Shin Min Ah's character in "Oh My Venus" loses weight thanks to the training and diet regimen prescribed by So Ji Sub's trainer character. While playing the overweight attorney Kang Joo Eun, Shin Min Ah lost some weight too.
Workouts and watching her diet help Kang lose an impressive 33 pounds by the fifth episode. And in real life the already slim actress also lost weight because of the physical challenges involved in playing her role.
The expensive and time-consuming transformation that resulted in longer work days. It was easy enough to pad Shin Min Ah's clothing but making her face look as if it was really heavier required skill and time. It took a team of CELL makeup expert working for hours to make the $172,000 disguise look realistic.
It was important to make the transformation look realistic said the director, Kim Hyung Suk, at a November press conference for the drama.
"We tried to make our drama as realistic as possible so that people can relate to the story," said Kim Hyung Suk. "That's why we made Shin realistically fat with the special makeup, not absurdly fat, which might make her look funny."
Seven or eight people in the CELL make-up team worked on Shin Min Ah at the same time, adding silicon weights and smoothing over the additions to make it appear seamless.
The makeup team was recently interviewed in the Korean media outlet Insight and offered information about the process, saying that it took about three hours each time it was applied.
"In the five episodes that aired, Shin Min Ah had to be made up 25 times."
Needing that much makeup time also affects the drama filming schedule. In some dramas, two or three scenes are filmed with the makeup on and then the actress gets to rest for a few days to protect her skin. That did not happen in "Oh My Venus."
"Once the special makeup is on, she had to film for 15 to 20 hours at a stretch," said the CELL representative. "And even after erasing the makeup, she only had to reapply it in a few hours."
But so far Shin Min Ah's skin seems unaffected. Fortunately, the character is shaping up and Shin Min Ah won't have to spend as many extra hours in makeup.
"Oh My Venus" also stars So Ji Sub as the chaebol celebrity trainer, Yoo In Young as Shin Min Ah's rival and Jung Gyu Woon plays her ex-boyfriend.