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First look at Weightlifting Fairy’s genius swimmer and elegant gymnast

Here’s our first glimpse of Nam Joo-hyuk (Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo) and Kyung Su-jin (Bluebird’s House) in character for MBC’s new drama Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju. The youth sports drama is the coming-of-age story of twenty-one-year-old weightlifting athlete Kim Bok-ju (Lee Sung-kyung), a young woman whose entire existence was devoted to barbells, and her first stormy bout with love.

Nam Joo-hyuk takes on the role of Jung Joon-hyung, a brilliant and unpredictable swimmer with a strong personality. He’s the star athlete many have high hopes for, but a traumatic incident from the past holds him back from achieving his full potential. He and Bok-ju have a complicated relationship, but despite their clashes, they work together to overcome past pain and fervently chase after their dreams and seek love.

To prepare for this role, Nam underwent intense training, polishing up his swimming strokes, and reportedly studied the psychology of athletes who experienced trauma to accurately embody his character. Nam Joo-hyuk in character pretty much looks like Nam Joo-hyuk the actor on his day off. Dressed in a loose windbreaker and shorts while riding a bike, he’s looking casual and sporty. I wish we were able to see him in his element, swimming laps at the pool, but I guess shirtless stills are being saved for later.

Kyung Su-jin, on the other hand, looks very much like an elegant pixie of the rhythmic gymnastics ilk. She’s got the ribbon twirling down and appears poised and determined on the mat. She’ll be playing the part of Song Shi-ho, queen of the athletic college and known as the “unfaltering rhythmic gymnastics star.” However, despite being one of Korea’s top rhythmic gymnasts, she failed to make the cut for the national team when she buckled from the stress of competing with younger athletes. As she strives to regain her glory and represent her country as a national athlete, she’ll also form one corner of the love triangle involving Bok-ju and Joon-hyung.

Kyung Su-jin also trained rigorously for her role and watched documentaries about the elegant sport to learn about the daily lives and struggles of rhythmic gymnasts. She trained alongside professional athletes in order to tone her body and have it resemble that of an actual gymnast. And during breaks, she conversed with rhythmic gymnasts and used their personal accounts to shape her understanding of Shi-ho. She reportedly impressed the production crew with her uncanny athletic prowess.

Kyung Su-jin never disappoints, and I have a feeling she’s going to rock as the beautiful and driven queen of the mat. Nam Joo-hyuk, while handsome, has been quite vanilla in his roles so far, so I’m not entirely sure how I feel about his casting as the star swimmer, but generally speaking, my excitement for this show is growing steadily. There’s nothing like a good ol’ heartwarming underdog sports drama, am I right? Yay sports!

Lee Jae-yoon (Oh Hae-young Again) co-stars as an obesity clinic doctor and cousin to Nam Joo-hyuk; he also happens to be Bok-ju’s very first crush. Supporting actors include Jang Young-nam (Dazzling Temptation), Choi Mu-sung (Uncontrollably Fond), Kang Ki-young (W–Two Worlds), Jo Soo-hyang (Who Are You–School 2015), and Ahn Gil-kang (Jackpot).

Wednesday-Thursday drama Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju will premiere in November after Shopping King Louis ends its run.

Via Xports News, iMBC

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Woah. Cannot wait!

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haha, is Nam Joo-hyuk keeping his Scarlet Heart hair?

Also his last turn as a star swimmer did not work out so well, but here's hoping he's improved and it's not just close proximity to Lee Jun-ki that makes me like him so much in MLSHR.

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But he did cut his hair after scarlet heart filming (u can watch his 3meals a day in gochang.. his first trip ep1-3 was shot in june where he was sporting that hairdo for scarlet and filming in progress still.. and he cut his hair in july during the second trip (ep4-5) after the filming ends, at least it looks different.. but then maybe he kept back again after that, since the shots above are taken and film in september and hair grows fast)

Actually i find this role and even the character development and plot is SOOOOO identical to his role in Who Are You School 2015.. (Let's see how it turns out this time..)

I find that his character in scarlet and cheese are more "popular and well-liked in the first place".. so there's no major problem and its supporting role, his appearance is less than 20% of an ep.. but yes he definitely improved.. but this shall be the real test for him (refering to in terms of acting only).. not going comment on rating, since its subjective and we all know how many of a time, rating is not a good representation of how good a show is..

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yeah well NJH has been pretty likable and cute in most of his roles cuz they u know actually let him emote and be more cheerful/bright vs his School chara who was just a wet noodle tbh. and painfully bland to boot. which was made worse by how charming and bright sj's chara was! and ofc giving him 1. such a huge role when he's still a bit green and 2. putting him alongside one of korea's best young actresses atm....he was doomed to fail tbh haha. i hope he fares better this time. i wont be watching but im sure some gifsets will appear on tumblr at one point or another.

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It turned out pretty well for him considering it started his career. Fans not liking his character didn't mean the drama wasn't successful for him. He wouldn't be where he is right now without that role. Though hopefully there is no ill feelings towards him here.

He's also been pretty likeable in every role he's done (other than WAY for most people lol).

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It sent him straight from a prospective lead, back to doing 3rd lead/sidekick roles, so I don't think it did as well for him as expected. I do think most people are over that role though, the more recent reference points for his acting (Cheese, Scarlet Heart) are pretty well-received.

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I think it's mostly his pretty face that blinds me to his meh acting skill. Damn you, heart, for being so fickle-minded!

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Glad Nam joo hyuk is getting loads of work and a lead role, so soon.He's just the type of person you want to succeed, like Ji soo.

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I am not glad because he cant act

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OMGGG A RHYTHMIC GYMNAST? I'M SO IN. (ps. anyone else want to fangirl about son yeon jae with me? XDDD)

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i'm loving Nam Joo-hyuk's hairstyle

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when the real athlete actor becomes a doctor in sport drama instead.. epic. lol

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Ha ha, yes!

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That makes me dissapointed,too. I thought i am going to see lee jae yoon in may be jiu jit su/judo uniform again,(or no uniform) but apparently not :(

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looking forward to lee jong suk cameo !!?

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Generally, I'm super excited about sports drama such as these because they tend to start from rock bottom, and slowly inch their way up to the top as the underdogs. They always make me wanna try harder in all aspects of my life, not just my sports prowess (although I AM more motivated to hit the gym!). I am super happy to see Lee Sung-kyung take on a more 'inferior', happier role; she was great in Doctors, but I honestly prefer to see her smiling. But I'm worried about Nam Joo-hyuk. His acting skill is there...it's just not THAT there. He's pretty bland so far, and his acting meets the minimum of what I consider to fairly pass as an actor/actress: recognizable facial expression, able to say lines without sounding like they're reading them off a paper, enough character development to convince us he/she had worked on their character (for example: Suzy wasn't brilliant, but she was able to make me feel for her character towards the end, and her line delivery is good). I guess I just want Nam Joo-hyuk to step up his game, because pretty face + great acting skill = an awesome package. (His Scarlet Heart performance is good, so far!)

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Couldn't recognize kyung su jin. She looks so pretty with the costume and all. On other hand, nam joo hyuk looks so endearing when he's doing supporting roles, he looks eager and the helpful kind to the leads, but as being one, it's hard to connect to his roles when he's always keeping a stoic kind of face. Hope that's not the case this time around.

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nam joo-hyuk has to portray a character under traumatic stress...i really hope he's going to improve and not just be either ":o", ":)" or ":(". (Was that too harsh? I just disliked him in School 2015!)

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This is a touchy subject, but I really hope the drama handles the topic of heavy body size and fat-positivity well. I know a lot of teens in Korea watch k-dramas from a young age, and so did I, so to have a show tell you that whatever size you are right now is okay, is perfectly fine - that would be such a confidence boost. Especially since standards can be set by the many, many slim, pretty actresses and how they 'always get the guy' and all that stuff; I just want this k-drama to be able to portray to all the teenagers out there that fat isn't a curse word, being fat isn't a curse, and fat is fat, without any negative connotations to the word.

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How does one become a geeenius swimmer?

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They've got strokes of genius.

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By being extra good at holding your breath?

I sometimes feel like dramas use "genious" to seperate fiction from reality. Or they are just allergic to calll someone simply "really good"

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I think the korean word usually used to describe drama characters is "천재" which can translate to "genius" but a better translation will probably be "prodigy."

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I mean ryan lotche could be considered a " genius swimmer", that doesn't speak to his overall intelligence. Unless that overall intelligence consists of swimming. But every kdrama tends to have a top male lead in his field.

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BWAHAHAHAHAHA @the idea of Ryan Lochte as a 'genius'.

I mean, he's a great swimmer but he's also living evidence that you can be really good at something, even great (possibly the intended meaning of 'genius' here) and be the opposite of intelligent in the real world.

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I dont find a problem with the word genius swimmer to describe how good a swimmer he is (of course, he might not be a genius in school or other stuff than swimming)

I interpret it as he is a excellent and talented swimmer with a bright future.. (for eg, continuously breaking record, able to make lots more improvement as compared to those practice as hard as him.. learn swimming related stuff very fast and easily understood the techniques.. participate in major competition at the minimal age and stuff, won lots of medals etc..)

Some athlete (i wouldnt say they dont have talent totally) practice for months or years yet they cant go to greater heights and continuously breaking own record, some would reached its own "limit" and remain stagnant no matter how hard he practice..

True practice makes perfect, but for sports especially competitive ones, hardwork is important, but talent matters a lot too..

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I'm very excited for Lee Jae Yoon and Lee Sung Kyung. Nam Joo Hyuk not so much. He works as eye candy side character with 15% screen time but when he's a main lead like in School 2015 then his acting is bland and boring at best. At worst he's distracting and unnatural.

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Looking forward to this if only to see lots (fingers crossed) of rhythmic gymnastics, which we in the US get cheated of during the Olympics as it's not a sport that Americans do.

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I'm actually anticipating this drama more than i knew,i really like the cast and the leads...I always liked NJH and even in School i consider myself the minority who actually rooted for the lead aka him and was disappinted how little his character was made having much more potential than what was given to it something i fault the writer...Hope this time i won't feel disappointed and will get more complex characters

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I did not like Kyung Soo-Jin in House of Bluebird, even though I loved the drama. I am not looking forward to seeing her again. But I like Lee Sung-Kyung and Nam Joo-Hyuk, as well as Lee Jae-Yoon. Cho Hye-Jung is simply unbearable in every role. She should be banished to an SBS daily drama (since those never get subbed) for several years, until she learns to act.

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i've never really cared much for nam joohyuk but ever since moon lovers, he's become so appealing to me for some reason? he's not the best actor but he has certainly improved and he's just so tall... i also really like lee sung kyung so i'm anticipating this drama!

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I've loved him ever since he stole the attendance record in Cheese. Best scene of the series! His acting improved a lot from Cheese to Moon Lovers. So everyone might be pleasantly surprised.

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I don't know man, maybe i watch a different show? His acting in cheese is horrible he is one of the weakkest link. Thanks god he is not given important role on that drama

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