A few k-drama stars had a head start on their careers, landing their first roles while they were still in school. Attracting attention for their portrayal of the younger version of other actors naturally led to a succession of roles and leading roles when they came of age.
Moon Geun Young made her debut at age 12. She played the younger version of the character played by Song Hye Kyo, in the Hallyu hit “Autumn in My Heart.” Three years later she starred in the horror film “A Tale of Two Sisters” and then followed that with the box office hit, “My Little Bride.”
Jang Geun Suk, who also began working when he was a child actor, once said that it was easy to relate to Moon Geun Young, who co-starred with him in “Mary Stayed Out All Night.”
“We share so many things in common, such as working as child stars,” he told SportsSeoul. He described her as smart and cool.
Jang Geun Suk started to work at the tender age of five. A talent agent discovered him when his parents tried to sell a house to the agent. For the next five years he worked as a model. He made his acting debut in 1997 in the sitcom “Selling Happiness.” After going to school in New Zealand, he returned to Korea for a role in the MBC sitcom “Nonstop 4.”
Jang Geun Suk’s “You’re Beautiful” co-star Park Shin Hye first attracted notice at age 13 when she played the younger version of Choi Ji Woo’s character in the 2003 drama “Stairway to Heaven.” She did several dramas the next year and in 2006 had a role in “Tree of Heaven.” After a succession of younger roles, Park Shin Hye eased seamlessly into more grown-up roles without losing any of the charm that made her so appealing as a child actress. Her last film “Miracle in Cell #7” was a box office hit and her role as Cha Eun Sang in “The Heirs” propelled her into even bigger Hallyu stardom.
Yoo Seung Ho was nine when he made his film debut in “The Way Home” and his drama debut in “Daddy Fish.” He went on to appear in dramas such as “Love Letter,” “Sad Love Story” and played the teenager Damdeok in “The Legend.” He has had several leading roles since then, including playing the sad but evil Kang Hyung Joon in “Missing You” with Park Yoochun and Yoon Eun Hye. Currently serving his mandatory two-year-military duty, the 20-year-old actor will be a hot commodity when he is discharged.