MANILA — Korean actress-model Lee Sung Kyung thanked Filipinos for their warm reception of the drama “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo,” where she had her first leading role.
Ahead of her first fan meet in the country, Lee faced reporters and several fans at a press conference in Quezon City on Friday.
“She has heard that the Philippine fans really love the ‘Kim Bok Joo’ series, so thank you very much,” said a translator for Lee, who spoke in Korean.
Asked whether the 2016 drama would have a second season, Lee said she will have to discuss the matter with the director and writer of the series.
“Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo,” which aired in ABS-CBN in 2017, follows the story of the titular character who enters the world of weightlifting to fulfill her father’s dreams. It was inspired by the life of Olympic gold medalist Jang Mi-ran.
The series also follows Bok Joo's romance with her childhood friend, a collegiate swimmer played by Nam Joo Hyuk, whom Lee dated briefly off-screen.
Lee shared she found it difficult to prepare for the role of Bok Joo since she was required to gain weight.
“She had a hard time physically as well to look a bit chubbier and to physically look like Kim Bok Joo,” said Lee's translator.
“She tried so well to understand the personality and characteristics, even the small steps of Kim Bok Joo.”
Lee said she considered Bok Joo and Michaela Choi from the drama “About Time” as two of her favorite roles.
Lee added she is not eyeing any specific roles for her next project since she wants to try new things.
Before she became an actress, Lee — a towering figure with a strikingly regal face — started her entertainment career as a model, competing in various local and international modelling contests.
Lee made her acting debut in 2014 with a supporting role in the drama “It's Okay, That's Love,” which she considered a “blessing.”
“It's very great gift for her, it was a blessing for her that she was able to work with great seniors and fellow actors.”
Lee would continue to receive supporting roles, such as a melodramatic antagonist in “Cheese in the Trap” and a neurosurgeon in “The Doctors,” before she landed the lead role in “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo.”
Adding to her list of professions, Lee is also a singer.
She was featured in Eddy Kim’s song “My Lips Like Warm Coffee” in 2016, and Psy’s “Last Scene” in 2017, among other musical collaborations.
Lee recently caught the attention of Lea Salonga for her cover of the “Aladdin” theme song “A Whole New World,” which the Broadway star originally sang in the 1992 animated film.
Of all her ventures, Lee said she enjoyed acting the most.
Lee also said she plans to return to the Philippines for a vacation.
“Since she has a hectic schedule [for] this trip, on the next trip she's gonna go here for a vacation to look for a lot of places,” said Lee's translator.
“She heard from her friends and other people that there are beautiful parks and a great horse-riding experience here as well.”
Lee’s fan meet will be held at the SM Sky Dome in Quezon City on Saturday, July 27. It will be hosted by actor Alexander Diaz.