11 K-Drama Actors Who Are Also In Musical Theater
Sometimes you come across an actor in a particular K-drama that really tickles your fancy. After doing some digging, you realize that this person can actually sing really well, and with even more digging, you discover that they have a history in musicals. Many actors are jack of all trades when it comes to entertainment and talent! Here are 10 actors who were or are still active in musicals.
Disclaimer: No idol actors were included on this list.
Ji Chang Wook started his career in showbiz through musicals. He went to Dankook University where he studied performing arts and quickly got into the industry after graduating. He debuted on screen in the 2016 flick “Days,” but still continued to partake in musicals. When he enlisted in the military in 2017, he was even part of a production that was affiliated with the Korean army alongside some other familiar actors and celebrities.
Here is a clip of him showing off his musical talent:
2. Joo Won
Joo Won has always had a love for singing since he was a child, so it was no surprise when he auditioned for the widely known musical “Altar Boyz.” This marked a pivotal point in Joo Won’s musical career as he was able to land many other roles in popular productions, including his most popular role in the musical “Spring Awakening.” His career in musicals led him to debut on the small screen in the 2010 K-drama “Bread, Love and Dreams.” The drama was a mega success, and Joo Won’s career in dramas took off at full speed.
Here is a clip of Joo Won in his latest role in the musical “Ghost”:
3. Kang Ha Neul
Kang Ha Neul’s singing ability definitely comes from the likes of his father, who is a well-known folk musician. He grew up singing and learning the guitar, so it was only natural for him to get into musical theater! His most notable appearances were in the musicals “Thrill Me,” “Prince Puzzle,” and “Assassins.” Somewhere along the line, he decided to make the shift into dramas and it was pretty effortless as a result of his incredible acting talent. Despite this, he could not get away from the world of musicals. He was also part of one when he served in the military along with Ji Chang Wook and INFINITE’s Sunggyu.
Here he is as Paldo in the musical he was part of for Shinheung Military Academy:
4. Uhm Ki Joon
Uhm Ki Joon’s impressive musical career took off when he starred in several hits including “Singing in the Rain,” “Grease,” “The Three Musketeers,” “The Count of Monte Cristo,” and a lot of others. His impressive lineup of starring in such popular roles and titles made him a very sought-after and respected theatrical actor. With this accredited fame, he began his career on screen and proved that there was no stopping his road to success. He still continues to act in musicals and even starred in the play “Werther” last year.
Here is a clip of him singing in the musical “Masta Hari” showcase:
5. Jo Jung Suk
Jo Jung Suk went to the Seoul Institute of the Arts for theater but had to drop out as a result of his father passing away and him having to earn money. His talent was evident as he was able to make a living doing musicals. He was able to make his debut in the 2004 musical production of “The Nutcracker,” and he continued his career, partaking in over 25 musicals including one of his more popular roles in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”
6. Park Hae Soo
Park Hae Soo has been making a name for himself in the K-drama industry, but he started his career in musical theater. He debuted in the production “Mister Lobby” in 2007 and went on to appear in several others including “Angel Called Desire” and “Annapurna.” He was scouted by the director of “Prison Playbook” who was looking at musical theater actors in particular and had his heart set on Hae Soo to be the main lead. This was his big breakthrough K-drama role that was made possible as a result of his musical career!
Many know Lee Kyu Hyung from his role as Looney in “Prison Playbook,” but what people may be surprised to know is that he is very well-known in the musical industry and is very talented. He was always into theater and was even involved in the theater club in high school. He continued his career in theater and musicals long after he graduated from university. He was also part of the “Hedwig” cast in 2019 and continues to partake in various music productions.
Another “Prison Playbook” star and talented musical actor, Kim Sung Cheol is impressive no matter which role he takes on. In 2015, he won the male rookie award for Best Musical Actor at the Stagetalk Audience Choice Awards. A couple years later, he won Best New Actor for his role in “Sweeney Todd” at the Korea Musical Awards. Kim Sung Cheol is always noted for his incredible acting skills as well as his flawless singing. His first K-drama debut was in “Prison Playbook” as the loyal and smart Kim Young Cheol.
Check out his talented singing skills in the short drama special “to. Jenny”:
Having graduated with a degree in theater arts, Yoo Joon Sang effortlessly made the transition as an onscreen star rather quickly. Despite his success in K-dramas and movies, he also was a part of various musical productions including “The Three Musketeers,” “Jack the Ripper,” “Rebecca,” and “The Days.” He also won various musical awards including the Star of the Year Award at the Daegu International Musical Festival and Best Actor at the Korea Musical Awards.
You can get a glimpse of his musical talent here:
10. Cho Seung Woo
Cho Seung Woo’s path to musical theater came very naturally as both his mother and father were established musical performers. Although he always had a desire to get into musicals, he landed the audition for a role in the movie “Chunhyang,” which would pave the way for many other successful movies and K-dramas. After debuting in his first movie, Cho Seung Woo started his very successful and notable career in musicals, which made him a rarity among Hallyu actors as he was able to be a huge success in both musicals and K-dramas/movies. The amount of nominations and received awards in Cho Seung Woo’s musical career is astounding to say the least!
Here is a clip of his performance in “Sweeney Todd”:
11. Yoo Yeon Seok
Many know Yoo Yeon Seok for his swoon-worthy drama and film characters, but he has also been in several musicals. But it wasn’t until he was well into his acting career that he was part of any musical productions. His first musical performance was in the 2015 production “Le Passe-Muraille.” From this point on, he continued performing in other plays that were huge successes including “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” “Werther,” and most notably, “Hedwig.”
Here is a clip of him showcasing his flawless talent in “Le Passe-Muraille”:
Hey Soompiers, which of these musical actors is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!
binahearts is a Soompi writer whose ultimate biases are Song Joong Ki and BIGBANG, but lately she has been seen obsessing over Hwang In Yeop. She is also the author of “K-POP A To Z: The Definitive K-Pop Encyclopedia.” Make sure you follow binahearts on Instagram as she journeys through her latest Korean crazes!
Currently watching: “Unexpected Business,” “Vincenzo,” “The Penthouse 2,” and “Hello, Me!”
All-time favorite dramas: “Secret Garden” and “True Beauty”
Looking forward to: Won Bin‘s return to the small screen