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Im Si-wan’s remarkable transformation and Behind-the-Scenes insights from ‘1947 Boston’

In an interview regarding his upcoming film ‘1947 Boston,’ actor Im Si-wan shared a story from the time when he reduced his body fat percentage to 6%.

On the 21st, Im Si-wan conducted an interview at a cafe in Palpan-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, ahead of the release of the movie ‘1947 Boston.’

The film ‘1947 Boston’ tells the story of marathon runners who first carried the Taegeuk Mark (Korean national flag) and competed in an international competition after the liberation of Korea in 1947. The movie portrays the challenging and heartwarming journey of these runners who fought hard to make their names known at the Boston Marathon. It is based on the true story of director Son Gi-jeong and athletes Seo Yun-bok and Nam Seung-ryong, who participated in the Boston Marathon for the first time.

Im Si-wan plays the role of a resilient marathon runner who dreams of becoming the second Son Gi-jeong and represents the national team at the 1947 Boston Marathon.

When asked if he received any advice or stories from the real-life relatives of the character he portrayed, Im Si-wan mentioned, “I wouldn’t call it advice, but rather they were very supportive. They conveyed a sense of gratitude like, ‘We are thankful for you sharing this story.’ Hearing such stories made me feel the presence of the family a bit more. It heightened my awareness that I shouldn’t bring any harm to them.”

Regarding his physical preparation for this role, Im Si-wan explained that he aimed to emulate the appearance of the character Seo Yun-bok and his fitness goal was not a specific body fat percentage but to resemble the character’s physique. He said, “I was cast as Seo In-bok’s character, so I searched for reference materials. He had a great physique. Since I had to follow that, it was more of a mission than setting a target for body fat percentage.”

He continued, “One day, I suddenly decided to check my body fat percentage, and it was 6%. It was fascinating. I had never seen this body fat percentage in my life. It was a bit surprising to experience it in my life. Such a process is not easy, but I enjoyed eating delicious food, and I especially love carbohydrates. It was a part of my nature, but I had to cut that off because I had to emulate his appearance.”

Im Si-wan then humorously added, “I couldn’t eat those things, but when I had the staff meal on set, it was tasteless when I ate it alone, but it tasted good when I ate it with others. The food on set was especially delicious. However, I couldn’t eat it and only had things like salad and chicken breast. During the preparation period before filming and even during shooting, I exercised in the gaps between takes.”

When asked about the first meal he had after completing the film, Im Si-wan shared, “I had a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder, the greasiest food. It’s not a good method, but I tried fasting for a few days. I drank Powerade as if I were pouring water. My body was soaked in moisture up to my fingertips. Then I took a bite right away. The taste of that greasiness, where you could feel the oil on your fingertips, was vivid.”

Regarding the exposure of his upper body, which is common for athletes, Im Si-wan mentioned, “I don’t remember clearly, but since I was living a life similar to that of an athlete for about 7 to 8 months, I think I would have suggested it if it wasn’t already in the script. I might have said, ‘Wouldn’t it be better for the character to expose his upper body more to highlight the character?'”

‘1947 Boston,’ in which Im Si-wan stars, will be released in theaters across South Korea on September 27th.


Author Nat.O
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