Korean actor Kang Ha-nuel ‘mentally and physically prepared’ for military service

The rising K-star says it’s thanks to his latest action-comedy Midnight Runners which also stars his buddy Park Seo-joon.


SINGAPORE: South Korean heart-throb Kang Ha-nuel may be breaking many a fan’s heart when he begins mandatory military service come Sep 11. But they needn’t worry.

The 27-year-old told Channel NewsAsia he feels Midnight Runners – his final film before enlistment – has better prepared him for what is to come.

The buddy cop action-comedy stars both Kang and Park Seo-joon as two apathetic police academy recruits-turned-best-friends who witnessed a kidnapping incident by chance during their leave.

According to director Jason Kim, the actors who are also good friends in real life underwent a two-week military-style training programme before filming.

Rising K-star Kang admitted with a smile that that was “challenging”.

“Director Kim really emphasises the realness of the scenes,” he said. “In that sense, he really made it (feel) as if we were going through real actual training.”

“I must say working on Midnight Runners has indeed mentally and physically prepared me for the enlistment itself,” he continued. “But when we were working on this movie, there was no concrete plan of me being enlistment in the army. So the decision (I made) to act in this movie wasn’t exactly to prepare myself for enlistment”

In Singapore to promote the film, Kang was charming, jovial and every bit the K-movie world’s “nicest guy”- a label he has time and again lived up to.

Director Kim would be the first to attest that, with nothing but praise for his young star.

“Both (Park) Seo-joon and I talk about Ha-neul a lot,” Kim revealed. “About how he’s so hardworking, how he’s always smiling and how he’s so kind to other people. We hope that one day he’ll be kinder to himself. He’s such a nice guy that he doesn’t want to disappoint anybody.”

Their wish for him?

“We just hope he’s happier. He’s just a nice guy but we just hope it doesn’t wear him out too much,” said Kim. “There were moments where things were really tough in the field while filming. It was cold, dangerous and physically exhaustive.  But this guy did not and has not exhibited a single moment of anger.“

“I’m not just saying this because it’s an interview,” continued Kim. “I’m saying this from deep down in my heart.”


By Genevieve Loh



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