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From lean and mean to big and buff: Jang Dong Yoon's dramatic transformation to small-town wrestling prodigy

ENA's new Wednesday and Thursday coming-of-age romantic sports drama Like Flowers in Sand has us all turning our heads at lead actor Jang Dong Yoon's dramatic transformation! We break down how the actor prepared for his role and why this new drama is a must-watch!

Oasis lead actor, Jang Dong Yoon, is back in his fourth, that's right fourth, drama of 2023! His new drama, Like Flowers in Sand, has captured many K-drama fans as his dramatic transformation bulk into a ssireum (씨름 Korean traditional folk wrestling) player has "wowed" many of us! Dong Yoon talks more about how he gained 14 kg (31 lbs) for his new role!

It's so funny that Dong Yoon jokes that gaining weight is no problem if you eat Jackson Pizza deliciously! By the way, if you haven't tried Jackson Pizza in Seoul, it is a must-eat!

Like Flowers in Sand is a must-watch!

We all love a good romantic comedy, but Like Flowers in Sand combines romantic innuendos with the backdrop of the Korean traditional sport ssireum. Add a small-town feel to the drama and "bam" you got yourself a pretty intriguing storyline! For those of you who aren't adept in the Korean language, the dialect spoken primarily in the drama is from the Gyeongsang dialect (the area near Daegu). If you watched the video above, Dong Yoon explains how hard it was to adapt to this dialect if you speak in a "normal" Seoul accent.

Story backdrop

Kim Baek Du (Jang Dong Yoon) was born into ssireum royalty. Touted as a ssireum prodigy during his early years, he is now nearing the end of his wrestling career and thinking about retirement. One day, his childhood friend and crush, Oh Yoo Kyung (Lee Joo Myung), returns to his hometown of Geosan. Yoo Kyung turns out to be the new manager for Baek Du's ssireum team (we know, small world) and is hired to save the team from failing. Of course, feelings are rekindled and the two develop deeper feelings for each other.

Why we love it

As Jang Dong Yoon stated in his interview above, he poured his heart into this new role and it shows! From his physical transformation to learning a new dialect to the emotional struggles his character, Kim Baek Du, endures falling from grace is the reason why we're watching! Throw in a nice and feel-good relationship with a childhood sweetheart and we're sold!

Premiering on December 20, 2023, Like Flowers in Sand is scheduled for 12 episodes. You can catch it on ENA on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 21:00 KST or streaming on Netflix!

Let us know if you're enjoying Like Flowers in Sand as much as we are! Comment below with your thoughts on Jang Dong Yoon's amazing transformation! Also, if you've tried Jackson Pizza, do you recommend it? Lol!

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