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Three of Korea’s triple threats

  • Published : Aug 2, 2018 - 15:24
  • Updated : Aug 2, 2018 - 15:24

Triple threats of models, pop idols and actors are more common than one might think in the Korean entertainment industry.

The industry as a whole is way past the era when stunning visuals and an enviable body alone were enough to get by. These days just being good at singing and dancing isn’t enough to become a household name in Korea’s entertainment world. Now, you have to have all those characteristics and also be multilingual, be well-versed in social media, appear frequently on television and so much more.

However, being talented in all three areas is no easy feat; while modeling usually comes more naturally for the celebrities, the hardest transition is thought to be from singing to acting.

Nevertheless, there are a few entertainers who have recently garnered attention for their various talents.


1. Suzy

Formerly of hit girl group MissA, Suzy was a model for an online shopping site before being discovered by JYP Entertainment. Suzy became quite popular during her MissA days as the K-pop group had many hits like “Bad Girl Good Girl” and “Goodbye Baby,” which each sold over 3 million digital downloads. Her success further rocketed when she went solo.

She has not only graced the covers of established fashion magazines, but she is one of the most sought-after entertainers for Korean advertising campaigns. Just up until 2017, Suzy had starred in commercials for over 30 companies and modeled for several clothing brands. She has been a spokesmodel for companies ranging from Swarovski to Domino’s Pizza to Nintendo.

Her high demand is in part due to her successful acting career. Debuting in TV drama “Dream High” in 2011, she was named best new actress at the KBS Drama Awards the same year. Since then, she has appeared in several TV dramas and three films, winning 19 awards for her acting performances. Her next project, “Vagabond,” is a spy action drama set to air in 2019.


2. Park Hyung-sik

As a member of K-pop boy group ZE:A, Park began his entertainment career in 2010 when the group released its debut single “Nativity.” He later became a core member of subunit ZE:A Five, which released well-received track “Beautiful Lady.” While the entertainer began as a school uniform model and singer, he is perhaps better known for his acting prowess, having played parts of major drama series “The Heirs,” “Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth” and “Strong Girl Bong-soon.”

His acting career began in 2012, but he didn’t see a meteoric rise in popularity until 2017’s “Strong Girl Bong-soon.” For his performance he won the Popularity Award at The Seoul Awards, and his list of dramatic works continues to grow as he has been cast in a Korean remake of American TV show “Suits.”

He has also been recruited to model for Bean Pole’s Bike Repair Shop brand and most recently became the face of Filipino retail brand Bench.


3. IU

IU debuted as a solo artist in 2008 and became popular with chart toppers such as “Good Day” and “You and I.” Since her debut she has released four albums, each with increasing levels of popularity, and has hosted 14 different concert series across Asia.

Her first onscreen gig was as a cast member of variety show “Heroes,” but soon made her acting debut in “Dream High” alongside Suzy. Thanks to these endeavors, her fan base grew enormously. TV dramas she has recently starred as a lead in include “The Producers” and “Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo.”

Like Suzy, IU is known to earn a lot of her income based on endorsements, as Asian brands can’t seem to get enough of her. She has modeled for clothing and cosmetics brands while also being the face of Hite Jinro’s Chamisul Soju brand. Her frequent appearances on screen have helped her develop the “girl next door” image she has become known for.

By Serena Soh, Intern Reporter (sjsoh@heraldcorp.com)

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