[Interview] Song Kang Ho Says He Won’t be Embarrassed of ‘Howling’
Song Kang Ho can be said to be the best actor in Korea. But in his most recent film Howling, he didn’t take up a lead role; he settled for a supporting role.
He would’ve easily been able to get a lead role in any other film, because he gets quite a few new scenarios every month and there’s even a saying in the film scene that ‘Song Kang Ho guarantees some base popularity no matter how low you go.’ We got curious on why he made this choice, so enews met with Song Kang Ho to ask him just why he decided to take on Howling.
Song Kang Ho up close
Song’s real laughter and personality were fairly similar to those he showed onscreen. His laughter was light yet it wasn’t too superficial, and his personality was cheerful yet didn’t lose its sincerity. It was a moment when the image we gave him through his acts onscreen for the last 10 years came into life before our eyes.
His passion toward film and his presence didn’t fail to dominate no matter where we went. We could feel again that he didn’t become one of the best actors in the industry out of sheer luck.
A film that lives up to his name
In Howling, Song Kang Ho, the best actor in Chungmuro, yields the top spot to Lee Na Young. We were first curious on why he chose this film.
“If I felt it was a girlish film or if it was more like a detective story, I wouldn’t have chosen this piece. But I was pulled to it because although it looks like [something else] on the outside, it contains the heavy story of what’s going on in our society. People keep asking me about my supporting role, but that’s not something I care for if it’s a good piece. What the film’s about is more important.”
It was a clear answer just like him. The fact that the film is in the animal genre, however, is more a weakness than an advantage. Previous films in the animal genre have rarely scored big numbers in the Korean Box Office. It wouldn’t have been easy for Song to take this chance because his previous piece, Blue Salt, flopped.
“To be honest, it was unfamiliar. I was worried on how we would get an animal, not a person, to act. It turned out Jilpoong was a well-trained dog (Laugh). And the film isn’t entirely about the animals themselves; it’s a film that shows the disadvantaged peoples in our society through these creatures that have no voice. I’m more pressured about success because Blue Salt was a failure, but it’s at least a film that I wouldn’t be embarrassed to be in.”
Lee Na Young is like the morning dew
We couldn’t help but mention his partnership with Lee Na Young. We wondered how Shin Se Kyung and Lee Na Young were different.
“I’m an actor who′s been fortunate in meeting new people. I’ve met a lot of good directors and actors. [Shin] Se Kyung for the last film and Na Young for this one were great partners, and I’m thankful toward them for giving me sincere praise even after we finished with the piece," said Song.
"Na Young reminds me of bricks. She doesn’t go for a big boom at one point, but stacks up her career slowly one by one. She’s an actor whose future I’m looking forward to. Once I said Lee Na Young is an actress like the morning dew, and my wife laughed at me saying it sounded too old-fashioned; I’m hoping it won’t happen this time (Laugh).”
Many actors that only used to appear in films, such as Han Seok Gyu, Jang Dong Gun and Shin Ha Kyun, have started to appear in the small screen as well. We asked whether he himself was thinking of venturing into the small screen.
“They’re welcome faces, and it’s a good thing to happen. I think it would be great for the opposite to happen, having those often on TV come over to the big screen. Everyone will be bringing out the passion in each other and spur each other one; it would be great. Ten years ago I used to get many offers for dramas, but now they’re rare (Laugh), though I also think I should concentrate more on the big screen as of now.”
Photo credit: Kim Byung Kwan