Lee Sung Kyung is a successful actress who began her career as a supermodel.
Although she gained fame and wealth from her roles in Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, Dr. Romantic, and Sh**ting Stars, the actress came from very humble beginnings.
During an episode of Seri Money Club, Kim Jong Kook was honest about his first impression of Lee Sung Kyung. He initially thought she was “from a rich family” and “born with a silver spoon.” He realized he was completely wrong.
Despite how well off she appears now, Lee Sung Kyung revealed that her “family was really poor” when she was young and shared her struggles.
When she was a child, Lee Sung Kyung’s father worked hard to buy a factory to support his family. But things took a terrible turn when it caught on fire, leaving them without any money at all. Their only option was to move to the slums until they paid their debts.
When I was four, my dad finally got his own factory. But he went bankrupt after losing the factory to a fire. To pay off the debt, we moved to a slum.
— Lee Sung Kyung
Lee Sung Kyung recalled the tiny apartment her family lived in until she graduated high school. It was so small that she was embarrassed about their living situation when one of her friends visited. Lee Sung Kyung said, “She asked, ‘How does your entire family live in this house?’ I was so ashamed.”
She was even embarrassed by her father’s outdated car, which made Lee Sung Kyung “ask him to stop the car one block early and walk to school.” They couldn’t afford name-brand clothes either. But one event soon changed everything.
Despite Lee Sung Kyung’s initial dream of becoming a pianist, she came across a posting hiring supermodels. Not thinking much of it, her parents encouraged her to apply. That’s when her life turned around.
My parents noticed that ‘Miss Korea’ winners come from various backgrounds. They thought it would be a good experience. So I applied, and I got the job.
— Lee Sung Kyung
After researching how to dance and walk, Lee Sung Kyung was hired as a model and worked for three years independently. Once she graduated, she earned the opportunity to debut as an actress in the K-Drama It’s Okay, That’s Love.
Now Lee Sung Kyung is taking on lead roles in K-Dramas like Call It Love and is partnered with many foreign luxury brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Damiani.
Lee Sung Kyung didn’t let her family’s bankruptcy keep her from achieving her dreams. Now she’s a wealthy actress who’s making more money than they ever dreamed of.