Moon Ga-young radiates bright, shy vibe in new stills from ‘True Beauty’

The most-anticipated webtoon-based drama is nearing its awaited premiere, and tvN has just released a new set of character stills to tease the viewer of what’s in store for them.

On November 10, True Beauty, tvN’s new Wednesday and Thursday drama, has unveiled character stills for its main female lead, played by Moon Ga-young. The upcoming romantic-comedy series follows a shy, acne-stricken, high school student with confidence issues who becomes an internet star overnight with the power of makeup. Fearing she might lose her popularity, she refuses to go outside without makeup on and hides behind the lies she created for herself.

Based on a very popular webtoon titled “Goddess Advent,” the story aims to highlight the youth’s problem with self-esteem and their constant need to feel accepted by society’s standards. The drama stars Moon as Im Ju-gyeong, a teen with confidence issues who turns into an overnight social-media star; Cha Eun-woo (Rookie Historian Goo Hae-ryung) as Lee Su-ho, an aloof student considered as a campus celebrity because of his good looks; and Hwang In-yeop (18 Again) as Han Seo-jun, a social butterfly who becomes drawn to Ju-gyeong.

Moon Ga-young in True Beauty

In the released stills, Moon Ga-young portrays a young and shy teen who hates to be the center of attention. However, she has impressive makeup skills, which proved to be helpful to her in the story. At school, Ju-gyeong looks like an ordinary student and does not stand out from the crowd. She has an acne-stricken bare face, thick, dark eyebrows, high ponytail, and black, big eyeglasses. However, she is a bright girl with a bubbly attitude, and her positive energy radiates around her. In one of the photos, Ju-gyeong’s bright smile disappears, replaced by a horror-stricken expression as she stares wide-eyed at something in front of her. Her messy hair, disheveled clothes, and confused state are giving away hints of a conflict that will happen to her in the story. In addition, the released stills give the viewers a glimpse of Ju-gyeong before her celebrity days.

Eventually, Ju-gyeong will overcome her appearance complex with the power of makeup and be able to recover her self-esteem. Moon is expected to fascinate the viewers with her comedic and lively acting and her inevitable transformation into a goddess. Expectations are set on how Moon will pull off her role as Ju-gyeong. With her curious eyes, bright, lovely smile, and super positive energy, fans are excited about how Moon will transform from a high school nobody to a campus star.

Moon started gaining the media attention after playing the female lead in EXO Next Door (2015), a web series starring the members of the popular boy band group EXO, who played fictionalized versions of themselves. She then started appearing in many other popular series, such as JTBC’s Secret Healer (2016) and Welcome to Waikiki 2 (2019), SBS’s Jealousy Incarnate (2016), tvN’s Live Up to Your Name (2017), and MBC’s Tempted (2018). She last starred in the romance melodrama Find Me in Your Memory, which aired last March.

The production crew of True Beauty has nothing but praises for the actress, saying, “Moon Ga-young surprised the staff on the first day of filming by perfectly portraying Im Ju-gyeong, as if she had thoroughly and delicately studied her character. Moreover, not only does she [brighten up] the scene with her lovely charm, but she also shows admiration by giving a strong performance without hesitation. Please look forward to the performance of Moon Ga-young who will breathe life into the character of Im Ju-gyeong.”

Written by manhwa (Korean term for webtoon) writer Yaongyi, the webtoon is currently one of the most popular manhwas in Korea, gathering more than four million webtoon subscribers. The announcement for the webtoon’s drama adaptation was made last year, but it was not until the second half of this year that production details were revealed. Even Yaongyi, the author, caught online attention after fans discovered her social media accounts, pointing out the uncanny resemblance of the main female character to the writer herself, leading to speculations that the character was based on a real-life person.

Aside from the promising cast of rising actors, fans are also excited about how the story will unfold, considering Kim Sang-hyeop, who is behind the sensational drama Extraordinary You (2019), will be overseeing the production as the director, together with writer Lee Si-eun of Top Star Yoo Baek (2018–2019) penning the script. The series will premiere this coming December.

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It was Princess Lulu who first introduced her to Korean dramas but it was Yoon Ji-hoo from Boys Over Flowers who enticed her to stay in K-dramaland. She writes news and features for Kdramapal, which combines two of her most favorite things in the world—writing and K-dramas (look who's living the dream). The name Luna literally translates to "moon" and nothing special; she just likes writing at night.