6 Of Lee Sung Kyung’s K-Dramas That Showcase Her Versatility As An Actress
Lee Sung Kyung is effortless, has impeccable comedic timing, and is a complete natural on screen. As a model, singer, and actress, Lee Sung Kyung has not restricted herself to specific genres or characters. From playing the tomboyish weightlifter, the super efficient publicity agent, or the anxious surgeon, the many facets of her onscreen personality are proof of her versatility.
In her upcoming drama “Call It Love,” Lee Sung Kyung is set to attempt something different: revenge! She plays Shim Woo Joo, whose troubles start after her father starts dating a woman whom she dislikes. Soon after her father’s death, Woo Joo is thrown out from her home by her father’s mistress. Hot on revenge, Woo Joo tries to get close to the mistress’s son Hang Dong Jin (Kim Young Kwang). However, Woo Joo’s best laid plans go awry when she starts warming up toward Dong Jin.
As we wait for “Call It Love,” let’s rewind back to some dramas which showcase this amazing actress’s range on screen.
“Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo”
This coming-of-age drama is an all-time favorite amongst K-drama fans. Meet the swag-tastic weightlifting champ Kim Bok Joo (Lee Sung Kyung). She trains hard, loves to tuck heartily into Korean BBQ with her friends, and also has the attention of campus cutie Joon Hyung (Nam Joo Hyuk), who is a swimming prodigy. Bok Joo can lift heavy barbells with ease but is totally at sea at the first stirrings of love when she sets sights on Jae Yi (Lee Jae Yoon), a doctor who also happens to be Joon Hyung’s older brother. The tomboyish Bok Joo suddenly gets self-conscious about her appearance, and in her efforts to look feminine, she wears sparkly hair clips, applies makeup, and even enrolls at Jae Yi’s clinic for weight loss, which is a no-no for any weightlifter. Though Joon Hyung plays along, it’s obvious he has strong feelings for Bok Joo, who in turn has friend-zoned him.
“Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo” is a cheery watch and is an ode to campus life, ambition, first love, insecurities, and everything in between. The drama also brought to the fore several issues ranging from performance pressure to mental health and body positivity. Lee Sung Kyung as the sprightly, straightforward Bok Joo may not be your typical K-drama heroine, but she is relatable at so many levels. Lee Sung Kyung completely commits to her character from her physical appearance to Bok Joo’s quirky mannerisms, making Bok Joo feel real and rooted. And Lee Sung Kyung and Nam Joo Hyuk’s chemistry was so in-sync on screen that it made them one of the top favorite drama couples of all time.
Start watching “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo”:
Star wars, scandals, sensational headlines, and anti-fans—welcome to the glamorous yet crazy world of show business. “Sh**ting Stars” gives a fly on the wall experience into the workings of a star management firm. Oh Han Byul (Lee Sung Kyung) is the super efficient PR head whose business is not to just to endorse and promote her celebrity clients but to also clean up their mess, which is plenty. The bane of her existence is popular celebrity Gong Tae Sung (Kim Young Dae) who in his own ways makes life tough for her. However, between juggling schedules, catering to fandoms, and organizing publicity, Han Byul and Tae Sung finally accept their true feelings for each other. But the star and his agent realize that keeping their relationship away from the spotlight is even more complicated than they had imagined.
Lee Sung Kyung as Han Byul is a treat to watch. The actress gets all aspects of a PR manager’s harried routine and mannerisms on point, and the show also gives her ample scope to showcase her flair for comedy as well. Plus, Lee Sung Kyung and Kim Young Dae’s awesome chemistry sets the screens on fire.
Start watching “Sh**ting Stars”:
“Dr. Romantic 2”
As a young doctor who would rather paint than dissect bodies, Cha Eun Jae (Lee Sung Kyung) is a second-year cardiothoracic surgeon who gets severe anxiety attacks as soon as she enters the operating room. Eun Jae lands up at Doldam Hospital along with Seo Woo Jin (Ahn Hyo Seop) and under the tutelage of the maverick surgeon Dr. Kim (Han Suk Kyu).
Eun Jae, who opted for medicine to please her mother, is unable to overcome her mental blocks and fears in the ER despite her best efforts. You feel for Eun Jae and her helplessness despite her endeavors to excel at what she is doing. As she empowers herself, guided by her mentor Dr. Kim and Woo Jin, you cheer her on as well. She is also a relatable character—have we not all gone through something similar at some point in life? This role brought a mature performance from Lee Sung Kyung, who articulates Eun Jae’s apprehensions and efforts in overcoming her challenges seamlessly, and the drama showcases her growth as an actress. Lee Sung Kyung and Ahn Hyo Seop also complement each other on screen, and they’ll be back in the third season of “Dr. Romantic,” rolling up their sleeves as they tackle emergencies at Doldam Hospital!
Start watching “Dr. Romantic 2”:
“Cheese in the Trap”
The emphasis in this show is the complicated relationship between two students, Hong Seol (Kim Go Eun) and Yoo Jung (Park Hae Jin), as well as Baek In Ho (Seo Kang Joon) as part of a complex love triangle. But Lee Sung Kyung as the loud, gold-digging, over-the-top Baek In Ha really stands out. Brash, bratty, and even obnoxious, In Ha is not one seeking any sympathy as she tries to charm Yoo Jung. Though unapologetic about who she is, you come to realize that In Ha is a woman conditioned by her past and carries heavy emotional baggage. Lee Sung Kyung excelled in putting the bad into In Ha as the unpleasant, short-tempered, and sometimes even borderline crazy, comical character. And her hair, makeup, and style are on point as they reflect In Ha as the self-obsessed fashionista.
Start watching “Cheese in the Trap”:
A high school delinquent named Yoo Hye Jung (Park Shin Hye) gets a second lease on life thanks to her teacher Hong Ji Hong (Kim Rae Won). Years later as a neurosurgeon, their paths cross yet again as her teacher Ji Hong is none other than the hospital’s sought-after surgeon. There is also Jin Seo Woo (Lee Sung Kyung), the wealthy and snobbish classmate of Hye Jung’s, who is a complex character.
Lee Sung Kyung may not have been the central character in this drama, but she makes her presence felt as the envious and under-confident Seo Woo. Selfish and even meddlesome, Seo Woo’s jealousy toward Hye Jung is apparent from their school days to the hospital. But it is not stemming from hate or bitterness but rather from Seo Woo’s own insecurities. Once you see through her dismissive exterior, you realize that Seo Woo is not all that bad, even making you empathize with her.
Start watching “Doctors”
Meet Choi Michaela: a girl who can foresee the seconds, minutes, and hours you have to live. However, she is unable to see how much of her own time is left, until she meets Lee Do Ha (Lee Sang Yoon), a chaebol obsessed with his life and wealth. As the two come together, they realize what’s important in life is to make every minute count. Michaela’s anguish at having an ability that she would rather not have comes through as she bravely confronts situations well despite knowing the inevitable.
One of Lee Sung Kyung’s more serious roles, the actress gives a nuanced and restrained performance. And the chemistry between the two leads comes across as they try to maintain a healthy relationship while being well aware of the impending heartbreak.
Start watching “About Time”:
Hey Soompiers, which one is of these dramas is your favorite Lee Sung Kyung drama ? Let us know in the comments below!
Puja Talwar is a Soompi writer with a strong Song Joong Ki and Lee Junho bias. A long time K-drama fan, she loves devising alternate scenarios to the narratives. She has interviewed Lee Min Ho, Gong Yoo, and Ji Chang Wook to name a few. You can follow her on @puja_talwar7 on Instagram.
Currently watching: “The Interest of Love” and “Crash Course In Romance.”