Last weekend, I had a sudden urge to check out Youth Over Flowers in Iceland despite the lack of subs online, and it has to be one of the best choices I have ever made this year because I found a new appreciation on the guys: musical actor Jung Sang-hoon, actor Jung Woo (aka Trash Oppa-ya), actor Jo Jung-seok (aka Shep!) and last but not least, Kang Ha-neul as the maknae of the quartet. I have lots of things to say about the show but let’s save that for another post because this week’s Magazine Monday star is Kang Ha-neul, because I know lots of people are going to like this!
It feels like I’ve seen him in dramas since forever, but Kang Ha-neul actually started out as a musical actor and has been active on the stage since he was 17. His first role on the small screen was in the drama Supermom back in 2007 and then continuing with the daily drama Hometown Over the Hill Season 1. 2012 was the year he made it into the prime time drama To the Beautiful You as Minho’s rival, Ji-chul.
I consider Monstar as his breakout drama because it was through the series I learned about him (although I have yet to watch it) and he got to broadcast his singing talent because hey, he’s a musical actor after all! He also appeared on Two Weeks for a short but memorable role before starring in Heirs and gaining the nickname from his character there: Hyo-shin sunbae. He really knows how to shine on his own because you will notice him and he is no doubt a scene stealer!
I finally got the chance to watch him in action since I didn’t watch Two Weeks while it was airing, and the chance I had was through the drama Angel Eyes in 2014, where he played the younger version of Lee Sang-hyun’s character, Park Dong-joo. He was so endearing in that drama, and his chemistry with Nam Ji-hyun was just endearing. Kang Ha-neul then joined Misaeng as Jang Baek-ki, a role he considered as a turning point in his career. He also scored a cameo in Missing Noir M as a psychopathic murderer right after Misaeng, and I still can’t forget his character’s creepy grin there.
This young actor is also building his silver screen resume, acting alongside Kim So-eun in horror flick The Girl’s Grave in 2014. He appeared in three movies last year: the coming-of-age Twenty with Kim Woo-bin and Junho (LOTS of racy jokes in the movie); Age of Innocence/Empire of Lust alongside Shin Ha-kyun, Jang Hyuk, and Kang Han-na (this is not suitable for kids under 19); and the musical movie C’est si bon with Jung Woo and Han Hyo-joo.
Perhaps this year will be another great one for him since he’s starting the year with Youth Over Flowers, in which he becomes the adorable but reliable maknae of the goofy guys on their trip to Iceland. I have always thought that Kang Ha-neul is very mature despite the tendency to be cast as high schooler(s) and he has the cute side of him, but with his hyungs, he’s a total goofball marshmallow that you want to hug (a la Jung Woo). He also has two movies coming up in February: a modern rom-com Like for Likes, where he is paired with Esom; and Dongju: The Potrait of A Poet alongside Park Jung-min, based on the poet Yun Dong-ju and directed by Lee Jun-ik.
It’s still in the early stage of filming but put it in your drama calendar, because he is coming back to dramaland later this year through Korean adaptation of C-drama Bu Bu Jing Xin, with the working title Scarlet Heart: (Go)ryeo or also known as Moon Lovers. This won’t be his first time acting in a historical drama since he gained experience though his drama special Unrest and Age of Innocence, so we can be rest assured that he will be able to put on his decent performance as the 8th prince Wang Wook.
As a parting gift…have a nice pictorial circa 2013 of Kang Ha-neul working out, and you can check out more of his pictorials at his gallery HERE!