There are many Korean actors and actresses who debuted as a stage or musical actor and then slowly transitioned to small screen or film. However, some actors have not given up their stage acting roots as they have developed a strong fan base from their theatre days. The following 7 actors and actresses continue to stay active in both fields while earning success and praise for both.
1. Cho Seung Woo
Cho Seung Woo’s acting debut was in the film “Chunhyang,” where he won the audition over 1,000 actors. After his film debut, he went back to musicals and started to act in local productions, “Subway Line 1” and “The Last Empress.” Ever since, Cho Seung Woo has been juggling between both musical and film, being a success in both fields. He has received numerous Best Actor awards for his performances in musical, film and TV drama. Up to today, Cho Seung Woo continues to take part in film, drama and musical; leaving a strong impression with viewers and recognition for his works.
2. Park Eun Seok
Park Eun Seok’s debut was in stage performance for “Rooftop House Cat,” and over the years he acted in over 11 plays which laid out his acting foundation. Due to his high ticket selling power and good looks, he was coined “Dae-hak ro Idol.” Dae-hak ro is a region in Seoul known for performance arts. While as a stage actor, he became more active in TV dramas in 2015 and slowly gained recognition in his roles in “The Gentlemen of Wolgyesu Tailor Shop,” “The Rebel,” and “Partners for Justice.” Park Eun Seok’s small screen breakthrough came from his role as Logan Lee/Gu Ho Dong in “The Penthouse”, also winning him the title of Best Supporting Actor. He continues to focus in both theatre and drama, with “The Penthouse 3” being filmed concurrently with his upcoming theatre performance “Amadeus.”
3. Lee Kyu Hyung
Lee Kyu Hyung began his acting career in theatre and made his film debut in 2001 with a minor role in “Kick the Moon.” His main focus is on theatre and musical performances but was casted in minor supporting film and drama roles over the years. 12 years after his debut, Lee Kyu Hyung finally gained success from his role in “Prison Playbook.” His distinct voice and portrayal of different personalities of Yoo Han Yang left an unforgettable impression with Korean and overseas viewers. Following his increased popularity from “Prison Playbook,” he also began to receive recognition for his stage performances in “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” “Cyrano,” and “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” Since his success, he has earned drama leading roles in “Doctor John” and “Hi Bye, Mama!” while continuing to bring amazing performances on stage.
4. Uhm Ki Joon
Though known as a musical theatre actor, Uhm Ki Joon actually made his acting debut in stage play “Richard III” in 1995. However, he was only known to the broader public when he began to take part in supporting roles in dramas, such as “Dream High,” “Worlds Within, “Scent of a Woman.” He has taken part in a diverse variety of roles in drama and greatly showcased his acting through detailed portrayal of each character which earned him multiple drama actor awards. Most recently, Uhm Ki Joon’s depiction of Joo Dan Tae in “The Penthouse” series has increased his popularity and was ranked one of the most buzzworthy drama cast members during the run of the drama. He continues to be active in between musical and drama, currently being occupied with performance in musical “The Count of Monte Cristo” and filming of “The Penthouse 3.”
5. Kim Seon Ho
Kim Seon Ho began his career on stage in “New Boeing Boeing” in 2009 and small screen debut in 2017 in drama “Good Manager.” He received some recognition during his days as a stage actor but his popularity increased after starring in the drama “Two Cops,” which earned him two awards in MBC Drama Awards, and joining the cast in the fourth season of reality show “2 Days and 1 Night.” Kim Seon Ho’s breakthrough came in the portrayal as Han Ji Pyo in “Start Up.” Though Kim Seon Ho is more known as a drama actor, he never gave up on stage acting as he continued to take part in theatre simultaneously with his busy schedule of drama and variety show filming. After his breakthrough in “Start Up,” he made his comeback to theatre through the play “Ice.”
6. Jeon Mi Do
Jeon Mi Do is a well-known musical actor with her stage debut in the musical “Mr. Mouse” in 2006. Compared to other actors who are successful in both stage and drama, she can be considered a late joiner. Her television debut came in 2018 when she starred in a minor role in the drama “Mother.” However, her breakthrough only came two years later when she landed one of the leading roles as Chae Song Hwa in “Hospital Playlist.” She has received a lot of praise, popularity and recognition from this role but will continue to juggle between musical and filming of “Hospital Playlist 2,” which is set to air in June 2021.
7. Shin Sung Rok
Shin Sung Rok is a well known musical theatre actor and appears frequently in tv and films. He initially wanted to debut as an actor but was having difficulty being casted due to his height. As such, he changed his goal and decided to join a theatre company to hone his acting skills. He debuted in the musical “Moskito” in 2004 and his breakthrough into television came 2 years after. While performing the musical “Dracula,” he was invited to cast for a substantial role in the drama “Hyena.” His outstanding acting in “Hyena” led to many supporting drama roles and variety show offers. Though Shin Sung Rok made his breakthrough and recognition in television, he continued to take part in musicals and continued to impress audiences and critics with his acting and vocals. Shin Sung Rok has once stated in an interview that he will continue to perform on stage no matter how busy he is, as it is the place where he learned acting and gained confidence. We can be sure to continue seeing Shin Sung Rok’s powerful performances both on stage and on television.
Which actor has won your heart with their stage and television performance? Share your comments below!