Q: How do you feel now before the drama starts airing here? LSK: I’m really happy and looking forward to it (airing). The drama was recieved well in Korea and we recieved a lot of love from the fans watching it. I want to say thank you to everyone who watched the drama. It’s a healing and very cute drama so I’m looking forward to see how the Japanese audience will feel about the drama and if they can feel the same thing we felt (when shooting it). NJH: I’m also looking forward to it. Although the drama was aired in Korea, I’ve heard that a lot of Japanese fans also went out of their way to watch it, and also that they enjoyed it. As the formal airing (in Japan) has been decided, I’m hoping that more people will be able to enjoy it.
Q: Can you please explain what the drama is about? LSK: I think that everyone who have watched the drama will say the same thing as I am, that it is very cute. However, although the drama is cute the plot evolves in every episode and (the viewers’) feelings will become warmer and hopefully it will leave them feeling warm and fuzzy when the drama ends. All the actors and the staff say that they felt comforted/soothed when shooting the drama. The best way to explain “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo” in one word would be… “healing”. A very pure and nice feel-good-drama. NJH: I think I would use the word “adolescence/spring of life” (T/N: the word he used (青春) is usually used when describing the your youth in a nostalgic way). The drama portrays the feelings and emotions you had when you were in your adolescents. I think viewers in our age but also young people going through this stage right now can all think “Ah, this is youth” when watching our drama.
Q: The drama has finished airing in Korea.. LSK: I cried a lot. I watched the last episode with everyone yesterday, but I think I have to re-watch it because I cried too much! I can’t remember a thing, I was literally crying the whole time.
Q: Please tell us about your characters in the drama. LSK: I play Kim Bok Joo. Her charm point is that she is very straightforward but also very pure. She does not hide her feelings, and as she is a member of the weightlifting club in the school you can’t really sense any ‘femininity’ in her. However, when she falls in love for the first time she becomes aware of herself as a woman. She goes through a heart break, is also loved by another Joonhyung, goes through a slump etc. She’s a character that will show you a variety of emotions through the drama, so please look forward to her story. NJH: I play the swimmer Jung Joonhyung. He’s one of those characters who’s actions you can’t predict, but he also has a lot of charming things about him. And he is also very innocent, just like Bok Joo. Although he’s college, he hasn’t forgotten about his first love that he had in elementary school. I think the viewers will be able to see that charm of his.
Q: It’s the second time you are acting as a swimmer in a drama. Your character in “Who are you? School 2015” was also a swimmer. How was it this time? NJH: It was really hard. LSK: I heard you say that you will never do it again! NJH: Swimming is a very hard. And it is even harder when you have to shoot it, as you have to take the same scene from several different angles. It was impossible to do it alone, so I had a stand-in sometimes, but when they were shooting angles in which you can see my face I had to be the one swimming, so I swam a lot. I don’t want to do a shoot with me swimming ever again. LSK: There was a lot of scenes in the water, and since you have to move in line with the camera and not just stand still in the water, there were a lot of technical troubles. For example, you have to re-do your hair and make-up ever so often when you’re shooting in the pool. I also think your skin has been damaged by it. (T/N: It’s not indicated if she’s talking about her own or NJH’s skin).
Q: You must have trained a lot for the role? NJH: I would say that more than me training for the role, the role itself became my training. I was told by the actual swimmers that were in the drama that my swimming became faster after having shot half of the drama. The fact that I became faster even though I was really tired proved that it was worth the training. Since I have become better at swimming now I think I will reject offers that includes swimming from not on. I’m saying 'good-bye’ to swimming for a while!
Q: How similar would you say you and your character are? LSK: (Nam Joo Hyuk and) Joonhyung are 400% similar! (laughs). I would say I’m very quiet and gentle, so I’m the opposite of Bok Joo, so it was actually quite hard to play her. Right? Next question! (laughs). NJH: Sung Kyung says I’m 400% similar to my character but I just think I was able to portray the character were well (laughs). I don’t think we match 100%. I’m very laid back and enjoy reading books so.. I think that Bok Joo is actually really similar to Sung Kyung’s personality. We had a lot of fun shooting the drama. LSK: Next question please! I’m really not at all like Bok Joo! Really!! NJH: I think that Sung Kyung was able to portray the character really well. And although my portrayal was lacking, I think I did a good job as well.
Q: Then, please tell us about each other (laugh). NJH: Although Sung Kyung said that she is very quiet and calm she has a really nice personality. I think a drama shoot is very dependent on the actors, and in this care Sung Kyung really was the mood maker on the set. I think her lively personality helped create the fun atmosphere we had on the set. LSK: Joo Hyuk really is exactly like Joon Hyung. Although he is more laid back than Joon Hyung, he is also a tiiiiny bit more charming (laughs). NJH: I think we are similar in many ways because I put a lot of myself into the character. LSK: When shooting this drama, I was able to see that Joo Hyuk is a very genuine/pure person. He is very smooth at portraying emotions. He also spends a lot of time thinking about acting, and having him as a partner was very comforting on the set. NJH: I’m not that pure though (laughs). LSK: Are you corrupt then? (laughs). NJH: No, I wouldn’t say that I’m corrupt.. I would say that I’m acting similar to someone of my age (laughs). LSK: I am completely pure though (laughs). Sorry! (In Japanese:) sorry! (laughs).
Q: It seems like your chemistry is very good, but how good was your compatibility in acting?
LSK: If my partner had been someone I didn’t really know, I would go to them and talk about how I was planning on portraying my character. And while talking about acting I think I would take a step back (and follow their lead). Also, I would have to get to know them better as a person. However, with the two of us we could skip that completely. We have been modelling together for different magazines before, so when talking about how we want to do a scene, we didn’t have to be careful of the other’s personality or acting in that sense. We could just do it. We could also adapt better to the other’s acting and therefore react more naturally, so I think we did a good job. Right? NJH: We get along great. LSK: I won’t stare at you, so say what you want! (laughs) NJH: In this drama we did a lot of ad-lips. In other dramas, I made a point of talking about any ad-lips with my partner before, but during the rehearsal take in this drama I came up with a lot of ideas on the spot, so although I felt bad for Sung Kyung, I just did ad-lips without talking to her about it first. LSK: There were indeed a lot of ad-lips. NJH: However, because of how well she adapted to and participated in my sudden ad-lips, I think we were able to shoot a lot of really cute/charming scenes. LSK: I didn’t have to ‘create’ a reaction to his ad-lips. He really came out as quite pushy so I got a little bit irritated. However, Bok Joo also becomes irritated by Joon Hyung’s pushy attitude, so in a way it helped me portray Bok Joo’s reaction better (laughs). NJH: It seems like you only remember those irritating scenes.. LSK: It’s because they had a very strong impact on me. NJH: But I was talking about the scenes portraying Bok Joo and Joon Hyung’s love story though. I think I must have hurt Sung Kyung (with my pushy acting). I want to take this opportunity to apologise. It was only acting! (laughs). LSK: Your acting was very good (laughs).
Q: Both Bok Joo’s secret crush and Joon Hyung’s ex girlfriend are also in the drama (in addition to being a couple themselves). Who would you choose as a partner? LSK: Joon Hyung! NJH: Of course. I would choose Bok Joo. LSK: Of course (laughs). NJH: Although I feel bad for Shi Ho (Kyung Soo Jin) (for saying this), the time spent with Bok Joo was almost always fun. Although they are lovers, they are also very good friends. As professional athletes, they support each other and also listen to each other, and finding a partner like that is really not easy. Finding someone that will both communicate well and who will become your strength, and also someone you can count on is really hard. I really think Bok Joo and Joon Hyung should get married. Because of that I would choose Bok Joo.
Q: What are your plans now? NJH: I will rest (laughs). I have had many projects after each other for a while now, so I think I need some time to rest and recharge. LSK: I’m also planning to rest some. I think my body needs to rest as well. Both Joo Hyuk and me have had so many activities lately that I think it is important that we rest before starting anything new.
(T/N: This is not the complete interview, but at least most of it. Other questions have been asked in many other interviews so I didn’t feel the need to translate it. Also, some parts of their answers I didn’t translate because the meaning was not completely clear to me.)