Actors always gain new skills since they work in the performing industry and shoot movies and dramas. A few well-known actors found a new enthusiasm for directing films as they gained skill and time. They not only develop their acting abilities but also watch and pick up on the directing methods used on location. We occasionally find that an actor has determined to take things a step further and work on an individual undertaking as the director. Although being a director is not an easy task, the artists listed below can establish careers as both actors and directors. There have even been instances where these actors who later switched to directing have achieved such success in their films that their directing CV is more extensive than their acting credits. So, let's look at the top 10 Korean actors turned directors.
1. Oh Man Seok
Oh Man-Seok is a South Korean actor born on December 19, 1974. He graduated from the School of Drama at Korea National University of Arts. In the beginning, he worked for different plays and musicals but later moved on to star in movies and dramas. He is best known for his roles in Our Town, Crash Landing on You, and Soo: Revenge for a Twisted Fate. He debuted as a director with the musical Happy Life (2008) and then The Harmonium in My Memory (2010−2011), Toxic Avenger (2011), and True West (2015).
2. Koo Hye-Sun
Koo Hye-sun is a South Korean actress, singer, songwriter, and director born on November 9, 1984. She became famous for her role as Geum Jan-di in Boys over Flower. Her short film, Madonna, marked her debut as a director. Eventually, she founded her own company, Koo Hye-sun Film, under which she would film her work. She has directed many movies, short films, and TV movies till now. Some of her known film projects are Magic (2010), Daughter (2014), and The Peach Tree (2011).
3. Hwang Jung-Min
Hwang Jung-min is a South Korean veteran actor. It is no wonder that Jung-min is one of South Korea's top-grossing actors and has starred in several box office hits. The actor started his career in musical theatre with Line 1 in 1995. His best-known roles include Ode to My Father, Veteran, The Himalayas, A Violent Prosecutor, and The Wailing. In late 2012, Hwang made his debut as a theatre director in Stephen Sondheim's musical Assassins, where he also starred.
4. Park Jung-Min
Park Jeong-min is a South Korean actor born on March 24, 1987. He is known for his roles in the film Bleak Night (2011), Dongju: The Portrait of Poet (2015), Keys to the heart (2018), and Deliver us from Evil (2020). Later in 2021, Jeong-min made his directorial debut with the short film Unframed - Vote for Inno.
5. Choi Tae Hyun
Choi Tae-Hyun (born on March 25, 1976) is a South Korean actor, television personality, singer, radio DJ, and director. Tae-Hyun came to rose in popularity with the successful romantic comedy-drama My Sassy Girl (2001). He also appeared in dramas like Scandal Makers (2008) and Hello Ghost (2010). In 2017, he made his directorial debut with KBS2's drama Hit The Top.
6. Namkoong Min
Namkoong Min, born on March 12, 1978, is a South Korean actor, director, and screenwriter. The film Bungee Jumping of Their Own was Namkoong Min's acting debut. He gained immense popularity from the role in the neo-noir film A Dirty Carnival (2006) and, Listen to My Heart (2011). He made his first directorial debut through the movie Light My Fire.
7. Han Jung Woo
Han Jung-woo (born on March 11, 1978) is a South Korean actor, director, producer, and screenwriter. In South Korea, Jung Woo ranks among the highest-grossing actors. He debuted as an actor in 2002 with the SBS sitcom Honest Living and gained immense popularity by starring in the film The Chaser (2018). Jung Woo made his directorial debut in the comedy film Fasten your Seatbelt (2013). He also directed a movie named, Chronicle of a Blood Merchant (2015).
8. Jung Jin Young
Jung Jin Young (born on November 29, 1964) is a South Korean actor. He has acted in many known films such as The Case of Itaewon Homicide and Hi! Dharma! Blunt, King, and The Clown. He also appeared in the television series The Kingdom of the Winds Dong Yi, Brain, and Love Rain. In 2020, he directed a mystery drama film, Me and Me.
9. Kim Yoon Seok
Kim Yoon-Seok (born on January 21, 1967) is a South Korean actor, film director, and screenwriter. Yoon Seok made his debut as a stage actor. His performance in the movie The Chaser (2018) brought him wide recognition and many awards. In 2019, he directed the film Another Child.
10. Moon So-Ri
Moon So-ri (born on July 2, 1974) is a South Korean actress, film director, and screenwriter. She is best known for her roles in Oasis and A Good Lawyer's Wife. In 2017, Moon made her directorial debut with the short film The Actress. And the film premiered at the 19th Busan International Film Festival.