5 Korean Actors Who Went Shirtless for Their Roles: Kim Soo Hyun, Byeon Woo Seok and More

Kim Soo Hyun body
Kim Soo Hyun abs
Credit: DAZED, tvN, SBS, Ahn Bo Hyun Instagram

Stealing hearts and sculpting physiques – Korean actors are raising the bar for shirtless scenes in K-dramas. Dive into the hottest moments and behind-the-scenes stories where actors share their hilarious yet sweat-inducing experiences filming them.

Kim Soo Hyun – Queen of Tears

The March 16th episode of Queen of Tears features a hilarious scene where Hong Hae In (played by Kim Ji Won) gets flustered when Baek Hyun Woo (Kim Soo Hyun) walks out of the bathroom half-naked with a towel wrapped around his waist. Still dripping wet, he enters the room, and Hae In runs into the shower to hide her blushed face. Hyun Woo follows her in to wipe the floor, but she yells, “What, what do you want? Don’t tell me you didn’t dry your hair because you looked in the mirror and thought you looked like drenched Timothée Chalamet or young Leonardo DiCaprio. If that’s not why, then go dry off your hair.” Clearly flustered, Hyun Woo retreats and Hae In sighs dramatically, exclaiming, “Unbelievable. Was he trying to seduce me? I’m too stimulated.”

Byun Woo Seok – Lovely Runner
Byun Woo Seok abs
Credit: tvN

Byun Woo Seok makes a splash in Lovely Runner, playing Ryu Sun Jae, a swimming prodigy who transitions into the world of K-pop stardom. The actor, known for his dedication to fitness, reportedly underwent rigorous swimming training for the role. Director Yoon Jong Ho wasn’t surprised by his commitment. Before the show’s premiere, he explained his casting decision at a press conference saying that he perfectly embodied the dual qualities needed for the role: the muscular build of a swimmer and the charisma of a K-pop idol.

Ahn Bo Hyun – Flex X Cop

Ahn Bo Hyun is no stranger to baring his chest for the camera, and he’s done it again in his latest drama, Flex X Cop, which has just been greenlit for a second season. “I’ve done it in every project,” he said, “but this time I really didn’t want to.” The pressure to look his best was immense, especially since he had to outdo his previous shirtless scene. So he asked the director if there was going to be a shirtless scene. The director’s response was unexpected; he said he was going to add one. “I was like, ‘Why are you adding one when I asked about it?,’ and he said, ‘Shouldn’t we show a good one and then not do it again? I won’t make you take it off after that.'” With that promise, Ahn Bo Hyun agreed to do the scene, putting in the extra effort to make it count. “It wasn’t perfect,” he admits, “but I thought, ‘I can show a better one next time.'”

Lee Jong Won – Knight Flower
Lee Jong Won body
Credit: MBC

Lee Jong Won recalled filming his shirtless scene in the drama Knight Flower. He expressed his thoughts on the much-talked-about scene, saying, “I felt a lot of pressure, but I also thought it was one of the ways to showcase Soo Ho’s charm. I thought this scene would be one of the things that would appeal to the viewers, but it wasn’t easy to do since it was the first time I was showing my bare chest. I barely ate any carbohydrates before filming, and I think it was the first time I ate so much chicken,” he laughed. He also surprised everyone by revealing that he carried exercise equipment in his car because he couldn’t go to the gym often due to the nature of historical dramas, which often require filming outdoors in rural regions.

Ahn Hyo Seop – A Time Called You
Ahn Hyo Seop body
Credit: Netflix

Ahn Hyo Seop shared the behind-the-scenes story of filming his school uniform and shirtless scenes in the drama A Time Called You. He expressed his efforts for the shirtless scene, saying, “I prepared a lot. I even did a mini pump-up routine on the set.” “I always feel pressured to film shirtless scenes,” he confessed, adding, “I thought of my body as a tool to express my age. I thought it would be less convincing if I was skinny in my 30s, so I tried harder to gain muscle.” He continued, “I’ve taken off my shirt in every project. Everyone knows my body. So, I wanted to exercise to stay healthy and have fun, but I started to feel a bit burnt out because it was too closely linked to work. Didn’t I say it’s important for me to rest? So, I’m taking a break from exercise too.”

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