Kwon Nara, widely recognized by her mononym Nara, has gracefully transitioned from a K-pop idol to a celebrated actress in the South Korean entertainment industry. Initially aspiring to become a stewardess during her childhood, Nara’s journey took a different turn as her passion for performing arts blossomed during her teenage years. This shift in interest led her to audition for Fantagio Entertainment, where she embarked on a path that would eventually make her a well-known figure in the music and acting realms of Hallyu, the Korean Wave.
Kwon Nara’s Career Journey
Nara debuted with the South Korean girl group HELLOVENUS under Tricell Media on May 9, 2012, launching her entertainment career. Initially, the group was a joint venture between Pledis Entertainment and Fantagio. It introduced themselves to the world with the title track “Venus” from their mini-album of the same name. While actively participating in the Kpop scene, Nara simultaneously nurtured her acting skills by taking on supporting roles in various dramas. Her dedication to acting became more prominent after HELLOVENUS disbanded on May 8, 2019, following an official announcement from Fantagio Entertainment about the group members deciding not to renew their contracts.
Nara’s full-fledged transition into acting was marked by her association with the acting agency A-Man Project, which announced her addition to their roster of actors on June 6, 2019. Now recognized by her full name, Kwon Nara, she continued to captivate audiences with her performances, notably starring in the 2020 JTBC series “Itaewon Class,” which secured its place as the seventh highest-rated Korean drama in cable television history. Her career trajectory continued to ascend as she signed with C-JeS Entertainment in 2022 and later with Ghost Studio in 2023, solidifying her status as one of the most promising stars in South Korean entertainment.
Must-Watch Kdramas Starring Kwon Nara
1. Suspicious Partner (2017)
The Kdrama series “Suspicious Partner” intertwines romance and legal drama in a riveting South Korean television series. The storyline unfolds around Noh Ji-wook (Ji Chang-wook), a prosecutor, and Eun Bong-hee (Nam Ji-hyun), a trainee from the Judicial Research and Training Institute, who unexpectedly becomes embroiled in a mysterious case that alters their lives.
Kwon Nara plays Cha Yoo-jung, Ji-wook’s ex-girlfriend and skilled prosecutor, intertwining her past and professional endeavors with the unfolding drama. The series masterfully blends emotional depth, legal intrigue, and a suspenseful plot as the characters navigate through the intricate web of love, betrayal, and justice, attempting to solve a case that becomes increasingly personal and dangerous. The viewers are taken on a rollercoaster of emotions and thrilling legal battles as secrets unravel and relationships are tested in their pursuit of truth and vindication.
2. My Mister (2018)
The Kdrama series “My Mister” features big names like Lee Sun-gyun, IU, and Kwon Nara. Lee Ji-ahn (IU), a young woman burdened by life’s struggles and family debts, crosses paths with Park Dong-hoon (Lee Sun-kyun), forming an unexpected and complex bond. Simultaneously, Kwon Nara plays one of the supporting roles, Choi Yoo-ra.
The drama delicately explores themes of loneliness, struggle, and unexpected friendships that can illuminate the dark corners of life. As the characters’ lives interweave, they find solace and silent support in each other, crafting a tale that is both heart-wrenching and subtly uplifting. The series is a gentle exploration of human connections, resilience, and the quiet strength found in mutual understanding and unspoken camaraderie amidst life’s tribulations.
3. Your Honor (2018)
“Your Honor” is a compelling Kdrama featuring Korean actress Kwon Nara. The series showcases her versatile acting skills in a story that intertwines justice, morality, and personal redemption themes. Nara plays the role of Song So-Eun, a judicial student who becomes entwined in the complex life of Han Kang-Ho (Yoon Shi-yoon), a criminal-turned-judge. With her unwavering belief in the sanctity of the law and a stark contrast to Kang-Ho’s tumultuous past and unconventional methods, So-Eun finds herself in a moral dilemma as she navigates through the murky waters of legal ethics and personal feelings.
The drama unfolds as the characters grapple with their principles and emotions, providing a riveting exploration into the dichotomies of right and wrong within the judicial system while delving into the characters’ personal struggles and developments. Through her character So-Eun, Kwon Nara brings a delicate balance of sternness and vulnerability, offering a nuanced performance that adds depth to the storyline and engages the audience in a thought-provoking narrative journey.
4. Doctor Prisoner (2019)
One of the best Kdramas featuring actress Kwon Nara is “Doctor Prisoner.” Na Yi-je (Namgoong Min) is a top-tier surgeon with a promising career ahead of him. However, his life takes a drastic turn when he becomes embroiled in a medical malpractice incident, leading to his unjust expulsion from the hospital.
Meanwhile, Han So-geum (Kwon Nara), a dedicated psychiatrist in the prison where Na Yi-je finds himself employed post-scandal. While initially skeptical and cautious of Na Yi-je, So-geum becomes an integral part of the unfolding drama as she gets entwined in his complex web of revenge, ethical dilemmas, and the dark underbelly of the medical and prison systems. Her character navigates through emotional and moral difficulties, providing a nuanced and compelling layer to the intense, high-stakes narrative of “Doctor Prisoner.”
5. Itaewon Class (2020)
“Itaewon Class,” a popular South Korean television series aired in 2020, unfolds in the bustling streets of Itaewon, Seoul. The story follows the life of Park Sae-ro-yi (Park Seo-joon), a determined young man who seeks vengeance and success after powerful adversaries derail his life.
Meanwhile, Oh Soo-ah (Kwon Nara) is Park Sae-ro-yi’s first love and an astute and ambitious woman who is caught in a complex web of loyalty between Park Sae-ro-yi and Jang Dae-hee (Yoo Jae-myung), the antagonist who operates Jangga Co., a prosperous food company.
The drama intricately weaves themes of revenge, love, and entrepreneurial spirit as Park Sae-ro-yi establishes his restaurant, DanBam, in the vibrant district of Itaewon, challenging the oppressive hegemony of Jangga Co. Nara’s character, Soo-ah, navigates through her own moral dilemmas and professional aspirations, becoming a pivotal character who influences the unfolding of events in this gripping tale of underdog triumph against the established elite. Through its diverse cast and compelling narrative, the series explores themes of friendship, love, and the relentless pursuit of dreams amidst the challenges posed by societal norms and corporate ruthlessness.
6. Royal Secret Agent (2020)
“Royal Secret Agent,” a riveting South Korean historical drama, unfolds in the Joseon Dynasty, where corruption and injustice are rampant within the bureaucratic system. Hong Da In (Kwon Nara) is a dedicated and skilled courtesan who becomes entwined in the covert operations of a royal secret agent. The story intricately weaves Da In’s personal vendetta with her unexpected alliance with the secret agent, Sung Yi Gyum Ikim Myung-soo), as they embark on a perilous journey to unveil corruption and bring justice to the oppressed. Amidst the political conspiracies and hidden agendas, Da In emerges as a formidable character, navigating through the treacherous waters of deceit and power struggles. The drama seamlessly blends romance, action, and mystery as Da In and Yi Kyum navigate through their complex relationship while confronting the dark underbelly of the royal court, providing viewers with a thrilling narrative set against the rich tapestry of historical Korea.
7. Bulgasal: Immortal Souls (2021)
“Bulgasal: Immortal Souls,” a gripping South Korean drama, intertwines love, revenge, and redemption within the supernatural realm. Starring Kwon Nara, the Kdrama series unfolds the complex narrative of beings who, after meeting a brutal end, are resurrected as immortals, known as “Bulgasal.” These beings are condemned to a cyclical existence of pain, as they are bound by a curse that compels them to consume human souls to survive, yet are also haunted by the memories of their past mortal lives.
Nara’s character (Min Sang Un/Kim Hwa-yeon) navigates through this dark and mystical world, where she encounters other immortals, each grappling with their tormented pasts and moral dilemmas. As their paths intertwine, a poignant tale of sorrow, unfulfilled desires, and the eternal quest for salvation unfolds, exploring whether these cursed beings can ever find true peace and redemption amidst the darkness that shrouds their existence. The drama seamlessly blends emotional depth with thrilling supernatural elements, ensuring a captivating watch that explores the complexities of humanity, even when humanity itself is lost.
8. Nightly Photo Studio (2024)
“Nightly Photo Studio” is Kwon Nara’s upcoming Kdrama series. Kwon Nara plays Han Bom, a once-successful lawyer who lives without commission. The other actors star in “Nightly Photo Studio” alongside Kwon Nara, such as Han Groo, Joo Won, and Yoo In-soo.
230629 | Kwon Nara and Joowon spotted filming for 'Nightly Photo Studio (야한 (夜限) 사진관)' drama. 💖😍— Kwon Nara 권나라 Updates ❤️🔥 (@KwonNaraUpdates) June 29, 2023
© h.a.n_b.o.m#KwonNara #Joowon #HanBom #NightlyPhotoStudio #야한사진관 #NaughtyPhotoStudio pic.twitter.com/WJMVsqQKnG
Korean Movie Starring Kwon Nara
Besides those Kdramas, as a prominent actress, Kwon Nara shines in her movie, “Fantasy of the Girls,” as Lee Na Ham.
Beong Seon-hwa (Roh Jeong-Eui) is a spirited first-year high school student who unexpectedly catches the eye of a senior, Soo-Yeon (Jo Soo-Hyang), one ordinary day. Soo-Yeon, directing a play for the school’s drama club, instinctively casts Sun-Hwa as Juliet. This serendipitous moment leads Sun-Hwa to meet her co-star, Ha-Nam (Kwon Na-Ra), a senior student embodying Romeo, admired by her peers. As rehearsals for the play unfold, Seon-Hwa finds herself growing closer to Ha-Nam, developing feelings that extend beyond the boundaries of their on-stage roles.
Which Kdrama series starring actress Kwon Nara is your most favorite? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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