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Seven K-Drama Actors Who Bulked Up For A Role

BY Julie Jones | Nov 24, 2015 10:23 AM EST


The fat suit worn by Shin Min Ah in "Oh My Venus" cost a small fortune. On November 23, the Korean media outlet OSEN revealed that the suit used to bulk up the actress cost a whopping $172,000.

A production team representative told OSEN, "The suit that Shin Min Ah wears is disposable."

That seems very expensive for something disposable but adding pounds to Shin Min Ah's slender frame was not going to be easy. Shin Min Ah said that the costume and special effects were worth it because they helped her portray the overweight lawyer Kang Joo Eun in a realistic way. She didn't want Kang to be a caricature but seem like a real person.

"I wanted to show her as foolish, but in a realistic way. Thankfully, thanks to the special effects makeup this was able to come out naturally."

K-drama actors occasionally have to don a fat suit for a role. Ironically, the actor who plays her ex-boyfriend in "Oh My Venus" was one of those actors.

Jung Kyeo Woon plays Im Woo Sik, the man that left Kang for the newly slim Oh Soo Jin, played by Yoo In Young. Yoo also had to wear a fat suit to show how much weight her character lost.

Jung Kyeo Woon was toned and muscled in the drama "Dr. Champ" but he followed it with the 2011 romantic comedy "Romance Town." He played a chaebol in that drama. His character is described as sweet when he is overweight but after he loses the weight, he is meaner. Jung used a fat suit to bulk up to 330 pounds in that drama. Even with the fat suit it took five hours of makeup to complete the look.

Two other actresses have slipped into a fat suit for a role. Even with the extra poundage and puffier cheeks IU looked adorable in "Dream High." Her fat suit cost $50,000 plus an extra $2,000 was spent on make-up for every episode she was in. Her transformation for each episode also took five hours.

Kim Ah Joong relied on makeup for her transformation in the film "200 Pounds Beauty" but declined the offer of doing a sequel when it was suggested that she gain actual weight for the role.

Sometimes a k-drama actor will actually gain weight for a role. Go Ara did for "Reply 1994" and Kim Sun Ah did for "My Lovely Kim Sam Soon."

While eating anything you wanted might seem like fun, it is not always easy. You have to change your eating habits and then lose the weight when you finish the role.

"The director kept telling me that I had to gain weight," said Go Ara . "The most I could gain was nine pounds but Na Jeong had a good appetite so I gained 15 to 18 pounds as filming continued."

Kim Sun Ah gained 15 pounds to pay the role of Kim Sam Soon in "My Lovely Kim Sam Soon."

It was an important part of playing the pastry chef heroine, who her ex-boyfriend describes as smelling like sugar.

"It was not pleasant for me as an actress," said Kim Sun Ah. "But I regarded the fat around my stomach as a way to express Sam Soon's inner state."

Even with an extra 15 pounds Kim Sun Ah was still beautiful. 

Do you think Shin Min Ah's extra weight in "Oh My Venus" looks realistic? Let us know.

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