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Stills from Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju’s first script read

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The script read for MBC’s new youth sports rom-com Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju kicked off with a strong start. Here are the stills from the table read, led by Lee Sung-kyung (Doctors) in the title role as a young weightlifter, and Nam Joo-hyuk (Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart: Ryeo) in his first leading role. The drama is the first-love story of a young female weightlifting champion, Kim Bok-ju, who knows more about barbells than boys.

In contrast to her past roles as the bratty, cold princess character, Lee Sung-kyung showed her lovable side as innocent, sports-loving Kim Bok-ju. She first falls for Lee Jae-yoon (Oh Hae-young Again) who used to be an athlete in his past, but is now a doctor at an obesity clinic. He is the cousin of Nam Joo-hyuk’s character, a professional swimmer with a carefree mischievous personality. The second female lead will be played by Kyung Su-jin (Bluebird’s House). Her character is a stressed-out, overachieving rhythmic gymnast with an Asian Games silver medal under her belt.

Every couple of years, when all the stars are aligned, a sports drama pops out of dramaland. To be honest, many end up flopping (see Triple and Dream). But once in a blue moon, a heartwarming story about a scrappy underdog athlete overcoming all odds could come along, right? Hopefully, Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju will fall in the latter category. According to reports, the first script read was full of laughter and great chemistry, perhaps due to the group dynamic from the actors doing their physical training together.

Other actors who were present at the script read include: Ahn Gil-kang (Mirror of the Witch), Choi Moo-sung (Uncontrollably Fond), Jang Young-nam (Dazzling Temptation), Jo Hye-jung (Cinderella and the Four Knights), Jo Soo-hyang (Who Are You–School 2015), Ji Il-joo (Age of Youth), fitness model Ray Yang (The Good Wife), and N.Flying’s Kim Jae-hyun (Modern Farmer).

Upcoming MBC Wednesday-Thursday youth drama Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju will be broadcast after Shopping King Louis finishes in November.

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Via Chosun News

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Lee Sung Kyung is gorgeous as hell, but lol ... weightlifter? I'd buy it if she were playing Kim Yuna or something. But for a drama quasi-based on the career of Jang Mi Ran, isn't it a disservice to the source material to cast an actress with a physique that's literally the diametric opposite?

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Actually its stated that she'll be trained for this role. But the question is, how much of a transformation a young model like her would like to risk ? I am really worried about the possibility of a half assed transformation.

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i think they should cast lee soyoung instead since she is an amateur boxer in real life. but then i hope this two surprise us.
anyway both lead are the first to be the lead. i hope its not burdensome to both.

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Lee already had what seems to be a well-received turn as lead in Queen's Flower (didn't watch this personally so I couldn't confirm). Nam was Kim So-hyun's leading man in School 2015 and, uhm, erhm... I disliked him even in Cheese in the Trap.

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He was way better in 츠엔트 than he was in school.

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Jang Mi Ran said that while she helped out as a consultant providing details about weightlifting as sports, she's made it clear multiple times that the drama has nothing to do about her life. and there are definitely weightlifters in lower weight classes who don't necessarily have the physique of Jang Mi Ran.

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Thanks for sharing that info, I don't think it's been translated before. ^^

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I really hope this one will actually be a pleasant suprise...I'm a bit sad there aren't more sports dramas out there...Also Nam Joo Hyuk played the lead in School: Who are You 2015 so tehnically it's his second time as a lead

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Im anxious about how people will perceived this drama. Im worried because both of the lead actor are still considered rookies and both have been critisized for their acting in the past. I have seen Nam Joo Hyuk growth from School 2015 and Moon Lovers and he definitely gets better and more engaging than before (School 2015 made him look flat most of the time), but lead material ? I haven't seen a single work from Sungkyung except IOIL and i love herself there but still...

Ugh i just want to wrap them on a blanket. I adore these two so much but also really happy for this opportunity. Maybe because of the drama theme that make me SUPER ANXIOUS. If it was about that lovey dovey drama, i'll probably be like "Oh okay" but SPORT ?????

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I like Lee Sung-kyung and I think she can do well as a leading lady. At least I hope she does xD
This isn't Nam Joo-hyuk's first lead role, he was the lead in Who Are You: School 2015.

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Welp.

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I wish they would get an actress that closely resembles the physique of hang mi ran
They should at least make it believable

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Triple was sad. It had potential, and then it went south. Sigh.

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Lee Sung Kyung is a stunning actress and I definitely don't doubt her capabilities (if anyone can make me go from hating them to loving them by the end of the series like she did in Doctors, then they're really good in my book), but I'm really not sure how they'll pull it off with her appearance. I hope they don't screw it up - if I recall correctly this is her first drama as the lead girl.

For Nam Joo Hyuk, though, I love him as Baek-ah so I can't wait to see him as the lead! And as a swimmer, no less!

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Didn't Nam Joo Hyuk have a lead role in School 2015, Who Are You? So this would be his second lead role, not his first, surely?

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Lee Jae-yoon is so handsome! He's not the typical kdrama pretty guy but I've loved him since I first saw him in Cruel City... hopefully one of these days he gets the girl :,(

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The masculine looking actors aren't as popular in K-dramas and Lee Jae-yoon is better looking than most of those "pretty" guys.

Despite not a particularly great role - think LJY made the most out of his performance in OHYA.

At least LJY fits the bill in looking like an athlete/former athlete unlike most casting choices for athletes.

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I know this. But Ma Dong Seok seems to have broken the mold, though not as a romantic lead since he's predominantly featured in OCN. Well I guess as long as they have steady work they can be grateful for (big sigh).

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Kdrama, where a female icon's entire life's work gets reduced to a meet cute for puppy love and a not-so-subtle rejection of her body type in favor of the hegemonic beauty standards that have probably made her life hell. Great.

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Everything you said. I generally can watch dramas and TV shows that follow harmful stereotypical tropes (I.e.99% of this words media) in the vein of analyzing them and envisioning how they can be better - for the sake of social justice and also good art - but this one is just so offensive that my visceral reaction is to recoil away. And I am sure the fact that it is based on a real person plays a role in this reaction of mine. The prototype is right there, and when you can go as far as ignoring how she actually is (body and life motivations wise) and also actually harming people like her in the process (I.e women, non-thin individuals, non-love-is-what-i-need-as-a-woman-to-be-valued people), that is just too troubling to even sit through, let alone get to the analysis stage.

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So I don't think this is going to be the show I thought it was going to be or wanted it to be... But here's hoping that it's a good story nonetheless.

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I'll watch, but I'll forever be bitter that they didn't cast a more fitting actress.

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Contrary to popular beliefs, not all weight lifting professionals are on heavier side. There are ones who are thinner but all of them have well-defined muscles. So the physique has to have well defined muscles made prominent by the lifestyle. I wish they'd do that at least here. I really like Lee Sung Kyung so all the best to her. The

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The drama is not based on Jang Mi Ran's life! She's even said that she felt less burden in offering her experience and knowledge as a weightlifter specifically because it wasn't about her life.

Yes, it would have been nice if they casted an actress that broke typical beauty standards but there are definitely weightlifters with a variety of body types and a bit stereotypical to assume that every weightlifter has to look like Jang Mi Ran, especially when the drama isn't about her and she didn't want it to be about her.

LSK has slowly been gaining weight, last I heard was she gained ten pounds after Doctors ended (but since she's so tall it's barely noticeable...) She's willing to do what's needed for the role, I'm just gonna wait and see how it all comes out on tv.

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Yes, I agree that for once they could have defied the typical beauty standards but if we look at the current pool of female actors in Korea, most don't defy that standard regardless of their ability or popularity.
As for Lee Sung Kyung, she has that model toned figure so I had initially felt that it could be impossible. But even if she can't aim for a body that looks 100% like a weightlifter, they could aim for somewhat similar physique like Deng Wei, the Chinese gold medalist. I think her face and body given the time frame could match that to a certain extent. Of course, its impossible to aim for that body, it takes years of hard work and practice but it could work out if they aim for something keeping both her actual structure and a realistic body of an athlete in mind.

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This better be amazing to comfort me after SKL ends and give LSK a role to really truly shine.

NJH is more tanned than the last time I saw him. He looks gorgeous. I'm trying to hard to forgive him for WAY:S2015 because I know it's not he's fault and he's making easier lately. Looking great at the Moon Lovers presscon. And beautiful at the TvN awards. And now this. Fine boy, I want be too bitter about your casting anymore. *this kid is bring out a shallow side I didn't know I had*

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LSK and NJH both from YG entertaiment, very well put your artist everywhere woops live is so easy if you in a big company i guess!!!
Inm so boring seeing Nam joohyuk face everytime come to dramabean, like there's no actors anymore than him..

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If you don't see anyone but Nam Joo-hyuk every time you come to dramabeans, I suggest removing the adblock filter you must have placed on pictures of everyone else on this site.

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NJH is so boring... But of course, with that face, and with YG's backing he's landing lead roles.

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Hoping that everyone has the open mind for this drama, starting from the casting of Lee Sung Kyung.
She is really down to earth and always commit 1000% for her roles.
She keeps challenging herself with different type of roles.
She learnt from all the mistakes and criticisms from the past roles to make improvements every time.
This time is going to be tough I am certain
She has been gaining weight by eating as much as she can
For such a skinny body type like her, it must be so hard to gain weight much.
So I am very appreciated her effort to put on this role
And she also cut her long hair for this role and been working out a lot
It shows her determination for this role
So good luck to her and the team since they will have really really tough competition
I have zero expectation on high rating while looking at the drama's competitor
But all i ask for is positive reviews and a royal fanbase to support the drama ^^

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I don't hate njh but i hope next time lsk is not pairing with rookie
and find character that fit her so well
i heard the writer was from omg drama.so i hope it gets good storyline

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Both in terms of experience are pretty much the same.. (well LSK might be better placed in terms of acting though)

Actually the one thing I'm looking forward to is their chemistry.. Since they know each other very well and not the first time working together (be it drama or modelling)

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I hope this drama will do well (or, lol, well enough, considering the drama that it's going to be competing against) so that she can get other lead roles in the future. I think she's shown enough in her recent projects to show that she's capable of acting well. I'd love to see her with some of my other favorite K-actors, haha.

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Rating is one thing, I guess what matters more is the public response and impression to their acting (Many shows had proven that even good looking and skilful actors cast assemble could end up with Low rating, vice versa.. and rating isn't something one can really control anyway.. all keeping their finger crossed.. like DOTS, no one expected it to be that successful, especially after official comments saying SJK wasn't the first choice for the role and the pre-production format is bringing fear and uncertainty, as if writing a history to Korean drama)

Anyway recent news, Lee Jong Suk appearing for cameo.. And the production company is the one for W-Two world.. the writer and director with pretty good work previously too.. (Frankly speaking I think the story flow, editing and directing is going to be quite good, Something i look forward to.. and though it's not based entirely on true life story of the athlete, they did consult her for advice, and I think in terms of the character development, it could be a lot more detailed.. i find the overall plot something that everyone could associate with easily..)

Which also means going to be a true test to the actors, whether able to bring their char to life..

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Heh...

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rather OT but imo for sports and medical centered stories, japanese dramas are still superior.. jdramas actually made me want to try out some of the sports irl lol

anyway best of luck for LSK, it would be quite a feat if she manages to be convincing as a weightlifter.. and for all LJS fans here, apparently he's going to cameo in this -probably as a delivery boy or something lol

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I like both the leads, so I hope it does well for them. I doubt MBC has seriously high expectations given the cast and the fact it's airing against JJH's new drama. I just hope it's a good experience for them both.

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