - 14 Days as Ki Young-gyu
- 2015 - Angry Mom as Hong Sang-tae
- 2016 - The Master of Revenge as teen Kim Gil-do
20. Taecyeon (2PM)
If you're a certified K-drama fan, there's no way you would miss watching Dream High and making it a memorable drama. It was actually one of the best teenage dramas to watch, because the story is a perfect portrayal of a youth's dream and passion. Taecyeon of 2PM starred in that drama as Jin Gook, whose story is heartbreaking yet leaves a wonderful lesson. Taecyeon also played the role of Kang Dong-hee in Wonderful Days, where he was nominated as Most Popular Actor in 50th Baeksang Arts Awards.
- 2010 - Cinderella's Sister as Han Jung-woo
- 2011 - Dream High as Jin Gook
- 2013 - Who Are You? as Cha Gun-woo
- 2014 - Wonderful Days as Kang Dong-hee
- 2015 - Assembly as Kim Kyu-hwan
- 2016 - Hey Ghost, Let's Fight as Park Bong-pal
21. Kikwang (Beast)
An actor idol with so much potential in acting is Beast's Lee Ki-kwang. He started his acting career in 2009 sitcom series, High Kick Through The Roof, where he nailed that boy next door image in the character of Kang Se-ho. His acting is simply bright and lovable. He is extremely cute when he smiles and he do some cute poses. The next year, he took a supporting role in My Princess as Geon-yi and won the Best New Actor award at MBC Drama Awards.
- 2009 - High Kick Through the Roof as Kang Se Ho
- 2010 - My Princess as Geon-yi
- 2010 - Me Too, Flower! as Jo Ma Roo
- 2015 - Mrs. Cop as Lee Se Won
- 2016 - Monster as young Lee Gook-cheol/Kang Ki-tan
22. Nam Woo-hyun (Infinite)
The main vocalist of the popular boy band, Infinite, is Nam Woohyun, who definitely deserves more love and more dramas to come. He totally rocks on his role as Shin Woo-hyun in Hi School Love On. Shin Woo-hyun's character is somehow narcissistic, thus, he forgot that his academics is slowly dropping. Woohyun's acting is simply hilarious but promising. And he looks incredibly handsome on TV, right? If only he could do another drama like this, it would be lovable. But he is currently focusing on his music career rather than his acting career, which is also great.
- 2012 - The Thousandth Man as Nam Woo-hyun
- 2014 - Hi! School-Love On as Shin Woo-hyun
23. Kim Dong-jun (ZE:A)
He is not only musically talented and athletic, he has so much potential in acting as well. Kim Dong-jun of ZE:A appeared in some dramas where he totally looked good in the characters he had portrayed. Wearing that historical costume in The Fugitive of Joseon as Mu Myeong looks pretty cool on him! Recently, he had leading roles in the dramas, Couple Clinic: Love and War 2, Climb The Sky Walls, and I Still Love You.
- 2013 - The Fugitive of Joseon as Mu Myeong
- 2013 - Couple Clinic: Love and War 2 - Idol Special as Seo Min Jae
- 2014 - Climb The Sky Walls as Tae Ho
- 2016 - Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho as Kim Yoo-shin
- 2016 - I Still Love You as Yoon Soo-ho
24. Lee Jung-shin (CNBLUE)
The bassist and rapper of CNBLUE is also rocking the world of drama. Lee Jung-shin started his acting career in 2012 KBS2 drama Seoyoung, My Daughter, and since then he's been active as an actor. He was nominated as Best New Actor and Most Popular Actor at the 49th Baeksang Arts Awards for his debut role. In 2015, he won the Best Rising Star award at the 3rd DramaFever Awards for his drama, Temptation, and recently, he received the New Actor Award at 1st Asia Artist Awards.
- 2012 - Seoyoung, My Daughter as Kang Sung-jae
- 2013 - The Blade and Petal as Shi-woo
- 2014 - Temptation as Na Hong-gyu
- 2016 - Cinderella and Four Knights as Kang Seo-Woo
- 2017 - My Sassy Girl as Kang Joon-young
25. Xiumin (EXO)
Xiumin of EXO nailed his movie and TV debut and proved that he's more than just an idol with handsome face. In 2015, he starred in the drama, Falling for Challenge where he took the role of Na Do-jeon, a man who earns money by working as a part-time clown. He portrayed the passionate side of Do-jeon by his expressions that he wants to make people laugh not because it is his job, but because it is what his heart wants. He won an Award for SNS Web Drama at 4th APAN Star Awards for the drama. Recently, his movie debut Seondal became successful as well, hitting first place in the box office for three days straight. It is a historical film about Joseon's greatest con man. We hope to see more of Xiumin's projects to come!
Drama and Film Roles:
- 2015 - Falling For Challenge as Na Do-jeon
- 2016 - Seondal: The Man Who Sells the River as Gyeon
Who is your favorite 'actordol'? Did we miss your favorite K-pop idol turned actor? Not to worry though, you can share your thoughts below.
- The 20 Beautiful K-Pop Idols Turned Actress
From music idols to actors, here is a list of the 20 beautiful, popular, successful, and talented K-pop idols turned actress.
Madiha Ajaz from Karachi, Pakistan on June 07, 2020:
The article is fantastic but where is Lee min ho.. just wondering
Marwa from Iraq on August 22, 2018:
Woohyun of course
yoongieeeee on December 01, 2017:
i thougth got7 jingyoung would be here......
Lorna Thomas on November 27, 2017:
I would add both Shim Changmin and Jung Yunho to the list. Changmin has some serious acting chops. He was incredible in Scholar Who Walks The Night, and Yunho was wonderful in Night Watchman's Journal.
wavs30 on August 30, 2017:
Park Hyung Sik should be included in this list. He's one of the famous and successful idol turned actor. He's handsome and talented as well.
FranF45 on August 25, 2017:
I can't even vote, because I've two favorites, Siwon and Yoochun, but you're missing some that are also handsome and better as actors than some mentioned here, Park Hyungsik (ZE:A) and Yoon Doojoon (Beast), these guys should be mentioned.
nusrat jahan chow on August 11, 2017:
I really like woohyun and all the members of infinite. well, everyone is good also.