Drama Casting & News
Song Il-kook gets into shape for new drama
by | February 17, 2010 | 100 Comments

I almost can’t recognize Song Il-kook — star of period dramas Jumong and Kingdom of the Wind — in these newly released photos, which show off his trimmed-down and muscular body. Although normally a fairly fit actor, he is going for a new image in preparation for his upcoming drama, A Man Called God. His character displays outstanding martial arts skills as the leader of an underground organization who vows revenge on the enemy who killed his parents. (With his love interest being a rookie reporter, the modern-day hero story’s initial synopsis makes it sound like a kdrama version of Batman meets Superman.)

Song also dropped approximately 15 kg for this role — and if you don’t recognize him in the above figure either, this photo on the right may be more familiar. The 38-year-old Song is normally an exercise enthusiast (and previously completed an Iron Man competition), but intensified his workouts to eliminate most of his body fat and achieve his current physique.

A Man Called God also stars Han Chae-young, Kim Min-jong, and Han Go-eun and began shooting in Hawaii this month. The drama follows Assorted Gems in the weekend timeslot, and premieres on MBC on March 6.

Via Segye


Tags: ,
100 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. sunGal

    He looks sort of creepy…
    Anyone else thinking: vampire?

  2. Otk

    Highly anticipating this , although the time slot doesn’t seem to fit the viewers it is dedicated to. In anycase , it’ll be majorly popular because it’ll start off with a nice rating (due to Assorted Gem viewers)

  3. obivia

    Oh. my. word.
    (raised eyebrow)

  4. gosh

    He look totally different. I can’t wait to see how he look in the drama.

  5. samsooki

    i’m thinking perhaps a tinge of narcissistic personality disorder, often seen in guys who work out almost obsessively.

    guys work out with mirrors because they need to see their form (for obvious safety and performance reasons), but often times you catch them looking at themselves for extended periods, just…. so into themselves and their efforts to create ripped muscle.

    it’s healthy to love oneself, but those pictures are a bit creepy.

  6. Julie

    I was just saying to myself that he does not look right. I love black and white photos, but I don’t think these are doing him any justice. …Sorry!

  7. more

    OMG what did he do to himself???

  8. snoopyvkd

    OMG?? I prefer the normal Song Il Kook…

  9. ockoala

    That picture of his backside, I looked at it with my jaw on the table. NOT. HEALTHY. OR. NORMAL. He’s crossed over into the Muscle Beach territory and that is not how I like my SIK, or any actor for that matter.


  10. 10 Alison

    O____O is all i can muster.

  11. 11 langdon813

    Scary. And very Not Hot.

  12. 12 Sengo

    He’s really unrecognizable since he lost the fat in his face! I’ll say one thing (re: photo of his backside)….he’s very symmetrical!

  13. 13 LeMonS

    So…no one else is getting the “Ma’am, would you like me to rotate your tires?” feel from the first photo? Just me?

  14. 14 snowanh

    Facial doesn’t look very healthy even his body looks great… as long as he will get back to his old self after the drama, it will be OK….

  15. 15 Mrs. Kaneshiro

    Ha Ha totally getting the “Ma’am, would you like me to rotate your tires?” from the first photo LeMonS. You are not alone.

  16. 16 lb_tmi

    first photo=YUMMY!!! gives off a Rain-ish appeal, gives good eye candy, yet leaves a lot to the imagination.

    second photo.. ummm.. nice hands? cuz all the bulging muscle is too much!! not feeling that look..

  17. 17 jing

    *jaw drops*

    the backside shot was creepy… reminds me of an anatomical muscle model…w/out the skin, he’d be a perfect teaching tool.

  18. 18 jamrote

    …..wiping of the drool..

  19. 19 cms lurver

    eeeeeewwwwwwww! yeeech! Never liked him before, but this is creepy!

  20. 20 lettle


  21. 21 sjsmn

    oh my god , he gonna look hot at scene of course. These are just still images, If you guys gonna look him in person, … gonna drop dead!!!!

  22. 22 Ena


    Nuff said.

  23. 23 nell123

    He looks weird. But it sure is an impressive transformation.
    Since the story sounds boring and Han Chae -young is in it, I definitely will not watch this, but still…. Wow!

  24. 24 su-pah

    Oh… my goodness! What. A. Transformation!!

    (19 cms lurver – ditto!)

  25. 25 C

    that looks kind of… gross. i mean, in the second to last picture, he doesn’t even look human… more like one of those models of the human body/muscles…

  26. 26 Sere

    0_0 I’m all for muscles, but…ahem, I liked him better before.

  27. 27 qkyra

    one word….SCARY!!! that’s so unappealing..it reminds me of those bodybuilders but less bulky. i didn’t even know who it was until you mentioned the pic.

  28. 28 kellie

    Is this career desperation at 38 or what? SIG’s had a pretty dignified image in his 30s, rather shy of the press. I liked that better than this.

  29. 29 Joy

    lol at first i thought it was jang hyuk haha

  30. 30 deedee

    yikes. he’s unrecognizable. and his neck looks kind of scary. he is very, um, symmetrical, though.

    and to set the record straight: he did not do an iron man. what he did was an international distance triathlon. that’s a mile swim, 25 mile bike, 6.2 mile run. not too bad – kind of fun, even. i did a few in my foolish youth. an iron man, on the other hand, is 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and a 26.2 mile run, any one of which is difficult and all 3 together are ridiculously hard. only insane people do that.

  31. 31 gia

    body is ok
    but the face is weird- scrary – disg…. sorry duke

  32. 32 chubbygirl1

    Holy moly mother-cow!!

    I know SIG changes his image drastically for this role..but this this EXTREME!!!! eeee`..mygod, his back look impressive, but his face look like a starving middle age lady and all that collarbones a girl could want..give me SOME!

    “the backside shot was creepy… reminds me of an anatomical muscle model…w/out the skin, he’d be a perfect teaching tool.”
    LMAO… his backside does indeed make a perfect anatomy model.

  33. 33 Pat

    Well he prepared for the role where his gonna do martial arts so I don’t see anything wrong with the way he looks (very muscular) – I’ve never been a fan of him (especially after the allege assult and battery charge) but I think he got prepared for the role pretty good.

  34. 34 Serendipity

    Good gravy! Surely photoshopped? Pl tell me it’s photoshopped!

  35. 35 isabella

    *yuck* can’t tell it’s just the same guy (O_o) what did he do to his face? (T_T)

  36. 36 Otk

    I just saw more poster shots of him !

    Here : http://mbc24tv.com/?document_srl=9620#0

  37. 37 lololo

    one word: CREEPY!!!

  38. 38 okdubu

    the first picture reminds me of matsumoto jun! (is that his name?) / goo junpyo in the original japanese version.

  39. 39 cingdoc

    Wow, is this the korean male version of a Heidi Montag- changed beyond recognition. I had to dramawiki to make sure that he was the same actor I last saw in Bodyguard ( an old drama , starring my cutie pie CSW). If you didn’t put in his old pix, I would not have known that it’s the same guy.

  40. 40 Elena

    @ 38 okdubu Yes, the jaw line is similar… but that is all. It takes concentration to keep that pose in the neck… that stresses the face, too, i would think.

    This sort of body doesn’t appeal to me. I’ll have to check out his old pictures to see the changes.

  41. 41 doozy

    @ snoopyvkd
    “OMG?? I prefer the normal Song Il Kook…”

    I completely agree with you. What happened to the Song Il Kook from “Terms of Endearment?”

  42. 42 anna

    HOLY SHI- was my first response! I actually kind of like the backside view. It’s ..interesting. These pictures aren’t really that great, not to mention the curls. Just so wrong.

  43. 43 anna

    Oh! He has extremely nice arms + hands! I have a little fetish. LOL

    He didn’t have plastic surgery. Most of these comments are ridiculous. I can still tell it’s him, just that his face is a lot more define and skinnier now. And heck, I’m not even a fan.

    Many men get into shape for an action/martial arts film. Seriously? No one was complaining when Rain did it and he wasn’t any better looking than this anyway.

  44. 44 honest_will

    my god that body is hot and this is coming from a guy
    he is ripped and you can tell by all the muscle he is showing
    and all that fat he has lost
    its a really good transformation
    people might say it looks scary
    some might say that he is too skinny, or muscly but for those who can get that ripped, and the effort to get that, i applaud him
    compared to jilt taec,he is mildy ripped, if he had lost more fat
    it will look like that,

  45. 45 D

    ummm, he must’ve work very hard to achieve this..

    im so used to his soft old look , can hardly recognise him

  46. 46 1critic

    It’s a little creepy to be honest. Or maybe I’m just too used to seeing him all dolled up and dignified.

  47. 47 SIGfan

    Just wait and see,he is going to look fantastic in this new drama. I’m looking forward to watching this show!! The black n white pics only enhances his muscular physique. Hard work never looked so good!

  48. 48 Quinze

    Lol, that’s dedication for you!
    Personally I think its pretty admirable and while it is shocking because he looks so DIFFERENT, I don’t think it’s creepy at all!

    I agree with #44, it’s definitely something to applaud that he can make the effort to get that ripped for his character especially at 38!!

  49. 49 Ena

    Like I said before.


  50. 50 koalabear

    I was really surprised seeing these photos. I really prefer the weight that Song Il-kook had before but I can see his dedication for preparing this much for his upcoming drama, which made me more excited, he doesn’t even look his age at all!

  51. 51 Biscuit

    Is that really him!? He looks younger too…. He lost a lot of chubs in his face. Also, it’s good to remember that with the lighting, and that there’s a lot of shadows in the picture, it makes him look a bit different.

    I think him looking “scary” aint too bad. He’s the leader of a criminal organization… he’s got to look badass 😀

    Even if he’s a guy who wants revenge on a “bad guy” who did something to his family, he is still a “bad guy” himself. To get to the ranks as a leader of an organization, I don’t think a “sweet, charming” image would fit well. His creepiness just makes everything better, no? I hate the “good, self-righteous, all for justice” male heros. Just because a guy wants to seek revenge on a bad guy, it doesn’t mean it will make him a man of justice.

  52. 52 Norme


    Hem…looking from side view, he does look hot but looking at the front he seems too musculine….wow I like it… and its not easy to get that figure / look…lets wait how he portray this musculine in the drama…can’t wait…keep fighting…. Hwaiting…

  53. 53 meh

    that picture showing his back view – he looks like a lizard – creepy!!!!

  54. 54 waterleaf

    Second picture of his back is a little–no, really scary…

  55. 55 ddboi

    The first thought that came to my mind when I saw SIK’s picture was that he sort of resembled Champion from the excellent animated film “Les Triplettes de Belleville.” It’s a disturbing image, to be honest, but stark and fascinating.

  56. 56 mayadee

    the third photo is really frightening. O.o *shivers*

  57. 57 asianromance

    wow, i agree with other people that the back picture was sort of creepy. i wonder if he really needed that body to be a guy with “outstanding martial arts skills”. i’ve seen some martial artists before and none of them are THAT muscular. He does look younger with zero body fat. props to him for going through all that just for a role.

  58. 58 Anonymous

    Lol – so much for Rain and his 0% fat. This body goes into the negatives lols

  59. 59 mmm


  60. 60 giddygirl108

    He does indeed look creepy. Check out that X on his back :(

  61. 61 cheremaman

    Just the consummate actor preparing for his next role….that’s all. He is to be admired for the work that it takes to achieve that physique.

  62. 62 mina

    I’m impressed with the dedication and discipline he invested in achieving that kind of body. Just imagine what kind of pain he went through in order to achieve it; and for that i commend him. It’s for a role, he’s not gonna stay that way forever! i love gangster and revenge dramas so I’m definitely looking forward on this one. I just hope that the badass character is portrait all through out the drama. I just don’t like it when all of the sudden they go all gooody on the end.

  63. 63 Candice

    Look at his wrists. Vampire??.

  64. 64 Anonymous

    The back shot looks really creepy. For some reasons, his image reminds me of Smeagol of The Lord of the Rings or of some mummified bodies or the infamous skinless Robbie William in the song Rock DJ. The lighting isn’t very good, making his wrists look smaller, giving off the feeling of deformation.

  65. 65 Asarako

    very creepy and his nose is quite different from before…..

    scary he looks he undergo surgery….. yaiksss!!!!

  66. 66 michi

    Is this the Jumong that I liked?

    He’s scary indeed!!!

  67. 67 Victoria

    Song Il Gook doesn’t look healthy. I think that this is rather extreme. His normally healthy good looks are not present. Please try to persuade him to put a little more weight on. He doesn’t look well.

  68. 68 da4ti

    @ snoopyvkd
    “OMG?? I prefer the normal Song Il Kook…”

    @ doozy
    I completely agree with you. What happened to the Song Il Kook from “Terms of Endearment?”

    Yes, I also agree with you. I prefer him in Jumong or Lobbyist. The picture is very dark that make him looks so more scary and weird….

  69. 69 Beng

    dont like his hairstyle. but the bod is fine, so lean and mean

  70. 70 song4u2

    @51 nuff said….

    i can’t wait to see this drama and I hope the character does not go goodie2shoes in the end in order to continue the drama later on perhaps if a success….the conflicted avenger. yeah!

  71. 71 Acalle

    Doesn’t it arouse your curiousity of his next drama? Why don’t we watch it and see the new SIK. He actually looks much fit, young, and healthy if you see his Hawaii arrival pictures.

  72. 72 selva

    @ 28 kellie:
    wow you sound like a child who never ever heard about actors who work hard to change their image so that it can suit their next project!
    What desperation you’re talking about? He looks exactly like the main hero in the manhwa! He’s very thin, muscular and his face is very sharp and defined! That’s the point of all of SIG’s training! To look like the man in the manhwa!
    grow up please!

  73. 73 Anonymous

    WOW, and here I though Lee Byung Hun was muscular. He ain’t got nothing on SOng Il-kook! It is too much!!! It really doesn’t not look good.

  74. 74 waruihime

    I really don’t mind muscles, but his frame is just too … “lean”. He would look a lot healthier if he had more mass. These pics make his skin look too taughtly-pulled over his bones.

    Sorry … it’s just MHO. I really like the ‘old’ Song Il Kook and hope that he’ll revert to how he was prior to his prep for this role.

  75. 75 chasen8888

    Give me back my old Song Il Kook, I miss him. Although the picture makes him look younger it also makes him look in my opinion unhealthy, I like flesh not skin & bones. I wonder if his wife misses the full bod, now she’s getting cheated with this new one.

    Got to give him props for the drastic changes he has made for the role, hope its worth it. Good luck with the show SIK.

  76. 76 Fattyfarts

    His ass is beautiful…LOL

  77. 77 steadfast

    Oh my goodness, what did he do to himself. He look like some psycho killer on the loose. No matter how those abs looks stunningly shape up, I still prefer his old self. I wish he could add a little weight to make him look younger and fresh.

  78. 78 hjkomo

    Hard to believe this is the same guy who had about only 2 seconds of screentime as one of Jang Hyuk’s thugs in Into The Sunlight.

  79. 79 ellen

    Wow! Song Il gook. At last I get to see him on screen again.
    I like him in Terms of Endearment, The art of seduction, Jumong & Kingdom of the winds.

    He’s truly a dedicated actor. I read that he prepared well for Kingdom of the winds too. He’s athletic. He loves cycling. Superb with bow & arrow.

    I dont think he looks creepy. He looks different in black & white photography that emphasizes his muscles with a sinister look which is a publicity in preparation for his role in this drama. A tough guy with serious vengeance on his mind.

    I’m sure that all those muscles & sinister look in these black & white pictures would not be the same as when we watch him on screen in this drama. So I’m really looking forward to SIG & all his muscles.

    Why not! Most of us seem to enjoy all those muscles in Jang Hyuk & Oh Ji ho in Chuno. Song Il Gook would look just as good if not better. Maybe not as bare & as often as we se Jang hyuks choco abs! I should not compare. They all look good & muscle healthy for their roles. Song Il gook…yeah!

  80. 80 vieny

    i’m sad here.why ever1 talking bad about his body now. he is tottaly great actor. it doesnt matter how he losses his weight for his suitable performance as bad ass in underground org.every actor who really care about his act and his character would’t mind about that. dont talking bad about him. he’s not scary at all. aza song il gook! hwiting!

  81. 81 mimim

    i thought it is Rain!!.. omg

  82. 82 song4u2

    @80 not every1 is hatin’ on him.

    I think he looks hot and will blow us away in this new drama that I hope has a sequel or two or three…heeheehee!

    Go SIG, you da man!

  83. 83 Eliza19

    well, first thought that came to mind was “OMG GANGSTER!!” But now i see how much weight he lost, and yes I’m hell of envious, but wow to go that far for a role *blinks* i can’t wait for the show to start and to see his acting along with it ^^

  84. 84 Eliza19

    Opps, forgot to add this – he seems too lean at some angles but others he looks totally fine in ^^ i was drooling for once too *blush* n my mind said RIPPED plently of times as i kept comparing the new and old Song Il-kook. o.o kept popping in too ^^. i think even if his new look his acting will show us all, or so i hope

  85. 85 pjd

    I want handsome Song Il Gook back. The above pictures are freaky. Pls, no more extremes! We want Song Il Good not Lon Chaney.

  86. 86 Vee

    Oh hai there Michael Jackson, glad you came back from the dead!

  87. 87 rizzy021665

    you guys, just wait to watch his new drama and promise you will be totally loving him
    FIGHTING Song Il Kook

  88. 88 omo-omo-u

    His back is “WOW” but his fingers photo like that looks like frog legs. Looks weird and awkward. Please we don’t need anorexia men – he lost his handsome, intelligent looking looks. He looks like he’s hungry!

  89. 89 Carinne

    Talk about gross (human) anatomy… nothing gross there by my view.

    Superman SIG.

  90. 90 Emma

    I started watching A man called god because I could not get enough of Song Il Kuk, but he looks so different, I had to stop and relapse :-) into Jumong and Kingdom of the Wind. I love his previous look, which had a sweet countenance. His face is too angular now. BTW, anyone interested in checking A man called god, it’s on youtube

  91. 91 Emma

    He still looks better on the show, though, especially with the hair falling on his forehead, these pictures are weird. Well, and even though I like the previous look better, the new SIK is still a god. And I would not mind at all to train with him and lose some weight, lol.

  92. 92 tess

    Wow, I fell in love with Song Il Gook coz he looked like my love before. The weird thing is life imitating art. My love is doing strenuous exercise and his face same with Song is too skinny. They now are twins in my book…

    But, i love the old Song he was truly beautiful and handsome and charming

  93. 93 Caro

    I am impressed as several other people are with the absolute dedication and discipline it took for Song Il Guk to change his body in less then a year. Actors gain or lose weight for rolls all the time. Since the show was trying to capture the feel of the original manhwa ( let’s face it the people in the manhwas are not average looking people) he wanted, needed to transform his body to fit the feel of the character (he gives the feel of a predator).

    As far as the pictures, personally I think they are pretty impressive, hot, let’s face it, running your hand down a chest like that is a lot more fun then running it down a chest that’s flabby.

    As other people have said, these are publicity photos, they exaggerated. He has flexed the muscles to show the definition, this is a typical body builder type pose. When he’s relaxed he looks like a guy who is athletic.

    I guess it’s true Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  94. 94 Caro

    Obviously changed for “roles” not “rolls” , otherwise he would have been the Pillsbury Dough Boy

  95. 95 bebina

    Unfortunately, I never saw Song Il Kook in his previous roles, but I think he looks amazing and I can’t stop watching this drama over and over. He is the most gorgeous man ever, and as soon as it comes out on DVD, I am buying it! Absolutely love SIK and the drama.

  96. 96 Mohi

    i cant bleive is he SIG???? Thats awful ….. I offer all of his lovers to dont watch this movie at all . & watch his last movies…

  97. 97 TOM


  98. 98 sanaz

    hi im feram iran
    song il gook is my love he is very nice and very very greyt
    song il gook i love you …………………………
    song is nice man \
    song in jomong and a man called god and jomong2 is very good

    BEY MY DERY…………………….

  99. 99 Mimika

    Come onnnn guys,I find it quite normal for an actor who wants to have a general record!

  100. 100 ellen


Add a Comment

Name (required)

Mail (will not be published)


 characters available. Comments will be truncated at the word limit.