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Actor You Need to Know: Song Kang

The actor’s skills prove that he’s a prodigy who’s here to stay

Debashree Dutta May 03, 2022

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

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Song Kang exemplifies what world-renowned Japanese writer Haruki Murakami once stated, saying, “If you’re young and talented, it’s like you have wings,” and the young actor is steadily spreading his wings with every endeavor.

In 2017, the rookie made his debut with the rom-com television series The Liar and His Lover. Thereafter, he bagged roles in the family drama Man in the Kitchen, and appeared in two music videos including The Ade’s “Sweet Summer Night” and Suran’s “Love Story.” He also went on to become the host of Inkigayo, a musical show, and a permanent member of Village Survival, the Eight, a variety show.

Two years later, Song was cast as Luka, Ha Rip’s (Jung Kyung-ho) assistant in the fantasy supernatural melodrama When the Devil Calls Your Name, which tells the story of a man who sells his soul to the devil for money and fame, and later tries to negotiate a deal with him in exchange for his life. That very year, Song got his major break in Love Alarm, playing the main role of Hwang Sun-oh, a handsome model and high-school student with a troubled family background. He was cast alongside Kim So-hyun, Jun Ga-ram and other notable actors.

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The Netflix original rose to fame post-release and became a huge hit as one of the top releases from the streaming giant. Love Alarm’s second instalment, which also starred Song, Kim, and Jun, became equally popular. As a result of the series’ worldwide success, Song’s recognition and popularity skyrocketed in no time. Shortly after this, he was featured in Vibe’s music video, “Call Me Back.”

The 28-year-old has portrayed a diverse range of characters, all of which are distinct from one another. His versatility and acting genius came to the fore with his phenomenal performance in the cataclysmic Netflix original horror series Sweet Home (2020). The show was dystopian, grotesque, macabre, and spine-chilling, with Cha Hyun-soo (Song), a troubled teenager, and his neighbors at the center of the drama.

The story unfolded amid bizarre situations where humans were turning into monsters while Hyun and others tried to keep the demons at bay (to retain their human forms). The show garnered mixed reviews but gained huge traction, giving Song’s profile a boost. His one-of-a-kind acting earned him a nomination for Best New Actor – Television at the 57th Baeksang Arts Awards.

In Navillera (2021), Song played Lee Chae-rok, an aspiring ballet dancer struggling with personal problems. The narrative dealt with universal themes and contemporary issues such as old age and pursuing one’s passion despite all odds. Song had to go through months of ballet training to bring the character to life. His bromance with Shim Deok-chul (Park In-hwan), a 70-year-old man who supports his dreams and vice versa, touched a nerve with the audience.

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Later that year, Song starred alongside Han So-hee in the webtoon-based romance drama Nevertheless. The former was portrayed as Park Jae-eon, a flirtatious sculpting department student who does not pursue a serious relationship.

Song co-starred with Park Min-young in the romantic melodrama Forecasting Love and Weather earlier this year. The plot is set in South Korea’s national meteorological service, where love is as unpredictable as the daily weather, and although love blooms between a diligent forecaster (Park) and her happy-go-lucky younger colleague (Song), the complexities of office romance and age differences begin to pose problems. The drama was a commercial success, and the protagonists’ performances were appreciated.

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