3 Korean Actors Who Were Transformed by Intense Special Makeup

Claudia Kim The Atypical Family
Claudia Kim The Atypical Family
Credit: JTBC, Jeon Jin Ki’s Instagram, Lee Hee Jun’s Instagram

Buzz is building around Claudia Kim, Lee Hee Joon, and Jeon Jin Ki for their jaw-dropping transformations into their K-drama characters! Let’s dive deeper and see how these talented actors brought their roles to life with the magic of special effects makeup.

Claudia Kim in ‘The Atypical Family’
Claudia Kim The Atypical Family
Credit: JTBC, YG Entertainment

Claudia Kim is currently starring in JTBC’s weekend drama The Atypical Family, playing Bok Dong Hee, who has lost his “flying ability” due to weight gain. With an actual modeling career and a stunning height of 177cm (5’8), she is captivating audiences in the drama as a character who was once a successful model but is now living a completely different life. For her role who weighs over 100kg (220 lbs), she willingly went through 7-8 hours of special makeup to create a never-before-seen visual.

Director Jo Hyun Tak, who directed the drama, praised Claudia Kim’s hard work, saying, “There’s an unimaginable amount of work going on behind the scenes that you might not even realize. It takes about 7-8 hours of makeup every time before filming, and then there’s the removal work afterward. It can be daunting for actresses to have this kind of special makeup on their skin, so I sincerely thank you for making such a big decision.” She said, “I didn’t recognize myself after the makeup,” and “I hoped this role would challenge any preconceived notions people might have had about me.”

>> Soo Hyun Debuts Radical New Weighty Look in Upcoming Drama ‘The Atypical Family’

Lee Hee Jun in ‘A Killer Paradox’

Lee Hee Jun underwent a major transformation for his role in the Netflix series A Killer Paradox. He needed to appear as a 60-year-old man, so he used special makeup to capture the character’s harsh look and backstory. The process wasn’t easy. Lee Hee Jun admitted the makeup gave him “real wrinkles.” He said, “Taking it on and off made me fold my skin often, so I now have real wrinkles.” It seems the dedication to his craft came with some unexpected side effects.

Jeon Jin Ki in ‘Exhuma’
Jeon Jin Ki Exhuma
Credit: Jeon Jin Ki’s Instagram

Jeon Jin Ki, who played the vengeful spirit Park Geun Hyun in Exhuma, revealed the special makeup process he underwent. He gave a detailed account of the painstaking procedure, stating, “It took five dedicated team members three hours to make up my face, neck, and hands, four hours for the upper body, and six hours for the full body.” He added, “It was a difficult experience, but it ultimately resulted in a stunning outcome. I am grateful for the hard work of the special makeup team,” and shared photos of his face during the makeup process.

Actors are captivating audiences with their transformations, enduring lengthy makeup sessions – sometimes up to seven hours – and even the potential for skin irritation. Their dedication to the craft is a true behind-the-scenes drama, and it’s earning them well-deserved respect.

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