Lee Sung-Kyung is one of the darlings of Korean drama who has proven to audiences that she is more than just a pretty face. She is not afraid to take on roles that called for her to make drastic physical transformations. She is also not afraid to be the antagonist in some dramas, which only showed her versatility in her craft.
If you’ve seen some of her work before, we’ve rounded up a list of 10 Korean dramas you’d be interested to watch as it featured the beautiful actress in her element.
Dr. Romantic 2 (2020)
Many would say that for you to fully appreciate the second season of Dr. Romantic, you need to watch the first. But it was equally successful nonetheless.
In this second installment, Boo Yong Joo (Han Suk Kyu), also known as Dr. Romantic or Teacher Kim, comes to Geosan University Hospital to recruit a general surgeon. He finds Seo Woo-jin (Ahn Hyo-seop), a doctor with a troubled past who is ostracized by his fellow doctors, and offers him the job.
Meanwhile, Lee Sung-kyung plays Cha Eun-jae, a second-year cardiac surgery fellow. She was a top student in medical school who was always in competition with Woo-jin, with whom she had a complicated relationship. While she may be acing her grades, she seems to have trouble while in practice. She cannot bear to do surgery without vomiting or falling asleep due to her anxiety medications. Eventually, she got suspended after making another mistake in the operating room and was left with no other choice but to follow the two doctors to Doldam Hospital.
Under Teacher Kim’s guidance, Eun-jae and Woo-jin were in for an exciting professional and personal transformation.
About Time (2018)
In this 2018 drama, Lee Sung-kyung plays Choi Michaela/ Mika, a young and aspiring musical actress trying to get her big break. She has a special skill that allows her to see the remaining time that people have left in their lives. Unfortunately, she is also aware of how numbered her days are. Mika knows that she only has 167 days left of her life and intends to make the most of it.
One day, she becomes involved in a minor car accident and meets Lee Do-ha (Lee Sang-yoon), a chaebol and the president of the cultural foundation, MK Entertainment. She unexpectedly discovers that her life clock stops whenever she’s with him, so she becomes his personal driver as she was determined to keep him close at all costs. Do-ha finds her to be a nuisance at first, but things take an interesting and painful turn as the two begin to fall in love.
In this drama, Lee Sung Kyung dominated the small screen and made audiences “Choi Michaela-holics”. Her acting stayed on point as she portrayed the unique sensibilities that came with knowing one’s time-limited life through the countdown clocks.
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (2016)
This is a coming-of-age story about a group of college athletes who are fighting for their dreams, experiencing and finding love in the process, and growing every step of the way.
Lee Sung-kyung, who plays the titular character, Kim Bok-joo. She is a college student who is training to be a weightlifter and is on the running to become part of the Olympic team. But her journey was not that easy as she also faced the struggles that regular students face.
Amidst her weightlifting journey, she had to deal with her father’s health, her relationships with her friends, a budding romance, and even depression. There is much to learn and enjoy from this drama that made it enjoyable, and the characters easy to love.
For this role, Lee Sung-kyung reportedly gained five kilograms just for her role as a weightlifting athlete. She claimed that she steadily trained for two months under professional weightlifting coach Kim Cheol-yu in order to prepare for her role. Kim praised her commitment despite the crammed intense training program due to the hectic filming schedule.
Another interesting development that came out of this series was Sung-kyung’s and fellow actor, Nam Joo-hyung’s relationship. Even though the pair broke up, the two remained friends.
The Doctors (2016)
This medical drama revolved around Yoo Hye-jung (Park Shin-hye) was a headstrong girl in high school with a prickly, gangster personality. A difficult childhood made Hye-jung close off her heart towards other people. However, she changes after meeting her mentor Hong Ji-hong (Kim Rae-won), who plays a key role in transforming her life from a “hopeless” delinquent to a compassionate doctor. They part ways only to meet again after 13 years, when Yoo Hye-jung had become a doctor.
Lee Sung-kyung plays the conflictual second female lead, Jin Seo Woo, who is also the romantic and intellectual rival of Park Shin Hye’s character.
Jin Seo-woo is a neurosurgeon who also happened to be Yoo Hye-jung’s friend-turned-enemy. She liked Hong Ji-Hong, but seeing the growing relationship between him and Hye-jung, she stirred up trouble for them. This in turn caused them to part ways. Forgetting about Hong, she starts liking Jung Yoon-do (Yoon Kyun-sang) but again feels inferior to Hye Jung because Yoon-do is also attracted to Hye-jung. Eventually, she reconciled with Hye-jung and restored their friendship, and in the end, she fell for Young-gook (Baek Sung-hyun) and became his girlfriend.
Cheese in the Trap (2016)
It tells a story about a university student named Hong Seol (Kim Go-eun) that has to live a hard-working life such as doing a part-time job and even taking a leave for a semester only to work full-time in order to raise money to pay her college tuition. She meets Yoo Jung (Park Hae-jin), her senior who has a mysterious personality, whom she suspects is a sociopath.
Yoo Jung is involved with the Baek Siblings, In-ha (Lee Sung-kyung) the older sister, and In-ho (Seo Kang-joon) the younger brother. They have been orphans since they were kids. Both In-ha and In-ho got taken care of by their grandfather after their parents died. But then their grandfather passed away as well, they got their aunt as their guardian after that. Unfortunately, the aunt was violent and abusive to In-ha since she was jealous of her beautiful face. She had a lot of scars when she was a kid due to the beating from her aunt. Thankfully, Yoo Jung’s grandfather saw this. As In-ha was crying for help, the Baek siblings got taken care of by Yoo Jung’s grandfather.
As a grown-up Baek In-ha, she turns out to be melodramatic and materialistic. She has been adopted into Jung’s family as a child, then she developed feelings for Jung, although he does not reciprocate it.
Flower of the Queen (2015)
Trying to escape a troubled past in Korea, Lee Soo-Jung (Kim Sung-ryung) immigrated to the United States, to reinvent herself as Rena Jung. In America, she enrolls in culinary school but success eluded her forcing her to return to Korea 20 years later. By conniving and manipulating others, she emerges as the beautifully ambitious star chef who hosts her own cooking show and an eye to marry the wealthy, and she has her eyes set on Park Min-Joon (Lee Jong-hyuk).
Lee Sung-kyung plays Kang Yi Sol, Lena Jung’s abandoned daughter. As her mother chases success to live a luxurious lifestyle, Yi Sol finds success after practically raising herself. This TV series raises the question of what defines happiness to viewers.
It’s Okay That’s Love (2014)
This story revolves around Jang Jae-yeol (Jo In-sung), an author of bestselling mystery novels and a radio DJ. He is playful and a bit arrogant, but underneath it all, he is actually suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Jang Jae-yeol was assaulted by his father when he was young and his mother accidentally killed him. However, Jae-yeol falsely testified that his brother was the one who killed his father, and for that, he carried around a pang of guilt that led him to develop an obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Ji Hae-soo (Gong Hyo-jin) is a psychiatrist in her first year of fellowship. She is driven and ambitious, with strong compassion towards her patients. However, Hae-soo has a negative attitude towards love and relationships in her personal life. When Jae-yeol and Hae-soo meet, there is much contention between them caused by their strong personalities and refusal to give in to each other. However, their bickering slowly turns into love and they start to realize how compatible they are. Jae-yeol and Hae-soo attempt to heal each other’s deep-seated wounds, but their relationship took a blow when they learned that Jae-yeol’s mental health issues are more serious than they initially suspected
Lee Sung-kyung plays the role of Oh So-nyeo, a girl whose behavioral problems got her in lots of trouble. She was expelled from high school and was abandoned by her mother. So-nyeo works at a cafe alongside Soo-kwang, Hae-soo’s housemate with Tourette syndrome. She takes advantage of his feelings for her and uses him to give her money and buy her things, even though he knows she’s seeing someone else. So-nyeo eventually falls for Soo-kwang and begins dating him exclusively, then decides she wants to become a psychiatrist like Hae-soo.
Record of Youth (2020)
This story revolves mostly around Sa Hye-jun (Park Bo-gum), a model who is just like most in the entertainment industry who dreams of hitting it big. He comes from a difficult family background. His grandfather was conned by many people which drove his dad to resort to manual labor and his mother to work as a house help in his best friend’s home. Hye-jun is a person who sticks to morals and feels that hard work will be rewarded. But his family feels that him running after this dream of stardom is stupid when he should rather be working hard to be a salaryman like his elder brother.
While Hye-jun tries his luck in the cutthroat entertainment industry, he meets others who are struggling to make it despite the challenges held by their personal background.
For die-hard Sung-kyung fans, we see her in two episodes (ep. 12 & 13) for a special appearance as Jin Seo-woo. Seo-woo has known Sa Hye-jun since his model days. In the drama, they are acting together as the leads of an office romance drama. She sashayed onto the screen with a solo dance performance. Many fell in love with this short appearance as Sung-kyung and Bo-gum’s chemistry was on point. Besides Sung-kyung’s guesting, the entire series is riddled with a lot of cameo appearances to look forward to.
While You Were Sleeping (2017)
This story is about a young woman with bad premonitions who then meets two people who developed the same ability.
Nam Hong Joo (Bae Suzy) lives with her mother, Yoon Moon Sun (Hwang Young Hee), a widow who runs a small restaurant. Jung Jae Chan (Lee Jong Suk), is a rookie prosecutor. Jae-Chan and his younger brother move to a new house and they become neighbors with Hong-Joo. One night, Jae-Chan dreams that his private tutor back in the day drove Hong-Joo’s car which led to a chain of events including the death of Hong-joo’s mother and then Hong-joo herself. When Jae-Chan senses that his dream is about to become real, he takes extreme action to stop it. Hong-joo and Jae-chan then worked together to solve cases with their gift.
While the two leads are big stars on their own worth “stanning” in this drama, Sung-kyung fans are also in for a quick treat with a cameo appearance. Along with Yoon Kyun-sang, they play a lovey-dovey couple.
Once Again (2020)
This drama revolves around four adult siblings struggling with life and matters of the heart; Na-Hee and her husband, both doctors at the same hospital, are having marital problems; Joon-Sun and Ga-Hee, both divorcees, live with their parents; Da-Hee struggles as an intern.
Lee Sung Kyung made a special appearance in the 53rd and 54th episodes as she plays a popular model named Ji Sun Kyung out to stir more tension.
This appearance is all thanks to her friendship with the writer of the drama, Yang Hee-seung, who wrote Lee’s breakout 2016 drama Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo.