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Lee Sung-kyung becomes cheerful Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju

You know, she still doesn’t look anything like a weightlifter, but at least there’s some effort on Lee Sung-kyung’s part not to look like a model. It’s something, and I hope the physical transformation means good things for her first leading role in MBC’s new youth sports drama Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju. Here’s our first glimpse at Lee Sung-kyung (Doctors) in character, after putting on weight and chopping off her hair to portray the shy, kind-hearted weightlifter Kim Bok-ju.

The new coming-of-age drama from the writer of Oh My Ghostess and the PD of A Daughter Just Like You is about college athletes fighting for their dreams and finding love. The title character Kim Bok-ju is a naturally strong girl who’s only known barbells her whole life, and stands up for injustice, but is shy and awkward around boys. The drama will be about her embarrassing and stormy first love and her growth as an athlete.

Nam Joo-hyuk (Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo) co-stars as a talented swimmer with a playful personality, who suffers a major setback in his professional career. Kyung Su-jin (Bluebird’s House) is an overachieving rhythmic gymnast, a silver medalist in the Asian Games who works herself to the bone to stay on top. And Lee Jae-yoon (Oh Hae-young Again) is the first man who makes Bok-ju’s heart flutter — he’s Nam Joo-hyuk’s cousin and a former athlete who’s now a doctor at an obesity clinic.

The supporting cast includes Jo Soo-hyang (Who Are You–School 2015) as a rival gymnast, Ahn Gil-kang (Jackpot) as Bok-ju’s loving weightlifter dad who now runs a chicken shop, Kang Ki-young (W–Two Worlds) as Bok-ju’s hapless uncle who works at the chicken shop but dreams of being an actor, and Choi Mu-sung (Uncontrollably Fond) and Jang Young-nam (Dazzling Temptation) as Bok-ju’s coaches.

After seeing Lee Sung-kyung play a lot of spoiled brats (see: Doctors, Cheese in the Trap, It’s Okay It’s Love), I actually like that she looks like a friendly girl-next-door type here, and in the very least I’m looking forward to seeing her try a sweet, cheerful character on for size.

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju follows Shopping King Louis on Wednesdays and Thursdays in November.

Via Sports Chosun

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She has obviously put on some efforts but the drama is going to face some stiff competition being aired at the same time as Legend of the blue sea which is almost a guaranteed hit,I wish them all the lucky in the world.

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Yeah, this looks set to be a repeat of what happened when MBC put up Miss Korea against You From Another Star in 2013 :/

I hope this is a good drama and that if it is, it's well received even if it isn't the most popular.

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I'm hoping for the same thing too. I like Lee Sungkyung a lot (+Nam Joohyuk), she's come a long way in terms of continuously improving her acting in a relatively short period of time, so even though this drama is unlikely to be a ratings winner, I hope it's good + gets a decent following.

At least expectations are low for this, that way it's not too much pressure or anything I guess. But still, I wish the best for this drama.

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And Comeback Ahjussi against DOTS.

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CBA is one of my favorite dramas of the year. Oh well. I love, as an international fan, I can enjoy them all.

As far as this drama goes, I think it is genius of the airing station. They are not total idiots. They know who the competition is so why not give two young actors the chance to lead a drama and have no expectation for ratings. It's not bad to be an underdog. I don't know if anyone guessed that DOTS would go hallyu, but certainly the powers that be at the other stations knew it was gonna be the ratings winner from the get go.

Perhaps this time no bigger names wanted to go head to head with the LMH/JJH combo, and I don't blame them. If these young actors act well, I think they will get credit for good performances.

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l didn't watch much of her dramas (Only saw her in Cheese). But the impression I get is that she's always playing those aloof, arrogant or meanie character..

Her character in Weightlifting, It's a good chance for her to showcase another image to the audience and if she pulls this off in terms of acting alone, I think she's the biggest winner already..

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To be fair, people expressed misgivings about Moon Lovers pretty much the minute it was announced, because the writer was known to be a bit messy - it's just that SBS' hype and the shots of Lee Jun-ki had us believing for a hot minute that it might succeed.

In this case, it's really the writer (Park Ji-eun) who has people believing this will be a smash hit, and I can see why. Let's hope she's not gone the way of Lee Kyung-hee...

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Best of luck to this drama it's against JJH and LMH......I do commend her for trying though. She's made a living off of her figure and hair and it's not easy to give it up. Fighting!!!

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Wow, she cut her hair.. I always thought that's a wig

At least weight can lose back.. Hair takes time to grow.. love her with her Long hair, not that she doesn't look good in short hair..

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I like Lee Sung-kyung, and I'm glad that she's putting in effort for this role even though she still seems a little miscast. I still can't stand Nam Joo-hyuk, though - I guess when you play despicable characters, you yourself become despicable by association.

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"Despicable"?? How is that? A bit strong to call him, don't you think.

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Despicable? U referring to Nam Joo Hyuk?

I didn't watch temptation and his initial debut drama.. I did watch cheese, scarlet and who are you.. Why would u call him that?

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???? At what point in his very short acting career has Nam Joo-hyuk ever played a despicable character? And no, Who Are You is not an example of one!

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He's not like that in real life, that's fine already..

I don't understand why some hates the actor because of his role.. I can understand if it's because of weak or bad acting (but despicable is a bit too much and I can't relate it totally)..

And why some are so quick to condemn any actor before watching the drama.. (even if he had a bad record in acting or first time playing a completely different or taking on an extremely challenging role from what he does normally.. at least give him a chance, and save ur comments and judge only after u watched the show and start your critics then..)

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It's like his characters imprint on him. Although 'Cheese in the Trap' helped to change my impression of him, I can only remember poorly-written Yi-an.

Also, be nice! I'm allowed to think he's despicable!

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Yes I agree, How u think it's up to u haha..

Haha chill no offense.. peace!

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Of course, just like we're allowed to call you out on using such a strong word to describe someone based on his fictional roles. I think you don't really know the meaning of that word but that might be just me.

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I was kidding. KIDDING. I just dislike the actor - that isn't to say I may change my opinion of him once this drama is good. He may be so charming I'll forget all his past roles!

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Be nice? Why don't you try that yourself? No, you aren't allowed to think the ACTOR is despicable. Pretty sure Dramabeans frowns on hateful speak like that. You are blending reality and dramas and that's not right. You can dislike the character if you want, though (but seriously MOVE ON already. That character was 3-4 characters ago for him) but don't hate on this 22 year old kid because you got your shipper heart broken.

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I wish I can transfer my weight to her lol.

But she looks good with this transformation. Wish she has better partner as Nam Joo Hyuk still has a very long way to go. I hope this still get decent rating to go against JJH's new drama. It won't be easy but heyy let's try be positive ;)

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Would love to see Lee Sung-kyung as an innocent but tough cutie, anticipating the turn out of this drama! Well, lets hope nam joohyuk does well, he did good as eun taek at least!

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Her dedication to the role is admirable. If I did not hear wrongly, she has gained nearly 10kg !!!
10kg is a lot for her who has very skinny body type .
It's very hard for the skinny person to gain weight even though they could eat plenty.
I can't imagine how difficult for her to eat days and nights to increase her weight and practice weightlifting for this role.
She chopped her hair off for this role. That long gorgeous hair that she keep for years.
I really hope that everyone will look at her with a positive eyes and open heart.
And I think this role will suit her a lot since her personality in real life is really down to earth, sweet and adorable.
It will continue to expanding her challenge of different types of roles.
Look at that smile! She is too cute right?

The timing of the premiere of this drama is like suicide. So unfortunate really.Same day as the hugely anticipated drama Legend of the Blue Sea.

Since it's her first leading role and it is written by the creator of Oh My Ghostess.

Thus I am wishing this drama the best luck.

Who knows it might get double rating and have its own fanbase ^^?

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Who knows? Maybe Lee Sung Kyung can lift Lee Min Ho up one finger and throw him down.

Just kidding :D

I liked her in CITT, skipped Doctors so I'm quite curious to see how she can pull off the role. The stills look promising and that's a start!

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I heard this drama is YG production, its true?

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Saw on Chinese website, the production company is the same as the one for W..

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YG Actors appearing quite often in MBC lately..

(Some that I noticed, but not all)
Lee Jong Suk - W
Choi Ji Woo / Jung Hyun Sung - Woman with a suitcase
Son Ho Jun - Blow Breeze

And now Lee Sung Kyung & Nam Joo Hyuk in weightlifting fairy with Lee Jong Suk cameo haha

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Well, no one can say Lee Sung-kyung doesn't commit to a role.

I admired how she went with the full eyerolling crazy in Cheese in the Trap without a care for her image - now I hope she'll be able to pull off playing a sweeter character.

(and even an ugly haircut can't cover the fact that she is drop dead gorgeous - aura-wise, she reminds me weirdly of Jeon Ji-hyun. Which is ironic considering her drama is going up against JJH's in the time slot!)

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She has played the hard-working girl next door before in Flower of the Queen. Although that show was ridiculous and painful to watch, she really did well. I wish her luck, this is an uneven battle of Ant vs. Elephant but who knows if it's all made its possible to attract a decent number of dedicated audience. Good luck to the team.

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*Well became all

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Not being sarcastic..

One interesting facts in an article I saw years back.. Elephants is scientifically proven to be scared of ants (swarming group of ants to be exact)

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Really, I didn't know that. It's funny but it remains to be seen whether weight lifting fairy is a lone ant or a swarming group of ant to our legendary elephant that lives by the blue sea.

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Haha, I'm not saying or concluding which will win anyway..

Anyway these days rating doesn't really affect or kill my interest in watching a show (though shows with good rating raises more awareness and attention)

My attention before the show airs, the main influence to decide to watch or not is probably the director, writer and cast.. if the show airs already, majority influence should be the feedback or comments on the show

I would watch both though.. waited for months for the blue sea (JJH comeback after giving birth and LMH last work before military).. and I agree the legend of the blue sea seems to be of better response and hype and both actors are definitely good and experienced.. whereas I go for the eye candy and sweet teen romance in the leads for Weightlifting..

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Major props to LSK for her commitment to her characters. It reminds me of when Go Ara cut her hair and intentionally gained weight for Reply 1994 and how it paid off for her. I am now putting this drama in my must watch list after seeing these stills.

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This will be the FLOP of the year

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Fabulously Loved Original Production of the year? Wow - that is quite a positive prediction! I hope it is true!

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Wasn't that already Beautiful Mind, Scarlet Heart, and UF? (ratings wise)

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Can we kindly not mention BM here, that was show of the year for me. just came out in KBS when JTBC/OCN/TVN should've been it's home. KBS shocked me, I thought they valued critical acclaim just as much as ratings.

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Amen, the same for me here. Beautiful Mind was amazing, even the episode cut.

Doctors was good in numbers, but what a horrendous show!

FYI, I would totally watch a spin-off with Lee Sung-kyung and Baek Sung-hyun characters. She was annoying in the first half of the show, but their relationship kind of grew on me.

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beautiful mind is definitely the flop of the year according to ratings
i have never seen such crappy ratings before
after beautiful mind is probably UF then scarlet since scarlet seems to be picking up.

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I am strictly talking in terms of quality. BM was a well acted, well written show. Ratings wise it failed but otherwise it's a drama that excelled in terms of quality. I am sorry but even though SC got better and LJG is phenomenal in it, it'd be wrong to glorify Scarlet Heart/Moon Lovers by merely considering numbers when compared to BM.

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the term "flop" doesn't refer to quality, though. it refers to how successful a piece of work is in sales/ratings/etc. i've loved so many good quality albums that are considered flops because they just didn't chart well or garner much press.

BM was a flop through and through regardless of the quality of it.

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It may be a flop in Korea, but MLSHR is well loved by international viewers. So, it's not a total flop.

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Imo Beautiful mind lack of promotion thats why the rating flop .it doesnt like uf or moon lovers who have big promotion and antipacing drama

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:( but I don't want it to be a total flop.. I love LSK and I wish the ratings would be decent.

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She's adorable! I love that she seemed to put a lot of effort to fit the role.

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It's a given that the simple, cheerful, kind hearted heroine always sports this kind of hairstyle, short and straight with bangs. Nothing fancy, and curls are a no-no: they hint at a dark and twisted side. Laurel Tree Tailors, Beautiful Gong Shim, BoF....the list goes on. Oh, and the bike, too - that's another given.

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i hate that hairstyle so i'm sad that's become kind of a trope in kdramas lol

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Oh I am rooting for her! I've always liked her since she debuted with Its Okay It's Love and I hope that this drama is successful despite its stiff competition.

Fingers crossed. Gotta watch this.

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She looks so different after a few pounds nd chopped hair. Cute though! I really hope this will turn out good, cuz i still cannot imagine her as a weightlifter. But who knows?! #crossedfingers

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Whoa, she looks great like this! She's giving me quite a Ha Won vibe (and they both have bikes!) and her short hair looks lovely.
Though I'm wondering - is it just me or is her hair a little brighter than usual? Could've sworn her hair wasn't that light of a brown!

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She's not wearing a fat suit? I initially thought she was but in the comments I read she gained 10 kg for this role :O
Really admirable considering she's a model. Hope this drama is well received.

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She looks pretty good actually. Is there anyone who's actually expecting them to really get someone with a "weightlifting figure"? I'm satisfied with the transformation. Plus she's shed her chic aura as well. Should be fun to watch.

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"Jo Soo-hyang (Who Are You–School 2015) as a rival gymnast"

Ya mean, maybe reprising her role as Satan? One of the best villains ever. Forget the main leads, I'm tuning in to see if she still has that magic touch.

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Not specific to this show ... but i get a little annoyed when the role actually demands that the actor be heavy and instead of casting an appropriate body type they have a super thin actor put on weight or fat suit... and then lose it rapidly in like a month and splash it across fashion magazines.

Any entertainment industry is so negative to diversity in sizes. Actors are told to be super thin to be successful
but when a role comes around that is about a specific body type - why not give it to an actor who fits the role ? They are already to short changed. Also Sends a more body positive msg to teenagers ..

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Not all athletes who weight lift are heavily built. It's the muscle that makes them strong. I doubt you'd find that sort of physique in any entertainment industry naturally. Weight lifting requires strength of muscle, does not require a heavily built body. There are a lot of weight lifting women athletes who aren't heavy. Now, this is Korean industry, even the most seasoned actresses have thin frames. I am pretty sure no matter who the chose for the role here, it'd require them to put on some weight.

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It especially irritates me because I highly doubt this role is even worth putting an actress through that. Yoyo dieting and rapid weight gain/loss is incredibly stressful and unhealthy.

Also, sure, weight lifters don't have to be in the +75 kg category...but since the woman it's supposedly based on (however loosely) is a +75 kg legend, why not? If they were actually interested in weightlifting, and not reducing her athleticism to a ~cute quirk to make for shoujo shenanigans, they could easily scrap the college scenario and go for an older woman, like Ha Jae-sook for example, who a) has serious acting chops, and b) has never had the opportunities she deserves because she doesn't look a certain way. That's not even mentioning the obesity clinic angle they've added, which has every alarm bell ringing out to wazoo.

It's like casting Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan in that Star Trek movie a few years ago. Is Benedict Cumberbatch awesome? Yes. Should they have cast a white guy to play a character of color? NO.

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I read last week that this show is not based on anyone's life. The athlete you are referring specifically denied any such rumors and apparently she consulted them. As for, changing scenario, well that is news to me. I didn't know that they were ever planning on switching age of the protagonist so can't really comment.

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Haha I understand that feeling.. (I'm waiting to see the show to see if they made a good choice/reason in casting her or not haha)

Actually I wonder why must it be weightlifting and what's with the title fairy..

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I like her a lot and I am already warming up to this new drama, she looks funny! :) I have seen less of NJH, but I like his character in Scarlet Heart too. Anyway, I wish them the best and hope this is a success :D

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I want to believe OP and the comments here, but it still looks to me that yes, she gained some weight (her face), but she is also wearing baggy clothes. and her hair really looks like a wig to me.

hope I'm wrong tho. I like her and think she has a good future as an actress.

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While I wasn't interested in the casting or the storyline. Kudos to her for picking a different project and challenging herself. Extra points for trying to suit the character. But other than putting weight I thk it needs her to go on rigorous exercise to have built and toned arms?

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Ya actually the synopsis seems ordinary than legend of the blue sea.but who knows

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I love Lee Sungkyung but not so much of Nam Joohyuk. I wish them all the best though.

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She looks good in her new avatar.

I am waiting to see her in a very cheerful, hardworking, warm , sweet, yet badass character. I am fed up with the mean, arrogant , lonely type characters she played.

Behind the camera, she really has that sparkling cheerful personality. Her smile is so contagious. I watched Running Man, and instantly i LOVED her. She outshone, Park Shin hye in that RM episode.

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