Lee Sung Kyung and Nam Joo Hyuk Confirmed as Leads for MBC Drama Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo


Lee Sung Kyung is rather polarizing for me to watch as an actress, she’s definitely memorable onscreen but sometimes for the wrong reasons. The same came be said for Nam Joo Hyuk but in the exact opposite way, he’s definitely not memorable onscreen except in rare instances. That’s why it’s entertaining in a potential hot mess way that MBC has cast them as the leads in upcoming Wed-Thurs drama Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo. It’s slated to air in late fall following Shopping King Louie, which will take over for currently airing W: Two Worlds. Lee Sung Kyung headlined Flower of the Equator while Nam Joo Hyuk was the male lead in School 2015: Who Are You, but the former was a weekend drama and the latter had everyone playing a supporting role in screen time and importance to leading lady Kim So Hyun. This will mark their first big leading role selection and for audience sakes I want their roles to be well-written and the acting and chemistry consistently on point.


Weightlifting Fairy is being directed by PD Oh who helmed Dr. Jin, 7th Grade Civil Servant, and A New Leaf, and written by screenwriter Yang Hee Seung who did High School King of Savvy and Oh My Ghost. The drama will be inspired by the real life story of Olympic top casinos weightlifting champion Jang Mi Ran, telling of a young awkward girl’s maturation and social growth after only being good at weightlifting. I can’t imagine in a million billion years that stick thin Lee Sung Kyung looks anything like a plausible weight lifter, and this role feels tailored made for a Lee Shi Young who in real life is a boxer. But oh wells, let’s see what comes of it.


Lee Sung Kyung and Nam Joo Hyuk Confirmed as Leads for MBC Drama Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo — 53 Comments

    • So it’s basically cannon fodder that’ll be expected to flop.

      I feel a little bad for Lee Sung Kyung but I hope things turn out ok.

      • It looks like MBC is basically like not even gonna try to compete with monster hallyu JJH and LMH so they were basically looking for bad casting to blame for bad ratings?

    • I suppose that MBC doesn’t want a “clash of titans”. I think that only rookies actors have nothing to loose going against the bulldozer JJH/LMH. If the drama fail they ll’ put that on the shoulders of the actors and lee sung kyung and nam joo hyuk will gain the opportunity to try lead roles. It’s a win win situation.

      • yeah its the same situation with W and UF right now. While neither shows have leads on the same level as JJH, they are all A listers and i guess they want to avoid a situation like that occurring again. LSK and NJH don’t really have much to lose from starring in this ( well maybe LSK does,being subjected to criticism since its kinda a ridiculous casting for the type of character she is to be playing)

  1. Well, they probably aren’t expecting ratings wonder with the competition. I hope it turns out good and all the best to both of them. Lee Sung Kyung does exceptionally well with the little she gets to do in Doctors. So, here’s wishing her good luck.

    • They aren’t expected to. They aren’t well known so if it does well then it could make their careers. I remember when Secret did air with Heirs, nobody expected it to draw huge numbers but it did so surprisingly. I hope this does well, I do like both of them very much. And it is “Flower of the Queen koala”, not Flower of the Equator, wherever did you get that name??

  2. I actually love LSK’s acting. Even in CITT. Yes, her acting seemed over the top in CITT, but i think that is mostly due to the directing. Plus, her character in CITT does call for some crazy. She’s really working very hard, producing two dramas in a year. Hopefully she can gain some recognition after this. Was so afraid that she’d get stuck in second lead territory, although that is not necessarily the worst. (Some second lead characters are more memorable than first.)

  3. I am not intersetinh with november drama,coz LMH drama doesnt have a good competitor not like july/august drama for w,ioj and uf.

    • I really hope that she’s the type of actress to get into character and gain weight for the role. But it doesn’t look like it.. Props to Kim Sun Ah for gaining weight to film Kim Kam Soon. I have major respect to actors and actresses willing to sacrifice their looks.. It shows how determined they are!

  4. I actually like the scriptwriter. Truth is i havnt really see the leads previous dramas. But the comments for them are pretty underwhelming. Hopefully she will work out a tad to fit the role and make it more realistic.

      • It’s already decided, MBC will put Lee Sungkyung – Nam Joohyuk drama against JJH-LMH drama. Let’s see what KBS put.

      • KBS plan chief kim after on the way to airport. I bet they gonna put some relatively unknown cast. if I were kbs exec i would cuz its JJH. im sure top actresses are not stupid enough to compete with her.

  5. I cannot wrap my head around how Lee Sung Kyung is going to realistically lift anything, her arms and legs are so skinny! Which is ideal as a model I guess but she has to bulk up a bit for this to be even half way believable.

    I guess I’m sad because this role could have gone to someone who wasn’t size 0-2 and be very believable, but they had to go with the “typical” Korean actress size.

    I’ll reserve my full judgement for the show until the teaser/promo stuff comes out but I do hope LSK surprises me so that watching this won’t require constant suspension of belief.

    • Maybe, she is supposed to put on a bit weight or even use body suit, lets wait and see. Dramas rarely turn out to be exactly what they claim to be. Who knows, lets wait a bit.

    • @Michykdrama they think a fatsuit means a muscular body come on now. It’s shameful the way Korea body shames it’s own people there are much better actress out there who could play this role and fit the image of an athlete. While I think this actress is ok,she has no depth this story did not need another pretty actress. I remember when kdrama actors looked like normal people slim but not so skinny,now all you see is skeletons walking around and everybody either looks like a flowerboy or an idol smh

    • She is a better as an actress than many well known actress. She might be abit limit, but it might be due to she is still doesn’t have much experience. She is outshining park shin hye in doctors. The problem is really her physical.

      • She gets very little to do in doctors, yet the few moments are powerful in a restrained way. Maybe not outshining but she could give PSH a run for the money if the script actually did allow her to shine and do something beyond very little that she has been given so far. Nothing against PSH, she is good and has improved a lot but she is in maximum frames in Doctors, its really not possible in the setup to outshine her for Lee Sung Kyung. Her best friend So-Hee is just there to be comic relief and adds no depth. In Joo pretty much does the same now. The funny thing about doctors is they have an interesting bunch of characters and a strong cast but only a select few get to do anything meaningful beyond the usual which is a shame. Even Namgoong Min had more screen time as a cameo appearance than Seo-Woo at this point.

      • how is she outshining PSH? lol. people will say anything just to put this actress down. Even if LSK was given a more meatier role or screentime,she still wont be able to outshine PSH. the way LSK says her lines is still awkward. PSH may not be a great actress, but she is definitely 10x better than LSK. it’s just that girl havent found that perfect role(not like many kdrama actresses has)

      • LSK is doing great but until she can carry her own drama successfully you can’t say she outshines PSH.
        People love to put PSH down for the fame she has. I remember people said Lee Yoo bi and Krystal were better actresses than her. But what happened in their dramas?
        2nd and support roles are often more interesting than main role but not everyone can carry a drama successfully.
        Personally I think LSK has the most interesting role in Doctors and the writer did a great job on that. She might not have that much screen time but most of her moments are great.

  6. JJH in 2016 is not JJH in MTfAS. LMH in 2016 is not LMH in the City Hunter or the Heirs. They both have to slim down in order to look gook physically. And I’m sure they can make it since that’s what A-list actors are capable of and determined to do for project sake. Not to bash them. They didn’t look as charming as before in their recent appearance.

    • ….come on, JJH had a baby not even six months ago, can we not nitpick on new mothers for not losing every ounce of pregnancy weight within months of their baby’s birth?

      Don’t know about Lee Min Ho’s weight gain though, I’m pretty sure he has never been pregnant.

      • hahaahaha LOL…Hey man, entertainment is not charity. If she doesn’t look like a fairy mermaid physically, then she will just lose her appeal to viewers. When actors get old, they better take more age appropriate roles rather than reprise characters only befitting youth. In JJH’s case, her postpartum looks totally remind fans of a nursing mom. LOL

        Nobody demands her to look younger or lose weight actually. Just she may look better if she waits a bit longer. Why rush to take a new project?

      • @Liz, I actually agree with Gina about cutting slack on JJH since she’s supposed to nurse her newborn during this time, not doing dramas or any intense activities. Showbiz is not like other professions that moms can get back to work just totally looking like moms. To picture her as a gorgeous mermaid in a fairy tale is a bit tough with her postpartum physique. LOL

    • I think JJH actually looks fabulous. She didn’t put on much weight really, and her face is still glowing from the pregnancy.

      LMH on the other hand, is looking a little heavier these days. Let’s be absolutely clear–it’s not like the guy is fat in any way, but even his cheeks are a bit puffier this last year. Maybe he’s totally happy-in-love with Suzy or something. I don’t fault him for it as a person. As a society we should all chill out about ideal weights and hair colors and noses. As an actor (a freaking megastar, at that), I am surprised he hasn’t taken better care of his image.

  7. As one of those who decried MIchelle Chen’s casting as Xiaolongnu, the most ethereal beauty in the world, I have to decry this casting also.

    A stick-thin model is NOT the proper casting for a weightlifter. I get that Lee Sung Kyung can’t be choosy about her roles, but I really hope she bulks up somewhat for this role.

    Alas, I’m not expecting much from her as there really isn’t much time to put on the muscle bulk necessary for a believable weightlifter….

    Just really poor job by the casting department.

  8. I guess they are hunting for the hot commodity in the looks department rather than finding someone who physically depicts the main character. It’s quite a shame really that looks are so important. I have no doubt about Lee Sung Kyung’s acting abilities, but I definitely cannot see her in this particular role (unless she bulks up). Seriously if you’re trying to pay homage to someone by making a movie/drama about them, be more mindful of the people you choose to depict them.

  9. This drama caught me by surprised. I even drop Legend of the Blue Sea after 2nd eps. But I can’t stop watching this drama. Yes, she is too skinny for weighlifter. But, the chemistry between the two is no joke. The cast is great, bringing all the characters to life. The writing is super fun. The directing, OST, style.. everything is working for me. For once, I see natural hairstyle in a drama, not everyone looks like they just came out of beauty salon. This drama making me smile from ear to ear everytime. It’s so realistic. I can relate to a lot of scenes and lines. It makes my ahjumma-heart flutter big time. I am very impressed with Nam Joo Hyuk. He’s improved so much from Scarlet Heart, you won’t even believe it. Watch this drama!!!

  10. Eat your words, everyone! Weightlifting Fairy has both leads acting fantastically – especially Nam – and their chemistry is off the charts.

    But it’s good to be proven wrong in this instance, because … better dramas means EVERYONE WINS!

    • Lol Nam did well but LSK was AMAZING! Nam’s character is perfect and it was easy for him to act but Bokjoo was A-list! Credits also to LSK!

  11. I just finish this drama yesterday night/or today early morning.I never watched any Korean drama.It caught my eyes suddenly and I just couldn’t get enough of this one.Love both leads they are amazing.The story is so good.After a long time I watched a good show like this.It made me addicted,I finished this within 4 days and I’m planning to re-watch it.It was so realistic.I laughed and cried with them.This is seriously must watch drama

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