“Still nervous” Song Kang’s truthfulness of ’좋아하면 울리는(Love Alarm)’ [interview] Netflix <Love Alarm> Role of Hwang Sunoh Actor Song Kang
<Love Alarm> is a story of characters who live in a world in which people can find out who likes who through an app called ‘Love Alarm’ when a person that you like is within 10 meters from where you are. Hwang Sunoh is a very popular guy whose alarm keeps ringing after another. The appearance of Hwang Sunoh is so perfect and very cartoonish.
Therefore, when production of the actual version of web-toon was made, Hwang Sunoh’s character drew a lot people’s attention. Many original fans predicted that it would be too difficult to find the right person for his role due to his unrealistic look. But Song Kang did it. He got the role after competing with 900 potential candidates and he was the perfect man for the role.
First main role since his debut which was 2 years ago. Song Kang’s excitement and nervousness.
Actor Song Kang’s first acting started with tvN <The Liar and His Lover> in 2017. After that, he also acted in <Man Who Sets The Table> <Beautiful Vampire> and after 2 years since his debut, he is on the screen to meet viewers from all the 190 different countries as a role of Hwang Sunoh from Netflix Series called <Love Alarm>. This year, he is only 26 years old. He expressed his excitement and nervousness that comes from first main acting role.
“When I did reading practice in my first act, I was sitting at the rear seat and now that I have the main role, I sit in the front. The burden was big. ‘Can I do this’, ‘I don’t have enough experience yet’. What if I don’t have enough energy’...such thoughts would come up in my mind and I couldn’t fall asleep. Thanks to that stress and deep thinking, I got to realize the joy of acting a little. (smile)”
- It was not only the first main role, but also the first act on Netflix. How did you feel when you watched the completed work?
“I didn’t have enough time to watch so I was going to watch just one or two and ended up watching the whole thing. It was very funny. (smile) When I was on camera, I wasn't sure if I was doing right or wrong. But unlike my concern, editing was done really well. I was satisfied.”
- If the ‘Love Alarm’ did exist in the world, how many times of your alarm do you think it would ring. I think you were as popular as Sunoh when in school.
“Not as popular as Sunoh but I got a lot of chocolates or candies during breaks. Maybe two or three alarms? (told him that was a humble answer) One’s true heart has to come to me so I think that is more than enough. Even just one alarm is very thankful to me.
- As you make Sunoh character, have you thought about anything specific?
“Sunoh is different before he meets Jojo, while dating, and after breaking up with her. Director told me that the reason he chose me was because he watched my two different acting in each audition. I think that he saw my capability of expressing these parts differently. Actually in the webtoon, Sunoh doesn’t speak or express much at all, so I thought it would be difficult to deliver his emotion to viewers without words or expressions. So, I tried to be more expressive than the role in the original.”
-The original hasn't been finished, but looking at the story so far, Jojo seems like she would be with Hyeyoung. As a role of Sunoh, a bitter ending is expected?
“I actually prefer sad endings to happy endings, so if I had a choice, I would take Sunoh’s sad ending. Sunoh wishes for Jojo’s happiness and if Jojo is happy with Hyeyoung, Sunoh will be happy too. But wouldn’t he be curious to know why he was dumped all of a sudden? I was frustrated when I was acting. He begged her but Jojo keeps saying no. I hope that lingering affection would solve. (smile)”
- There are a lot of actors who are the same age as you are. How was it?
“It was great. All the three people have good personalities, so we communicated with each other well. I was new but had no problem in asking questions. As we got closer to each other, it was more enjoyable. “
“Tension with seniors, I like it”
- You act with veteran actors such as Jung Kyung Ho, Park Sung Woong from currently broadcasted ‘When The Devil Calls Your Name’. Any lesson you’ve learned from them?
“I’ve learned so much from them. Every day, I write in my journal after shooting until a page is full. At first, I was thinking that ‘It would be difficult if I work with senior actors’, If I make a mistake, they will scold me’ and I was stressed about it. But when I did work with them, they were so nice and made me feel comfortable. We sometimes played together and they worked with my acting so it was nice. Like senior actors, I want to feel all kinds of emotions and act and I really like the tension when I work with senior actors.”
- Among the senior actors’ advice, what do you remember the most?
“What I really liked was when I was told ’do what you want to do, and I will work with it’ They taught me how to move when acting and how to be more noticeable and how to stand in front of lights and every little detail. The way senior actors stood in front of the camera was different from how I stood. I need to learn from a to z from them so I can’t just say one specific thing. “
- Is writing in a journal a habit or way of training?
“As I was admitted into a college in Seoul, I started living by myself and I was so lonely. I naturally started writing in a journal. I had a hard time about 2 years ago and at that time I wrote every day and I compared myself from a year before and I healed my mind and I gained a lot of confidence as well.”
- About 2 years ago, it was around your debut. After your debut, you had a difficult time?
“After debut, about half a year, I had a hard time. After being admitted into a college in Seoul, ‘I got it’ with that thought, I just spent a year, since I was working for a big company, I was thinking that everything will be okay and I spent another year. My debut was late and I’d heard that I wish you were a little younger. Every time I heard that I felt like I wasted my time and regretted. I had low self-esteem and it was difficult. “
Things that make Song Kang nervous
- Debut at the age of 24 isn’t that late. Isn’t it? I think that you were fast excluding friends who debuted as children?
“I still hear about my age even now. I was nervous when I found out my friends from college made their debut before me and they were doing well. I was worried that everything won’t go as I wished for. (I told him that getting the main role after his debut which was 2 years ago is pretty fast) If you think that way, I’m thankful, but my mind is nervous unlike my thoughts.”
- When did you first decide to go for acting?
“Until I graduated from high school, I had no dream. My friends went to college, but I didn’t, so I felt empty. Around that time, I watched <Titanic> and I really liked expression of Dicaprio’s eyes. Because of that crush on his eyes, I started acting. I signed up at acting school and every person did a monologue. I wasn’t good at it and I was so shy, but I kept going with the thought of ‘Let’s just do it for a month” and I was getting better and used to it. So I thought I should finish it”
- So right after that, you got into acting major, which I think that things like college admission, debut, and main role have been going well for you at a fast speed. I would say confidence fits you rather than nervousness?
“Nervousness comes from the lack of basic skills. I started late compared to my friends and because of my fast debut, I couldn't attend a lot of acting classes. I didn’t have enough time to prepare so that’s why. So I read newspapers and I study watching senior actors’ acting like video lessons. These days I practice watching <Descendants of the Sun>”
- I think that you were able to pass the audition out of 900 candidates because you didn’t get regular acting lessons maybe? Not cookie-cuttered, new acting?
“Not sure, I’m thankful that I continue to have this chance, but now I act in a drama, I worry whether If I’m doing well or not and for the first time, I wanted to feel like running away. The only way to overcome the stress was writing a daily journal. Through many experiences, I’m getting stronger, but still there are lots of things to learn. I need to hang on and do it.”
I want to become a growing actor in each work.
- Is there any genre or a character that you want to try?
“Not focused on any genre or any work, I want to act in a work that shows who actor Song Kang is. I need to prepare for that. No matter how good a scenario is, I can’t just accept it if I’m not good. My current goal is to act in a work that I will be really good at. But if I get a chance one day, when I’m mature and I can express extensive emotions, I would like to act as a character that has deep darkness inside.”
- Song Kang’s first introduction was made to the public. What actor do you want to be in the future?
An advice from senior actors that was written repeatedly in my journal is “humble”. To be an actor who doesn’t forget to be humble, I will try to remember what they said.
<Love Alarm> is the first work that opened my eyes to the joy of acting. I had the pleasure of communication and joy of working in the set. Through <When the Devil Calls Your Name>, I came to think about people. During every break, senior actors would give me advice and help me out so I thought what “a good person” is. From these two works, I hope acting and Song Kang grew up a little.
When viewers think of my name, I want them to think that I put a lot of my effort into my acting and that I grow up from acting in each work. I’ll try my best to do so and please watch me.