Rookie actors express their concern over idol actors

Article: "There are an abundance of actors so why would they use idols?" A concern of an actor aspirant

Star Today via Nate

24 year old actress aspirant A is on her way to film a short film in Hongdae. With her is one big bag and various shopping bags filled with clothing. Because she doesn't have her own manager or coordi, she has to prepare clothing and props on her own.

Although she isn't a theater or acting major, it's been a longtime dream of hers to become an actress, and she figures it's now or never. She's been at it for three years so far, starting with small theater stages and working her way up to a few roles in some short films. Still, the road to calling herself a full fledged actress seems long and difficult.

Minor role actor B, 33 years old, works part time at a restaurant on days when he doesn't have filmings. "I honestly make more money here than what I get paid for filming." He doesn't want to give up his dream, though, because he feels happiness on the set of the film crew.

There are about 520 registered actors with the Korean Movie Actors' Association. In total, there are probably over 5,000 if you count the actors registered with other associations, aspirants, and trainees. Their jobs are limited to dramas, movies, theaters, and musicals. Currently, 5-6 dramas are being aired on KBS, SBS, and MBC, and about 30 in total if you count the cable channels. Last year, a total of 150 Korean movies were released. A couple dozen musicals and theater shows are put on in a year.

Although the numbers may seem like a lot, there aren't a lot of opportunities for actors to demonstrate what they're capable of. Landing a role to appear on TV is about as difficult as snatching a star out of the sky.

There is an exception, though. Actors with unique images or appearances and popular idols and singers have a better chance landing such roles. Singers especially don't have to prove their acting talents at all, as they're handed roles in dramas, movies, and musicals thanks to their name value alone.

Producers can't ignore the ticketing power that these stars hold. Unfortunately, it comes with a price, as the producers and the cast end up earning criticism in the end, with one such example being TVXQ's Yunho, who played the role of 'Baek Do Hoon' in SBS's 'Yawang'. Fans welcomed his appearance on TV and loved his acting, but there were just as much criticism on his acting actually bringing down the quality of the drama.

There are a lot of singers who have earned favorable reviews acting on TV as well, however. From JYJ's Yoochun to After School's UEE, as well as IU, who's been receiving love for 'The Best Lee Soon Shin'. Yunho also has shown improvement. Unfortunately, what they should be aiming for is not improvement but acting that would make anyone give them a thumbs up because there are a lot more aspirants who dream of being in the position they are.

B said, "They keep saying that there aren't a lot of 20 something year old actors to choose from, but I know so many actors that are great at acting. I really don't understand why they keep using singers. Producers are just using them for their ticketing power, which I can understand but don't exactly agree with."

A said, "I do admit to feeling jealous of idol singers being able to land roles so easily. Because they got hooked up with a strong company, they're able to sing and act. I auditioned for a management agency in the past and they asked me, 'How about you sing first and then go into acting once you earn popularity. It's an easier option.' I used to wonder why people would use idol singers when there are so many other talented actors, but I realized that it all depends on your popularity. I wanted to take the offer, but I wanted to act more than to sing so I rejected it."

A popular drama producer stated, "I do admit that we expect to garner interest from the fans of the singers. That's not all, though. We cast singers as an actor and because we feel that they're the best fit for the role."


1. [+194, -12] Sure, I can understand using idols. The problem is that the producers are using idols without any acting skills whatsoever as if they're some type of insurance. They're using idols as capital in important movies and dramas. Nobody would care if they could at least act, but they're lowering the quality and the flow of the work with their crappy acting.

2. [+167, -71] It's easy to export it overseas if they use idols... There were even rumors of  Dr. Jin selling out overseas because of Jaejoong being in it.

3. [+139, -16] It's truly a problem ㅜㅜ Seems like idol singers all turn to acting once they reach a certain age ㅜㅜ Of course, there are exceptions but they should stop!

4. [+48, -16] Honestly, there are just as many actors that suck at acting... It's just that idols get hated on because of their image and the ease at which they land roles.

5. [+43, -8] There were actual fans that liked Yunho's acting...? Was I the only one that hated it...

6. [+40, -20] IU's a good actress..???????????????

7. [+23, -18] You have to admit that Yoochun, UEE, Suzy, or Lee Seung Gi are all worse than professional actors. They're just pushing forward with their fandom.

8. [+19, -12] Well we live in a reality where Park Yoochun can win three trophies at year-end ceremonies ㅡㅡ

9. [+19, -0] It's worth getting the hate and using idols because they earn a fanbase, export rights, investments, etc... And there are plenty of actors who don't have any skills, but still, leave the acting up to the actors...

10. [+18, -2] I think it's okay to use idols, as long as they're talented and they go through the same audition process as anyone else. There are actors who suck at acting as well, you know...


Source: Everyday Economy via Naver

1. [+40, -2] Even if they're an idol, if their acting's okay, I don't see why it'd be a problem. There are, however, those that suck really badly like that elephant Suzy... She just crosses the line. I've never seen more crappier acting than her's. Absolutely jaw dropping with how bad she is in 'Big'.

2. [+33, -4] If they are going to use idols, I'd rather they mix them up with other good actors so that even if they suck, the other can carry them. Soon that drama with Suzy and Lee Seung Gi will begin and I can tell already with it being a historical drama that it's going to suck

3. [+30, -4] Suzy's going to be in another historical drama... and I truly wonder whether producers see anything in Suzy's acting. I can never understand them. Her pronunciation, her voice, and her looks are just enough to be a singer. She looks so plain and like a little high school student in her dramas.. I don't see anything about her that says actress.

4. [+14, -4] Producers are obviously using idols to export the drama, not for their acting skills.

5. [+19, -10] For some reason, any drama with an idol in it just doesn't feel serious.