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Similar to Seo Dalmi in ‘Start Up,’ Suzy’s K-drama career issa character growth arc

In the making of K-dramas, K-pop idols crossing over isn’t anything new. Even if they have a supporting role, having idols on the cast both boosts the series’ popularity and gives idols more chances to broaden their skills outside the typical idol skillset.

And Bae Suzy, who played the ambitious and hardworking Seo Dalmi in “Start-Up,” is one of those people.

If you saw her for the first time in “Start-Up” and loved her performance as much as we did, you’re seeing over 10 years’ worth of hard work.

If you adored her from older titles like “Dream High,” “Architecture 101,” “While You Were Sleeping” and “Uncontrollably Fond,” that’s no surprise from the Nation’s First Love. If you’ve known about her when she was still in Miss A, then chances are you’ve seen her growth as an idol, too. 

The thing is, most idols only get the occasional shot at K-drama stardom. Some get a few supporting roles, then hardly appear in another series. It saddens me too, as a fan of a lot of idols who dropped their K-drama careers or just aren’t given opportunities despite their potential.

But Suzy is one of the few former musicians (or current ones, like IU) who persisted in the K-drama industry and eventually landed lead roles: Go Hyemi from “Dream High,” Noeul from “Uncontrollably Fond” and Nam Hongju from “While You Were Sleeping.”

It’s so satisfying seeing an actor play the role of a successful risk-taker and embody it in reality.

What’s interesting is Suzy’s role in “Start-Up” was like it was specifically made for her (discounting the fact that both the director and writer of this series worked on some of the dramas Suzy was in). 

Most of her previous characters have something in common: They’re what we’d expect from a “Nation’s First Love,” a candy girl protagonist who’s everyone’s first crush. There’s nothing wrong with that; Suzy does give that butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling effortlessly.

Dalmi stands out because the character is raw in a different way, acknowledging her flaws. We identified with her because she represents young people (that’s us), how we see the world and how we power through: We take risks, welcome challenges and open our minds to opportunities.

I’d like to think of Dalmi as the culmination of Suzy’s work for over 10 years. It’s so satisfying seeing an actor play the role of a successful risk-taker and embody it in reality. She made us all laugh and cry along with her in this performance. I can go on and say this is one of the best among her roles.

Suzy’s portrayal of her character in “Start-Up” shows how much she’s grown as an actor, and that’s the kind of energy we’re hoping to manifest after this god-awful year.

Read more:
‘Start-Up’ doesn’t romanticize dreams—it humanizes it
Do San is not everyone’s type, but it’s unfair to invalidate him
5 K-Dramas that are more than just love stories

Still from “Start-Up”

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