In the Korean entertainment industry, it’s pretty frequent to find Kpop idols who changed their name, a lot use a stage name instead which sometimes differs greatly from their real name.
Kpop idols aren’t the only Korean celebrities who change their name, the same goes for Korean actors and actresses who also sometimes change their names. Sometimes you can spot the similarities and sometimes it’s totally different from what you’d expect.
So here is a list of some Korean actors and actresses who changed their name and go by a different stage name.
[NOTE: this is not a comprehensive list; there are many others who also changed their names]
Hyun Bin is actually something very different from the one he was born with. His real name is Kim Tae Pyung which a lot more difficult to pronounce. The actor took on the stage name Hyun Bin since his early career days.
One of the most popular Korean actors of all time is Won Bin, you’ll be surprised to hear his actual name, he was born Kim Do Jin, a drastically different name than the one you’re used to.
He gained fame in “Autumn in Your Heart” before becoming more known for his movie roles. The actor hasn’t been in any project since 2010.
Another great popular Korean actor on this list!
Gong Yoo was born Gong Ji Chul, while the family name remained the same ‘Gong,’ he switched things up from Ji Chul to a simple Yoo.
Gong Yoo is known for many dramas such as “Goblin,” and “Coffee Prince.”
So its obvious by now, many Korean actors ditch their real long names for a two syllable name that is usually catchier and a lot easier to remember, the same goes for another popular beloved Korean actor, Jang Hyuk.
Jang Hyuk was born Jung Yong Joon. Before making his acting debut in 1997, he changed his name to Jang Hyuk.
Ha Ji Won
The first female actress on this list but it won’t be the last or the most shocking one you’ll see.
Ha Ji Won’s real name is nothing close to her stage name, she was born Jeon Hae Rim.
There is actually a sweet story behind her stage name; she changed her stage name as a favor for a previous manager. It was the name of his first love. She previously told news outlets,
“The first time I heard the name Ha Ji-won, I thought it was pretty and also bold.”
Kim Woo Bin
Yup, Kim Woo Bin isn’t his real name and the real name is the same as another celebrity who is well known in South Korea.
Kim Woo Bin was born Kim Hyun Joong. In case you’re a kdrama fan then this name rings a bell, that’s the name of the former SS501 leader and idol-turned-actor Kim Hyun Joong, he’s been in various projects, most notably “Boys Over Flowers.”
Kim Woo Bin started promoting in that name since he began acting and actually doesn’t like being called by his real name.
Jun Ji Hyun
Yet another shocking female name on this list. Jun Ji Hyun is only a stage name.
Jun Ji Hyun was born Wang Ji Hyun, while the name change isn’t as drastic as other son the list, it’s still shocking. She began using the stage name Jun Ji Hyun when she began her career as a model in 1997.
Shin Min Ah
Shin Min Ah is also a stage name.
Shin Min Ah was born Yang Min Ah. The name change isn’t drastic as well and its similar to what actress Jun Ji Hyun did. Shin Min Ah simply switched the family name from ‘Yang’ to ‘Shin.’
Min Hyo Rin
Your jaw will drop once you hear her real name. The model-actress birth name is very different but also beautiful.
Min Hyo Rin was born Jung Eun Ran, a whole different name. She adopted that stage name when she began modeling in 2006.
Park Seo Joon
Is anything even real anymore?
Park Seo Joon was born Park Yong Gyu. His stage name is totally different. The family name ‘Park’ remained while his first name changed. I couldn’t find when exactly he changed to his stage name but people believe it happened when he started his acting career because people only know him as Park Seo Joon.
Seo Kang Joon
Seo Kang Joon is so different from his real name.
Seo Kang Joon was born Lee Seung Hwan which is not even close to his current stage name.
Fans have known him with his stage name since his debut days. In case you’re a Korean then his actual name actually reminds you of another well-known celebrity. Lee Seung Hwan is a singer and record producer known as the country’s “King of Live Performances” for his frequent solo concerts.
This might be the reason why his agency Fantagio decided to change his name completely to avoid any confusion.
Yoo Ah In
One of the biggest Korean actors also has a very different real name.
His real name is Uhm Hong Sik which probably rings a bell if you follow his strange Instagram account.
He started promoting with his stage name since his debut in 2003. His first management wanted to create an attractive stage name for him that would fit an idol image, Uhm Hong Sik was considered old fashioned and too heavy.
He then chose Yoo Ah In, Ah In taken from the German word meaning “one.”
Sung Hoon is another two syllables catchy name.
He was born Bang In kyu, but later changed his stage name to two syllables similar to other actors such as Gong Yoo and Hyun Bin.
Joo Won was born Moon Jun Won.
When he entered college, his father came up with his stage name. The hangul pronunciation of the name sounds similar to “God-willing” which is cute, a catchy name with a sweet message.
So which one of these Korean actors’ real names shocked you the most? Do you know any other Korean actors who also changed their names?