EXCLUSIVE: Song Kang takes us through a day in his life; his dream projects, upcoming drama & more

In an exclusive interview with Pinkvilla, Navillera star Song Kang opens up about auditioning as a rookie actor to learning ballet and working with Park In Hwan.
EXCLUSIVE: Song Kang takes us through a day in his life; his dream projects, upcoming drama & more
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One of the brightest shining stars of the Korean entertainment industry, making leaps and bounds in his illustrious career is the talented and graceful, Song Kang. With an arsenal of artistic abilities, Song Kang has bravely and beautifully tackled some of the most sensitive genres in the realm of K-Dramas. From horror to romance, he has proven his unshakable mettle as a pillar for the future of the industry. Song Kang currently appears as Chae Rok, a young ballet prodigy in the Netflix drama Navillera which has won millions of hearts worldwide not only for its subject matter, popularity as a webtoon or its star-studded cast but rather for the subtle nuances that Song Kang imbues into his character, bringing it to life. 

I had the incredible opportunity of sitting down with Song Kang for an exclusive interview where he took me through the timeline of his career, from auditioning as a rookie actor to getting the dream opportunity of working with Park In Hwan and through it all, his presence was just as graceful, elegant and humble as his character in Navillera. Read until the end for a special message from Song Kang, especially to his Indian fans!

How did you feel when you first got the offer for ‘Navillera’?


When I first read the script, I was deeply moved.  I also sympathized with Chae-rok who was lost between chasing his dreams and facing reality, and I was also impressed with Deok-chul trying ballet at the age of 70 with the hope of “soaring at least once before dying.”  A lot of fans who read the original webtoon were deeply touched, as was I.  That’s why I wanted to participate in this show very much.  And when I heard that Park In-hwan was playing the role of Deok-chul, I was compelled even moreso.  Because there aren’t many opportunities to work with a great senior actor like him.  I am very grateful that I was given the opportunity to join Navillera.


What made you choose ‘Navillera’ as a project you wanted to work on?  Were you a fan of the webtoon before you got the offer?


I was familiar with Navillera the webtoon.  People around me also recommended it a lot as it was their most favorite webtoon.  I’ve been saving it for later and I’ve been meaning to read it for a while, but I only started reading it after the drama was decided to be filmed.  The webtoon was really interesting.  But the script was also interesting with a different kind of charm from the webtoon.  I thought that it’d be able to deliver meaningful messages to people of all ages and genders, and I wanted to convey the emotions I felt while reading the script to the viewers.



Is ballet something you were always interested in?  How did you prepare for your role as Lee Chae-rok?


I got to experience ballet for the first time in my life through Navillera.  I was worried because it was my first time trying it, but learning it was a lot of fun.  I took ballet lessons five to six months before shooting began, but advanced moves were difficult to follow in such a short time span, so I tried to portray ballerino Chae-rok as naturally as possible by paying attention to the overall form and gaze.


What was it like, working with the brilliant Park In Hwan?  Did you feel the pressure of working alongside such a highly respected sunbaenim or was it more of a learning experience for you?


Because he is a great senior actor who I respect, I was very nervous before we started filming.  I even had trouble sleeping because I was worried that I might make a mistake on set.  I had been preparing so much that I even rehearsed in my dreams.  But when I actually met him on set, he was so gentle and considerate that I felt comfortable and I was able to focus on acting.  During the shoot, he looked after me like Grandpa Deok-chul, so I’m grateful.  The set had been a valuable place where I could learn more than ever.

What was your favorite part about working on ‘Navillera’?


First of all, I think the best part was that I got to learn ballet and be interested in it.  It was more beautiful and wonderful than I thought.  I hope the charm of ballet will be conveyed to many people through Navillera.  I remember every ballet scene was really elaborately filmed with great effort.  It was so nice to work with Park In-hwan and Na Moon-hee.  That alone was fantastic because it is a dream of an opportunity for a rookie.  Thanks to them, I was able to learn a lot and make lots of good memories. 


What was something that helped you connect with actor Park In Hwan which led to such amazing chemistry between you two?


I think Park In-hwan was the secret to our amazing chemistry.  He brought out the chemistry between Deok-chul and Chae-rok that transcended generations really well.  So I simply had to follow his lead.  I was able to immerse myself in the role of Chae-rok naturally when I saw him become Deok-chul on set, so the chemistry between the two came out well.

Can you please explain to fans what the word ‘Navillera’ means to you?


“Navillera” means like a butterfly.  It also describes the image of a butterfly sitting still.  Please look forward to Deok-chul and Chae-rok gradually growing up and flying like butterflies using ballet as a medium.


As the drama ‘Navillera’ is based on an original webtoon, how did you approach the character of Chae-rok knowing that fans of the webtoon will have high expectations from you?


Since the original webtoon had a lot of fans, there was a certain amount of pressure in creating the character of Chae-rok.  I was worried about breaking the flow of the original work, so I studied the webtoon a lot.  Fortunately, I sympathized with Chae-rok as many people did at the same point while reading the original work.  I tried to express my feelings as much as I could.  Most of all, since Chae-rok is a person who does ballet, I worked hard to learn ballet, so that the character would seem credible.

Is there anything in your own life that you have always wanted to do but couldn’t?


I can’t really think of anything.  In fact, when I decided to be an actor, I learned for the first time what it meant to be desperate for something.  Fortunately, my dream of becoming an actor has come true.  I still reflect on that desperate feeling and I always give it my all.


Was there any point in the drama where you felt like you could relate to Chae-rok?


When I played Chae-rok, I felt like we had a lot of similarities.  I was reminded of the time when I was a rookie working hard to pass auditions.  Chae-rok was awkward at expressing his feelings, and that resembled my personality very much.  I’m a shy person.  So it was especially fun doing the scenes where Chae-rok was shy because I felt like I was watching myself.


What do you think is special about all the different kinds of love portrayed in ‘Navillera’?


When you watch Navillera, you can feel the meaning of all-encompassing love because it portrays more than just love you see in romance dramas.  Deok-chul’s love for his family, Chae-rok’s longing for his widowed father, and the bromance between Deok-chul and Chae-rok who truly support each other’s dreams are all a part of love.  I believe the viewers will empathize with these points, and I also learned and felt a lot while acting.


Were there any fun behind-the-scenes stories on set that brought the cast closer together?


Park In-hwan was the life of the party on the set.  I liked the funny stories he told us.  He was really considerate and he cared about the actors and staff members on the busy set.  Thanks to him everyone was able to cheer up and have fun filming.  Every moment of working with him was a happy moment, so I am truly grateful. :)


You’re very particular about the projects you work on.  What is something you look for in a script that makes you want to take it up?


This work was a drama that was different from what I’ve done before because it mainly focused on everyday life and emotions.  I thought it was a big challenge for me as I was very concerned with making my act look natural.  So I thought a lot about how to better express and convey emotions that viewers can relate to.  Now with shooting over and looking back, I think I was able to learn tremendously from Navillera.  Whenever I was stuck, the director always tried to help me solve my problems together.  Park In-hwan, who worked with me, also helped me a lot.  That’s why Navillera will remain very meaningful to me.


How do you find inspiration for the characters that you embody?  Have you ever felt like a particular character has stayed with you even after filming was over?


I always find inspiration in unexpected places.  Sometimes I get inspiration from someone on the street or I get inspired by other works I watch online.  It’s amazing when I get these sudden inspirations.  Even after filming is over, the characters I played always stay with me.  Even though I don’t think about them in my daily life, sometimes they pop into my head, and I suddenly think, “I wonder how Hyun-soo is doing.”  Out and about, when I see the same car that Sun-oh used to ride, I suddenly choke up from missing Sun-oh.  I tend to return to my daily life quickly after filming, but I think the characters always remain in my heart.

Fans are eagerly anticipating all your upcoming projects and so are we!  What does a day in the life of Song Kang look like when you have such busy schedules?


These days, I spend most of my day on the set.  Right now, I’m filming the JTBC drama I Know, But(working title).  I think I can show you something that’s different from what I’ve shown you so far, so I hope you’ll look forward to it.  On days when there’s no filming, I take a full rest to refresh myself and for rejuvenation.  I enjoy reading books and watching Netflix at home.


You’re one of the most incredibly talented, versatile, and lovable actors in the Korean entertainment industry and we can’t wait for everything you have in store for your fans.  Is there any genre in particular that you would like to try and any actor you would like to work with in the future?


Actually, I always wanted to try horror thrillers with zombies and monsters.  I achieved that dream by starring in Sweet Home.  I got to face all the monsters I could ever face in Sweet Home, so my thirst for horror thrillers has been quenched a bit.  Also, I learned a lot of things while working together with Park In-hwan on Navillera.  Now I’m working on I Know, But with actor Han So-hee who is the same age as me.  So I’d like to work with senior actors I admire again and learn new things.


What is your favorite comfort food after you’ve had a long day?


I’d choose pork cutlet in a heartbeat.  I really like meat, but I like pork cutlets the most.  You can eat it for lunch or dinner, and it’s delicious!  There are many kinds of pork cutlet, so I choose the menu according to my mood.  It’s my comfort food.


You’re always in the headlines for speculations about your future projects.  Can you tell us a little bit more about any upcoming dramas you’re working on?


I’m currently filming JTBC’s I Know, But.  It is based on the popular webtoon of the same title.  The character I play, Park Jae-eon, is kind and pleasant to everyone, but he’s actually an indifferent person and he doesn’t believe in dating or being in a relationship.  When Jae-eon meets Yu Na-bi (played by Han So-hee), he slowly changes. We’re working hard to convey that heart-fluttering feeling and excitement to viewers.  I’d appreciate it if you look forward to it.


Finally, once the world is all better, would you come to India for a fan meeting?  Do you have anything you want to say to your fans all over the world and especially in India?


When COVID-19 subsides, I definitely want to visit India.  Right now I can only meet you through my works and interviews, but I hope I can meet the fans in India and make good memories in the future.  Meanwhile, I’ll do my best from here.  Please take care and stay healthy.  Have a happy year!  I hope you enjoy and love Navillera.  Thank you.

ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE: Navillera star Park In Hwan opens up about learning ballet, his 1st impression of Song Kang & more

What did you think of Song Kang's first-ever Indian interview? Share your thoughts with Pinkvilla in the comments section down below!

Anonymous 1 week ago

I will eagerly wait for the day when Song Kang come to India for fan meet-up. Hope they will start shooting for Sweet Home Season 2 soon.