Kim Sun-a Gains Weight to Win Hearts

Kim Sun-a, 30, who plays the lead in MBC drama hit ¡°My name is Kim Sam-soon¡± which regularly attracts viewer ratings around 40 percent, is on the verge of fainting on the shoot for the last episode in Cheongdam-dong, Seoul.

Having slept only an hour a day for three straight weeks to meet the tight shooting schedule, she had to be taken to hospital three times. Hardly lifting her eyelid, she tells the Chosun Ilbo, ¡°I¡¯ve been living on Ringer¡¯s solution.¡± But as the character, she makes her eyes shine. ¡°It¡¯s the biggest moment in my life as an actress to see the compliments I get on my homepage.¡±

Around midway through the show, someone suggested a plot line where Sam-soon loses weight as she falls in love. But Kim dug in her heels in discussion with Producer Kim Yoon-cheol. ¡°If Sam-soon gets pretty after losing weight, she¡¯s not Sam-soon any more. And who would lose weight as fast that even if they fall in love?¡±

Kim appears to concur with press hype that has described the character as ¡°chubby¡± and emphasized how unglamorous Sam-soon looks. ¡°If I looked beautiful on TV, would viewers sympathize with me as much? I¡¯ve actually been worried acting in the drama like this¡± -- she gained about 8§¸. ¡°It was not pleasant for me as an actress. But I regard the fat around my stomach as a means to express the inner state of Sam-soon.¡±

She describes the secret of the soap¡¯s success in one word, ¡°sympathy.¡± ¡°Since many viewers identify with Sam-soon, they try to catch every single line and gesture. So when Sam-soon has problems in her relationship with Sam-sik, my fans on the web go nuts.¡±

Asked if it is realistic for a character like Sam-soon to find love with a glamorous man like Jin-heon, she holds her breath for a moment. ¡°If they share something, they could love each other. Though Sam-soon comes from a different background to Jin-heon, the story shows the simple truth that nothing can stop real love.¡±

Asked how the drama will end, she rolls her eyes. ¡°No way. I got the shooting script the day before yesterday, and I can¡¯t tell. Never, ever. It¡¯s top secret.¡± A group of fans who spotted her on the street came up to her asking the same question, but they will just have to wait. / 7¿ù 20, 2005 21:03 KST