K-drama Actress Overcame Being Body-shamed and Criticism to Shine in Her Career

Despite facing unfair criticism as a rookie, this actress persevered and ultimately achieved success.

Lee El, who was once criticized for her looks to the extent that she was told she was only suitable for provocative roles, has risen to fame over her 15-year career. 

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Lee El

Not every actor has an easy start, and not everyone experiences immediate stardom in their early roles. Lee El, a South Korean actress, faced harsh criticism and received unreasonable and hurtful comments from the production team when she first entered the industry. 

Reflecting on her early days, Lee El said, “I knew I wasn’t considered beautiful back then, but I wasn’t extremely ugly either.” Nevertheless, during casting sessions, she had to endure disparaging remarks from members of the production team.

Lee El shared, “One member of the production team looked at me, shook his head, and said he didn’t know what role to assign to me or what purpose I would serve in the work. He even waved me off, suggesting I should go and act in provocative films.” 

Lee El

This revelation from the actress shocked and garnered sympathy from many. However, Lee El maintained a composed and positive attitude, affirming that although it was painful at the time, it ultimately helped her find better opportunities. She humorously added, “People with bad mouths like that won’t go far.”

Despite the initial criticism, Lee El continued to win the hearts of audiences with her excellent acting skills. She demonstrated her versatility in various roles. 

Lee El

Most recently, in “Battle for Happiness,” the actress in her 40s portrayed a sweet schoolgirl character without worrying about her age affecting her performance. At an age beyond 40, she received nominations for prestigious awards such as the Baeksang and the Blue Dragon Awards. Audiences are hopeful that she will soon win Best Actress for her outstanding performance in the upcoming “Battle for Happiness.”