Korean Scarlet Heart star feels the pressure of living up to original hit from China

Korean actor Kang Ha Neul.
Korean actor Kang Ha Neul.PHOTO: ONE

South Korean actor Kang Ha Neul, 26, confesses to feeling stressed about taking on the huge role of the dashing 8th Prince in his upcoming drama Scarlet Heart, which is a Korean adaptation of the hit 2011 Chinese series of the same name.

Aware of the immense popularity of the original, he says at a press event here on Friday (Aug 26): "There was a lot of pressure to be part of this megahit production. I decided to give it a go anyway and enjoy it as much as I could. I believe that that will bring out the best in me as an actor."

The 8th Prince in the original series was played by Hong Kong actor Kevin Cheng.

Kang is in town to promote the time-travel epic Scarlet Heart, which will premiere in Singapore on Monday (Aug 29) at 9pm, on Sony's Korean entertainment Channel One. It will air in Singapore simultaneously as in South Korea and China.

Kang says of Wang Wook, while pointing to a larger-than-life poster of the character behind him at the press conference: "I'm pretty much the boy-next-door. If you look at the 8th Prince in Scarlet Heart, he is a totally different from me. He is smart... I'm a very ordinary person in real life."

His fans may catch him at a meet-and-greet on Saturday (Aug 27). The event is open to the public and is scheduled to take place at 5.45pm at Waterway Point shopping mall.

Kang - has starred as an over-achieving student body president in teenage romance The Inheritors (2013) and a geeky intern in office drama Misaeng (2014) - will be signing autographs, taking group photographs and playing games with fans.

He had also met fans here last year, to promote his coming-of-age movie Twenty (2015) at the Korea Film Festival. His turn as shy college freshman in the movie won him the Best New Actor award at the Korean Film Actors' Guild Awards.

nggwen@sph.com.sg

Scarlet Heart premieres on Aug 29 at 9pm on channel ONE (StarHub TV Channel 124, 820 and 823; Singtel TV Ch 513 and 604). It airs on Mondays and Tuesdays at 9pm.

For information on the fan meet, check out visit www.onetvasia.com/KangHaNeul