The recent trend in idol artists' movement into the film industry looks to be in for a long haul. Why? K-pop idols can kill two birds with one stone: advertisement and ticket sales. In addition, foreign investment is readily available due to their enormous popularity overseas.
"Our Heaven" is the first idol-led film of the year. FTISLAND's Lee Hong Ki plays the main character. Also, 2PM's Junho's "The Watchers" and Big Bang's T.O.P's "Classmate" are coming soon. Girls' Generation's Yuri was recently cast for "No Blessing."
The trend from last year's hot streak of idol-led movies is sailing along. In 2012, miss A's Suzy, JYJ's Jaejoong, 2AM's Seulong, U-KISS Dong Ho and ZE:A's Dong Joon hit the big screens.
Before we delve into the forecast of this year's upcoming film, let us review the track records of last year's performances by various idols-turned-actors.
Seulong's "26 Years" recorded 2.9 million in attendance, Dong Ho's 'Don't Cry Mommy' 970,000, Dong Joon's 'Employee' 1.1 million, JYJ Jaejoong's 'Jackal' 210,000 and Suzy's 'Architecture 101' the highest 4.1 million.
The critics' reviews were every bit as various as their performances in the Box Office. Suzy's flawless in-character acting of a college freshman in 'Architecture 101' catapulted her acting career to a shrine reserved for mainstream movie stars. Seulong and Dong Joon got the nod as promising actors. JYJ Jaejoong showed a different side of him as a comical character, while Dong Ho became a hot issue with unnatural acting skills.
Due to the inexperience of idol artists in film, many of their first roles are not too different from their real-life persona like musicians and idols. That way, the pressure is relieved for the idols and the fans are less repulsive to the idols-turned-actors.
But it would not be right to downplay their bravery in jumping into the film industry just because they have chosen characters that are not entirely different from their own lives. Although they may be similar on the surface, the intricacies played out by the idols were quite novel and enlightening, to say the least. JYJ Jaejoong described the pain of dealing with paparazzis and diehard fans who intrude his home as well as an inappropriate relationship with an older sponsor behind closed doors.
There has been a great amount of criticism at idols-turned-actors for their unprepared transition into acting. But times have changed and we do not see as much ill-advised casting that result in disasters as we used to. Clearly, the idols who have decided to venture into the new territory of acting did so after much consideration and training. As long as the sincerity and the work ethic for acting go hand in hand, we will see more critically-acclaimed products from our idols-turned-actors.
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