K-Pop idols are no longer confined to the music stage. Many have embarked on successful acting careers, captivating hearts both domestically and internationally.
Star News recently conducted a survey where 31 renowned industry experts from top entertainment management cast their votes for the top male acting idols. Each expert nominated two male and two female idols for the list. Here’s a breakdown of the top male acting idols as chosen by the industry.
1. 2PM’s Junho
The 2PM star stole the show, securing the first spot with a staggering 21 votes out of 31. Having debuted as an actor with the movie Cold Eyes in 2013, Junho’s performances in films such as Twenty (2015) and dramas like Chief Kim (2017) earned him early acclaim. Though some of his projects may not have achieved blockbuster success, there was unanimous agreement about the caliber of his acting skills.
However, the game-changer was his post-military service drama — MBC‘s Red Sleeve in 2021 — which catapulted him to mega-stardom. His stellar performance led to over a hundred script offers. His most recent venture, King the Land on JTBC, reached the top spot on Netflix’s global TV segment.
2. EXO’s D.O. and ZE:A’s Siwan
Tied for second place, with 11 votes each, are EXO’s D.O. and ZE:A’s Siwan. D.O. made his acting debut in Cart (2014) and has been honing his craft for over a decade. His recent lead role in the massive film The Moon (2022) showcased his versatile acting skills. An entertainment company’s CEO highlighted D.O.’s capability to embrace a plethora of roles.
Siwan, on the other hand, has consistently challenged himself by exploring various genres. From his roles in The Attorney (2013) to Incomplete Life (2014), Siwan has showcased his depth as an actor. Remarkably, he became the first idol to grace Cannes with films like Bad Guy’s World (2017) and Emergency Declaration (2022).
3. ASTRO’s Eunwoo
Securing the fourth spot with 4 votes is ASTRO’s Cha Eunwoo, whose visual appeal is perfectly complemented by his evolving acting prowess.
The ASTRO star has showcased his diverse acting chops in projects such as My ID is Gangnam Beauty (2018), where he addressed the sensitive topic of beauty standards, and Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung‘ (2019), playing a lonely prince with a secret. His performances highlight his capability to tap into complex characters, reflecting maturity and depth beyond his years.
4. ZE:A’s Hyungsik & SF9’s Rowoon
Tying for fifth place are two idols whose on-screen charisma is hard to ignore. Park Hyungsik from ZE:A has been a noticeable figure in the entertainment world for quite some time. With dramas like Strong Woman Do Bong Soon (2017) — where he played a young and charismatic CEO — and Suits (2018), a Korean adaptation of the American series, Hyungsik has shown his flexibility as an actor.
SF9’s Rowoon, on the other hand, has been capturing hearts since his lead role in Extraordinary You (2019). In the series, he played a comic character that comes to life, bringing forth a performance filled with emotions, depth, and undeniable chemistry with his co-stars. Following that, his role in She Would Never Know (2021) as a passionate marketer with a one-sided love showed a different facet of his acting.