The ‘Multi-Tainer’ Trend for K-Pop,

Singer Se7en and singer Kangdoo have been named the stars of <Princess Hours, season two>. More and more, the boundaries between singer and actor have become increasingly hard to decipher. It’s an interesting process to watch a singing sensation work their magic in acting – which stars have made the successful transition?

Let’s check it out. One of the first names that comes to mind… singer Rain! He debuted in 2002 with <Bad Guy>, and in the blink of an eye, he was a K-pop sensation. Soon after, the casting calls for drama and film roles started pouring in. He started his acting debut with the TV drama, <Sang-doo, Let’s Go to School>. In the drama, his role was of a young man experiencing the development of life, and his unwavering love for a girl. This was the start of Rain’s acting career and he proudly used his given name, Jung Ji-hoon. In 2004, he was coupled with Song Hye-gyo in the drama adaptation of a popular comic book series, <Full House>. Jung Ji-hoon’s character was a famous actor, arrogant and self-centered. Despite riches, sexy women who want him, and fame, he ends up falling for a quirky young woman, a struggling writer. His acting grew in depth when he took on the role of a man with a dark past, in 2005’s drama, <A Love to Kill>. With every production, the reviews were favorable and the public response – through the roof! Rain was ready for the silver screen. Director Park Chan-wook of <Old Boy> fame, cast Jung Ji-hoon in his upcoming film, <I’m a Cybog, but that’s OK!>. It’s a romantic comedy starring Im Soo-jung and Jung Ji-hoon. It tells the tale of a new-age psychiatric hospital with wacky new methods and treatments. Im Soo-jung’s character is a ward of this hospital who thinks that she’s a robot, a cyborg. Jung Ji-hoon plays the man who loves her, even though she claims to be a cyborg. One movie critic wrote that when Jung and Im’s film comes out, they may be the best screen couple to hit theaters in 2006.It’s lookin’ like his movie debut will be as successful as his run on TV!

The next singer on our list who went from singing sensation to applauded actor… Eric, a member of the group that debuted in 1998… Shinhwa. Even after he was cast in the 2004 TV drama, <Phoenix>, the public had doubts about whether the singer could act. He had always been the quiet, almost shy, member of Shinhwa – but little did the public know what was hiding behind that! His first role was of a wealthy young heir who would give up everything in the name of love. Eric portrayed the character to the "T" and <Phoenix> became his doorway to the world of acting. Eric, like Rain, decided that he wanted to define himself in the acting arena, so he also used his real name, Moon Jung-hyuk. In 2005, Moon Jung-hyuk got a chance at his second production, the TV drama, <Super Rookie>. The surprising thing was that the drama seemed to be tailored to suit Moon Jung-hyuk perfectly. He slipped into character without hesitation. The reviews were so good, he was cast in the drama’s second season. <Invincible Parachute Personnel> was a spin-off of the first. And this time, the drama was tailored specifically for him. Even the film industry was trying to nab Moon Jung-hyuk. When the producers of <A Bittersweet Life> got wind of Moon’s interest in the film, they lured him in with a single scene – but one requiring exact finesse. A killer with undeniable charisma. <Diary of June> was screened at the 2005 Pusan International Film Festival – and Moon Jung-hyuk was a major player this time. He had one of the top roles, a detective working homicide. A singer who’s able to take all of his charms and throw them into his characters… Moon Jung-hyuk! Fans already have expectations of his next production.

Park Jung-ah got into showbiz with her 2001 debut as lead vocalist in Jewelry. And she had no idea, she was also going to rock her way into acting… But she did. The start was a bit rocky though; Park had a supporting role in the 2003 film, <Madeleine>. She worked out the kinks and the next year, she was ready to try again. She was cast as the leading lady in the TV drama, <When a Man Loves>. The vivacious, bouncy singer was replaced by the role of a solemn cellist who had led a life of hardship. Park Jung-ah struggled again with this role and her worries were translating onto the screen. Reviews weren’t favorable and ratings were low. But "give-up" wasn’t in her vocabulary! She stood tall and made her way back into the audience’s good graces with a small, but significant role of a murder suspect in the 2005 movie, <The Big Scene>. Failure didn’t stop her. Park Jung-ah was putting her heart into acting and in 2006, her determination paid off! She nabbed the starring role of an upcoming film, (temporarily titled), <Taming Miss Sassy>. While male singers seemed to crank out successful productions, Park Jung-ah went through several disappointment, but has come out on top. Her perseverance is something that we could all learn from.

When <Princess Hours> aired, nobody knew exactly how big the drama would become. The incredible reactions prompted producers to collaborate on its second season. The casting competition was fierce, but ultimately landing the leading roles were two singers! Singer Se7en, who will be making his acting debut with the second season of <Princess Hours>, and Kangdoo, a member of The Jadu. Though Kangdoo has experience acting in various small parts, this will be his first lead role. Se7en’s agency professed that it was difficult to choose Se7en’s debut acting role. In fact, deciding that the singer would even act at all, came after much deliberation. They support him fully, whatever the outcome may be.

These aren’t the only names on our list of successful transitions from singing to acting… Lee Hyun-woo! Shin Sung-woo! Kim Dong-wan! Hong Kyung-min! Uhm Jung-hwa! All these singers have made a remarkable transformation. Of course, even with all these "singer-to-actor" success stories, there’s still a lot of doubt when popular singers are cast in productions. Take the first season of <Princess Hours>, for instance! The first season starred Yoon Eun-hye from Baby V.O.X, and Kim Jung-hoon from the pop group, UN. And they quelled the doubt with a fantastic performance. There are a lot of singers out there who are waiting for a chance to shine brightly as actors as well. And by now, the public is willing to accept them with positivity. We hope they won’t let us down!

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