You already know they’re good at acting, but did you know that some of your fave K-drama oppas are great singers too? These talented actors rock the musical theatre scene like no other. Some of them even got their start as musical actors before shifting to the small screen. Check out the list below!
K-Drama Stars Who Are Also Musical Actors
1. Uhm Ki Joon
Musical Theatre Debut: Oliver! (1996)
First Big K-Drama: Worlds Within (2008)
Notable K-Dramas: Scent Of A Woman, Innocent Defendant, The Penthouse
Everybody loves to hate Uhm Ki Joon because he’s just so good at playing villains (tell us you didn’t scream in frustration while watching him in The Penthouse), but that’s just the tip of the iceberg for this amazing award-winning actor. He was already a prolific musical actor for a decade before he made his small screen debut in Drama City in 2006. He continues to be active in musical theatre, his latest ventures being roles as Edmond Dantes in The Count Of Monte Cristo and Myung Woo in Kwanghamun Sonata.
2. Cho Seung Woo
Musical Theatre Debut: Blood Brothers (2000)
First Big K-Drama: The King’s Doctor (2012)
Notable K-Dramas: God’s Gift: 14 Days, Stranger, Life
Cho Seung Woo grew up in a family of singers, so it was only natural that he gravitated towards a career in musical theatre. He’s a legend with impressive talent and the ticket selling power to match, performing for sold-out crowds, most notably for his roles in Man Of La Mancha, Jekyll & Hyde, and Hedwig And The Angry Inch. He has also won a long list of awards in both fields, including a Daesang (Grand Prize) for his role in the drama The King’s Doctor. Seung Woo is actually more of a film actor than a drama actor (you might remember him with Son Ye Jin in The Classic), but the few dramas he selects are always of high quality.
3. Jo Jung Suk
Musical Theatre Debut: The Nutcracker (2004)
First Big K-Drama: The King 2 Hearts (2011)
This charismatic actor regularly displays his singing chops in Hospital Playlist as he performs with the rest of the doctor crew in a band. He even released songs as part of his past dramas’ OSTs. Jung Suk is an award-winning film and drama actor now, but before he became successful, he had to drop out of Seoul Institute of the Arts where he was studying theatre. After his father’s death, he needed to start earning money from musicals to support his mother. Jung Suk’s talent shot him to musical theatre fame. He has acted in more than 20 musicals, most notably Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
4. Shin Sung Rok
Musical Theatre Debut: Moskito (2004)
First Big K-Drama: My Love From The Star (2010)
Notable K-Dramas: The Last Empress, Vagabond, Kairos
You might remember Sung Rok from his stint on the variety show All the Butlers, but he’s also a talented veteran actor. He first ventured into musical theatre after having a hard time getting acting roles, and he has been active in the field since then. He got nominated for Best New Actor at the Korea Musical Awards for his role in Dancing Shadows. Sung Rok slowly started getting roles on TV as well, but it was only when he starred as the antagonist of the hit drama My Love From The Star that he really broke through. He has gotten regular drama roles since then, even winning awards, including Top Excellence for his latest drama, Kairos.
5. Kang Ha Neul
Musical Theatre Debut: The Celestial Watch (2006)
First Big K-Drama: The Heirs (2013)
We love Ha Neul’s gorgeous smile! This versatile and highly sought-after actor is a regular on both the silver and small screens. He graduated from Chung Ang University with a theatre and film degree and started an illustrious career in musical theatre. Among his notable works are Prince Puzzle and Assassins. Now, he’s a critically-acclaimed actor. His latest achievement was winning multiple Best Actor awards for his lead role in the highly-rated drama When the Camellia Blooms.
6. Ji Chang Wook
Musical Theatre Debut: Fire And Ice (2007)
First Big K-Drama: Smile Again (2010-2011)
Notable K-Dramas: Empress Ki, Healer, Suspicious Partner
When Chang Wook got his big break as Donghae in Smile Again for which he won Best Actor, his career could only go up. This leading man has sizzling chemistry with all of his on-screen partners (we’re still not over Healer, seven years later), but his first love is actually musical theatre. A performing arts graduate from Donkook University, Chang Wook immediately worked in musicals after uni, and he continued taking musical roles, even as his acting career flourished. He also participated in musicals during his mandatory military service.
7. Joo Won
Musical Theatre Debut: Altar Boyz (2007)
First Big K-Drama: King Of Baking, Kim Tak Gu (2010)
Notable K-Dramas: Bridal Mask, Good Doctor, Yong Pal
A boy with a great love for singing, Joo Won graduated from Sungkyunkwan University with a film and TV degree. He got his start as a musical actor with Altar Boyz, but it was his work in Spring Awakening that eventually led him to his entertainment agency. Joo Won unexpectedly melted the public’s hearts when he played the antagonist in King Of Baking, Kim Tak Gu. He has turned into a leading man in his own right since then, and he eventually won the prestigious Daesang (Grand Prize) for his role in Yong Pal.
8. Yoo Yeon Seok
Musical Theatre Debut: Le Passe-Muraille (2015)
First Big K-Drama: Gu Family Book (2010)
Unlike the rest of the actors on our list, Yeon Seok started his acting career first before branching out and also trying musical theatre. He was better known for films like Architecture 101 and A Werewolf Boy before getting the role of Tae Soo in Gu Family Book. His popularity exploded as Chilbong in the hit series Reply 1994, and he’s been an in-demand leading man since then. He starred in his first musical, Le Passe-Muraille, the same year he got the lead role for the drama Warm and Cozy.
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