Black suit, check. Bright smile, check. Warm personality, check.
Kang Ha Neul no doubt charmed both the media and the working partners when he appeared at the ‘Scarlet Heart | A Date with Kang Ha Neul’ press conference last evening. Decked in a black suit and looking amazingly suave, he greeted the crowd with bright smiles, immediately captivating the floor.
This being Kang Ha Neul’s second visit to Singapore, he reflected on his previous trip – one that he was immensely thankful for as he totally did not expect people to recognize him on the streets. As such, he was really happy when he received a warm welcome this afternoon as well, and is really excited to meet his fans again later this evening. In addition, his impression of Singapore has not changed one bit; he still thinks that Singapore is a clean, neat and organized city – one that he really likes.
As the original version of Scarlet Heart was popular and well-known in Asia, Kang Ha Neul mentioned that he was actually aware of the drama way before the remake was announced. The actor was fully aware of the immense popularity of Scarlet Heart, so he was undeniably under a lot of pressure to do well. Instead of stressing over it, he decided to enjoy the process as much as he could as only under such circumstances could he bring out the best in his character, Wang Wook. He also added that being able to work with a star-studded cast (consisting of Lee Joon Gi, IU, Hong Jong Hyun and EXO’s Baekhyun just to name a few) made it an amazing experience. Not forgetting the fact that the adaptation was led by director Kim Gyu Tae, whose past works included acclaimed series That Winter, the Wind Blows, he was actually honoured to be part of this production.
On aspects in which audiences can expect while knowing that the original Chinese series was beautifully shot, the actor confidently claimed that the remake was done just as well and one can definitely look forward to scenes that are visually and aesthetically pleasing, in high quality and beautifully shot.
When questioned on what he loved most about his character as Wang Wook, he replied with “Everything?” and added on a bashful “Just kidding.” He explained that Wang Wook was born into royalty and grew up in a stifling environment, thus being suppressed and not able to pursue the things he liked until he met Haesoo. The growth aspect and the whole idea of finding your own identity was what he liked best about his character – achieving freedom and following his heart’s desires.
Kang Ha Neul also shared his thoughts on Sageuks’ (historical-based dramas) appeal to the younger audience. He felt that via Sageuks, viewers get a glimpse of what they don’t usually see in the present day. As such scenes and places are aspects they don’t come across very often, it provokes individuals’ thoughts and get their imaginations fulfilled through the visuals in Sageuks, be it the way of life back then, the elaborate architecture or the strict hierarchal order. Sageuks may also be popular for those interested in history since it is easier to digest the heavy subject and boring content through a drama as compared to reading plain text. The historical contexts especially, are areas the younger generation do not get to experience and is not something that they can easily relate to, which then adds on an element of fantasy, subconsciously enticing them to be interested in Sageuks.
About the roles that he would like to try in the future, the actor mentioned that he has an attraction to roles that bring out traits he never thought he possessed. Such roles enticed him as he gets to see different sides of his own self. In fact, he was recently toying with the idea of acting the role of a young daddy because he wants to be an actor who can rise up to different challenges.
Should Kang Ha Neul’s life be made into a movie, the actor said that it would be really difficult for him to choose and pin-point a particular actor to act the role of ‘Kang Ha Neul’. However, should he really need to choose one, he would like his best friend or someone who knows him very well as they will know everything about him, including his quirks.
When asked to give a fun fact with regard to himself, he bashfully admitted that there is nothing unique or exceptionally extraordinary that he can share. He explained that he is “really a typical boy-next-door, very ordinary” and the total opposite of his character as the 8th prince, whereby he was portrayed as both smart and good in martial arts. He emphasized that he is a very average guy, but we are sure his fans would disagree on this as he is nothing but warm, charismatic and good looking.
If given a chance to either travel back in time or take a peek of his future, Kang Ha Neul chose to go back in time. To the actor, he feels that whatever happens in the future is determined by the present and past. As such, he rather head back in time to make the right decisions that will bring a positive outcome in the future than taking a peek of his future, knowing he cannot do anything to change it if it is a negative one.
Patiently addressing questions posed by the media, he was at times serious, at times shy. He exudes the appeal of a boy-next-door, one that is endearing, earnest and charismatic. He was thoughtful with his responses – though occasionally coming off as being politically correct with textbook-standard answers – but one thing for sure, it is hard not to fall for his boyish demeanour.
If you’ve been dying to meet this charismatic actor, then don’t forget your date with him this evening at Waterway Point (Village Square @ Level 1, West Wing). For more details, please head over to HERE.
Scarlet Heart premieres first and exclusively on the channel with a 2-episode back-to-back special on 29 August 2016 (Monday) at the same time as Korea, at 9PM (SGT). Subsequent episodes will air every Monday and Tuesday at 9PM. ONE is available in Singapore via Singtel TV CH513 & 604 and StarHub TV CH124, 820 & 823.
This article is brought to you by ONE.