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(News Focus) Model-turned-actors take small screen by storm

All News 12:09 September 07, 2016

By Woo Jae-yeon, Youn Go-eun

SEOUL, Sept. 7 (Yonhap) -- They are tall. Most of them are over 180 centimeters. Some of them are even taller than 190 cm, flaunting their endless legs that draw admiration and jealousy from TV watchers all at the same time.

Watching model-turned-actors perform on the small screen feels like sitting in the front row of a fashion show. TV monitors are turned into to a catwalk that they strut down, showing off their beautiful faces and slim but muscular frames.

South Korean actor Lee Jong-suk poses for a photo at a press briefing on his new drama "W" on July 18, 2016. (Yonhap)

It would not be an overstatement to say that model-turned-actors grip Korean television shows at the moment. How good stories are isn't as an important issue as the fact that fans can have the rare chance to swoon over an army of hot male stars.

Last Wednesday, MBC TV's sci-fi romance "W" aired its final episode. In the last scene, the male lead Lee Jong-suk walked towards the camera, looking content and confident, just like he would do on the runway. In the same slot, the competing drama, as if not to lose the competition, broad-shouldered, towering Kim Woo-bin stole the hearts of women fans.

South Korean actor Kim Woo-bin walks onto the stage during a press conference for KBS 2TV's new drama "Uncontrollably Fond" on July 4, 2016. (Yonhap)

The drama "W" featured another model-turned-actor Lee Tae-hwan, who played the right-hand man and bodyguard of Lee Jong-suk’s protagonist. Due to his imposing style and mystic aura, just standing in a scene, even without uttering a word, felt like more than enough for the rookie to accomplish his job.

South Korean actor Lee Tae-hwan poses for a photo during the press conference for MBC's new drama "W" on July 18, 2016. (Yonhap)

In SBS TV's new drama "Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo," there are two former models; Nam Ju-hyuk and Hong Jong-hyun, both playing princes during the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). According to the cameramen of the show, it is challenging to capture the two actors in full length when they are in the same shot with much smaller actors.

South Korean actor Nam Ju-hyuk walks onto the stage at the press briefing for "Cheese in the Trap" on December 22, 2016. (Yonhap)
This undated Yonhap file photo shows South Korean actor Hong Jong-hyun. (Yonhap)

Cable channel tvN's "Cinderella and Four Knights" also has its own ammunition, Ahn Jae-hyun. Lee Kwang-soo of popular variety show "Running Man" will appear in the new show "Entourage" on tvN starting in November.

The entertainment industry used to believe that good looks and a gorgeous body do not always guarantee excellent performances. But these actors have all proven that they are the total package.

The actors' vast experiences on the catwalk helped them stay confident and undaunted in front of camera, industry watchers said. Moreover, modeling in itself has evolved into a job in Korea that demands acting skills and unfettered emotional expression.

South Korean actor Ahn Jae-hyun walks into the press conference hall for tvN's "New Journey to the West 2" on April 15, 2016. (Yonhap)


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