Kang Ha Neul: The Cheeky Boy Next Door

The "Scarlet Heart" actor exudes a boyish charm while remaining refreshingly down to earth

Photos and Text: Pamela Chow

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Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself that your fans may not know?

[Laughs] Well, I can’t really identify something extremely extraordinary about myself – I think I’m really an ordinary boy next door who could be your brother. That’s who I feel my true self is.

But if we’re talking about my character, the 8th prince, that’s a totally different person altogether. I’m not as smart or good in martial arts as the 8th prince! I’m a very normal and ordinary person in real life.

Historical dramas seem to be very popular now. How do you think it appeals to younger viewers?

A lot of elements in period dramas are not what modern people in today’s age can really relate to, because it was all in the past. “Scarlet Heart”, together with that element of old tradition, adds on the factor of fantasy.

I think this is what appeals to many – especially younger audiences. Something that they can’t really relate to in real life, but which provokes their imagination.

Are there any roles you’ve not done that you’d like to try next?

I’m always attracted to roles that bring out traits in me I never thought I had – that’s why I appear so different [on screen] than myself in real life. Recently, I’ve been thinking about acting as a young father. I wonder what I can bring to such a role if I ever play it – it’s really gotten me thinking.

I was really attracted to my role in “Scarlet Heart” because there’s an element of growth in my character, who finds what he really wants to do in life.

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