[CELEB] From girl group to group stunts, Jang Gyu-ri is back like never before

Singer turned actor Jang Gyu-ri [JUST ENTERTAINMENT]

Former girl group member Jang Gyu-ri is hoping to establish herself as an actor through the upcoming SBS mystery, romantic-comedy drama “Cheer Up.”

“Cheer Up” is about a group of university students who are part of a longstanding school cheer squad called Theia that is past its heyday and now, in danger of breaking apart. The series is expected to center on the romances as well as spine-chilling mysteries surrounding the members of the squad.

Jang is set to play the squad’s vice-captain named Tae Cho-hee. Cho-hee is a firm rule-follower and aspires to be the squad’s next year captain.

“Cho-hee is someone who is well-like by everybody and freely speaks her mind,” described Jang during the series’ online press conference on Sept. 27. "She bears a sort of girl crush charm."

Actors Han Ji-hyun, Bae In-hyuk and Kim Hyun-in will portray college students who are also part of the squad. Actor Yang Dong-geun will play a graduate of the school who was a member of the cheer squad during its glory days.

Director Han Tae-sub, who was behind the SBS series “Stove League” (2019) took the helm of “Cheer Up.”

He described the series as "a story about the passion of youths that everyone will be able to relate to," and said he wanted to depict members of the cheer squad who come together for a single goal and their raw emotions.

Jang Gyu-ri during a scene of the upcoming SBS drama series "Cheer Up" [SBS]

"Cheer Up" marks Jang's first acting work since leaving K-pop girl group fromis_9 in August. She was the only one of the nine members not to re-sign with the girl group’s agency Pledis Entertainment. Jang is currently signed with Just Entertainment, an agency that largely represents actors.

“It is the first role that I am showcasing to the public after leaving my girl group to focus on my acting career, so I do feel a lot of pressure,” said Jang. “All throughout shooting the drama, I felt the love of the fans who have supported me during my K-pop days. I wanted to do good by them so worked even harder.”

Jang felt that the role of Cho-hee was a good match for her especially because she was an experienced dancer from her K-pop days. Jang, as well as rest of the actors who are part of the cheer squad, performed the cheer stunts themselves.

Jang said that while she was confident that she would be able to take on the cheer scenes because she had training to become a K-pop singer, for her role in "Cheer Up," she had to adopt a new style of dancing.

“For K-pop performances, the most important thing is to look pretty, but for dance moves in a cheer squad, I realized that one of the most important things is for the dance moves to be visible even from far away. So, I had to dance with big movements,” she explained.

Dancing and music is a big part of the series, according to director Han.

“The actors went through extensive training for the cheer scenes,” he said. “I think the viewers will be able to feel their electric energy.”

“Cheer Up” will premiere Oct. 3 at 10 p.m. and air every Monday and Tuesday. It will also be exclusively available for streaming on local platform Wavve.

Jang Gyu-ri performing on stage as a member of girl group fromis_9 [NEWS1]

Jang debuted as an actor before a singer, in 2017, through the SBS drama series “Ms. Perfect” where she appeared as an extra. She is also a theater major graduate from the Seoul Institute of the Arts.

Jang starred in her first lead role in tvN’s romance web drama series “Dating Class” in 2019. She has also appeared in tvN’s hit series “It’s Okay To Not Be Okay” in 2020 as a supporting actor, but has not taken on any more acting roles since as she was focusing on her K-pop career.

Jang is better known to the public as a K-pop singer as she gained widespread popularity through her appearance on Mnet's K-pop girl group survival show “Idol School” and "Produce 48" in 2018.

She debuted as a member of girl group fromis_9 in 2018 and has released hits such as “Love Bomb” (2018), “Feel Good (Secret Code)” (2020), “Talk & Talk” (2021) and “DM” (2022).

Singer-turned-actor Jang Gyu-ri [JUST ENTERTAINMENT]

Jang Gyu-ri

Date of Birth: Dec. 27, 1997
Zodiac Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Eunpyeong District, northern Seoul
Debut: 2017 through the SBS drama series "Ms. Perfect"
Agency: Just Entertainment

Jang debuted as an actor before a singer, in 2017, through the SBS drama series “Ms. Perfect” where she appeared as an extra. She then went on to compete on Mnet’s K-pop girl group survival show “Idol School” where she placed ninth and made her debut as a member of nine-piece girl group fromis_9 in January 2018. As of August this year, Jang is no longer a member of fromis_9 as she did not renew her contract with the girl group’s agency Pledis Entertainment. Her first lead role was in 2019 in tvN's web drama series “Dating Class.” She is currently starring in SBS's "Cheer Up."

This information was confirmed by Just Entertainment on Sept. 30, 2022.

Jang Gyu-ri during a scene of Mnet's K-pop survival show "Produce 48" (2019) [SCREEN CAPTURE]