Just because you look good strutting down a runway doesn’t mean you have what it takes to be a good actor. But K-Dramas are full of models who have successfully navigated their way from the catwalk into television and films. Here’s a look at some of my favorites who made the transition look effortless.

Lee Jong-Suk was the youngest male model to strut down the runway at 2005’s Seoul Fashion Week. At 6’1″ tall and ridiculously handsome, the 16 year old was scouted by entertainment agencies to debut as an idol and an actor. Sometimes I wonder what he would’ve been like as part of a boy band, but acting clearly is his calling. He’s winning rave reviews for his current series, the charming “Romance is a Bonus Book.” Fans who’d like to catch up on some of his earlier work should check out “W,” “Pinocchio,” “I Can Hear Your Voice” and — one of my favorites — “While You Were Sleeping” (which is available right here on KOCOWA).

Kim Woo-Bin was 20 years old when he made his modeling debut. He and Lee Jong-Suk knew each other from the fashion world. The two would go on to star opposite each other as frenemies with a complicated past in the high school series, “School 2013.” Kim won international fame after appearing as bad boy Choi Young-Do in the hit K-Drama “Heirs.” He showed off his growth as an actor with his lead role in “Uncontrollably Fond,” where he poignantly portrayed a character who was dying. After announcing in 2017 that he had nasopharyngeal cancer, Kim has taken a break from work. When he’s ready to make his comeback, his fans will be there to welcome him.

Lee Sung-Kyung and Nam Joo-Hyuk acted together in “Cheese in the Trap” and “Weightlifting Fairy, Kim Bok-joo.” It was after playing romantic leads in the latter series that the two fell in love and made K-Drama fangirls (and fanboys) squeal in delight. Both tall, leggy and impossibly good looking, the former models looked like they were made for each other. Sadly, their relationship was short-lived. But that didn’t stop viewers from wishing they would couple up again in the future … or at least shoot another K-Drama together!

OK, so these are some of my favorite models-turned-actors. Who are yours? Let me know in the comments section.

Be sure to follow @GoAwayWithJae, where I tweet about all things Korean.🇰🇷


  1. Avatar

    Definitely, what a fantastic website and informative posts, I surely will bookmark your site.Best Regards!

  2. Avatar

    It is really a nice and helpful piece of info. I am happy that you shared this useful information with us. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Avatar

    Lee jong suk is my favorite watch all his kdrama n series now on going with them.. Romance is a bonus book… Can’t wait for all episodes to be release

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