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K-Drama Actors Who Once Had Other Career Plans

BY Julie Jones | Aug 01, 2014 10:07 AM EDT

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Viewers who saw the episodes of "Fated To Love You" that Wang Ji Won dances in, might wonder if the drama's producers had to use a body double. But it's actually Wang Ji Won dancing in those scenes. She trained as a ballerina with the Royal Ballet School in England, studied dance at the Korea National University of Arts and was a member of the Korea National Ballet in 2009.

She did not start acting until 2012 when she appeared as Kim So Yeon's frenemy in "I Need Romance 3."

Many k-drama actors began their careers as singer or models. But Wang Ji Won is one of the few actors who really had no idea they would become entertainers.

Lee Jin Wook, who will play a prince in the upcoming drama "Three Musketeers," attended college with a view toward becoming an engineer. He was studying environmental engineering at Cheongju University when he decided on a career change. He debuted as a model and then made his acting debut in a short film titled "My New Boyfriend."

So Ji Sub, last seen in "The Master's Sun" is another actor who might never have acted. He originally wanted to a professional swimmer.

He only took a modeling assignment because it provided him with the opportunity to see one of his favorite hip-hop musicians, Kim Sung-jae. Modeling led to acting and the rest is history.
"I was never really interested in becoming a celebrity," he told the Korea Herald. "My life was all about swimming and hip hop music. I did modeling because I wanted to see Kim and also because it was the best way to earn good easy money."

His fans are happy that modeling led to acting.

When Ji Chang Wook was in high school he wanted to be everything but an actor.

"When I was even younger, my dreams kept changing," he said in an interview with 10Asia. "I wanted to be in the police force, a teacher, a judge, lawyer, doctor and other jobs. Of course, my mind changed as I started to face reality."

His reality turned out to be more interesting than he might have imagined. Since then he has played a speed skater, a warrior and most recently an emperor in "Empress Ki."

Kim Tae Hee never meant to become an actress either. The star of the drama "Jang Ok Jung" and the Chinese film "Wang Xizi" received a bachelor's degree in fashion design from Seoul Natioanl University.

"When I first started I never wanted to be an actress, it just came to me after doing commercials that the public liked a lot," she said in an interview with CNN Travel. "I gained more confidence as I grasped the artistry of it, and I've become increasingly greedy in wanting to know more about it so now it's something that I want to continue."

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