Kim Hye-yoon as Lim Sol on Episode 12 of Lovely Runner after getting off the train.
(Rakuten Viki)

Kim Hye-yoon Discusses Her Role as Lim Sol, Everybody’s Favorite Fangirl From ‘Lovely Runner’

Lovely Runner captured the hearts of many K-drama fans around the world. It’s all thanks to the cute couple at the center of the story, starring Byeon Woo-seok and Kim Hye-yoon.

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Lim Sol needed to use a wheelchair after a fateful accident. She was on the verge of giving up on life, but one fateful call from K-pop idol Ryu Sun-jae (Byeon Woo-seok) inspired her to keep going. Years later, Sol would discover that her Sun-jae, her favorite idol, would die an untimely death. She is given the opportunity to travel back in time using a watch that once belonged to Sun-jae, and she’s transported fifteen years into the past.

We were able to have a chat with Kim Hye-yoon about her preparation for her role as Lim Sol in Lovely Runner. She described Sol as “mild-looking  yet tough.” Additionally, she thinks that Sol is able to face adversity and hardship with a bright and positive outlook.

If only we had a fraction of Sol’s positivity

There’s a time travel element to the story, but Sol retains the experiences of a 30-year-old in her 15-year-old body. When asked about this, Kim Hye-yoon acknowledged that Sol is already 30 years old. Therefore, she wanted to focus on Sol’s demeanor, mannerisms, and speech to make her look more like an “older sister” to characters she interacts with in the past.

This explains why even her supposed older brother, Lim Geum (Song Ji-ho), shrinks in Sol’s presence when they interact in the past. It’s easy to mistake Geum for the younger sibling with the way he interacts with his love interest and even the way he carries himself. Sol is generally cheerful and has a youthful charm to her, but Kim Hye-yoon’s acting made Sol’s reactions and gestures more relatable to older audiences because she’s actually older than she seems.

Sol acting like an older sister to her older brother

Lim Sol is the oldest character Kim Hye-yoon has ever taken on. Her hit role as Kang Ye-seo from SKY Castle (2019) was a senior in high school, and even her rebellious and spunky character, Gu Hye-young, from The Girl on a Bulldozer (2022), was just 19 years old. Kim Hye-yoon said that what made Lim Sol special compared to her previous roles was her age.

She further explains that, compared to what she was able to show on screen before, Kim Hye-yoon also had to show Sol’s growth on screen. She had to play the role of Sol in her teenage years, up until her adulthood.

The beauty of Lovely Runner is that the story grows deeper as the episodes pass. Initially, Lim Sol loved Sun-jae because she was a fangirl inspired by him. But when you get to the latter episodes, you’ll get to see Sol’s admiration go deeper for Sun-jae. This was intentional, and Kim Hye-yoon mentioned how Sol started out as a fangirl. Then she would “start to like Sun-jae as a person” as the episodes progressed.


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Vanessa Esguerra
Vanessa Esguerra (She/They) has been a Contributing Writer for The Mary Sue since 2023. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy, she (happily) rejected law school in 2021 and has been a full-time content writer since. Vanessa is currently taking her Master's degree in Japanese Studies in hopes of deepening her understanding of the country's media culture in relation to pop culture, women, and queer people like herself. She speaks three languages but still manages to get lost in the subways of Tokyo with her clunky Japanese. Fueled by iced coffee brewed from local cafés in Metro Manila, she also regularly covers anime and video games while queuing for her next match in League of Legends.