K-drama actor Kang Ha-neul opens up about his claustrophobia

Kang Ha-neul in JTBC's travelogue Traveller 2.
Kang Ha-neul in JTBC's travelogue Traveller 2.PHOTO: JTBCTRAVELER/INSTAGRAM

SINGAPORE - In a recent episode of South Korean travelogue series Traveller 2, actor Kang Ha-neul revealed his struggles with claustrophobia.

The 30-year-old actor, known for his roles in When The Camellia Blooms (2019) and Misaeng (2014), talked about his fear with castmates singer Ong Seong-wu and actor Ahn Jae-hong.

The three are touring Argentina in the second season of the show.

The first, which aired from December 2018 to January 2019, featured actors Ryu Jun-yeol and Lee Je-hoon in Cuba.

According to Soompi, a K-entertainment news portal, on the episode which aired on Saturday (March 14), Kang said: "I suffer from severe claustrophobia, so I have a hard time flying on airplanes. Whenever I have to go abroad or travel somewhere, I get a prescription for sleeping pills in advance."

The show aired footage of Kang lingering so that he could board a plane later than the other passengers.

Claustrophobia is a form of anxiety disorder characterised by an irrational or intense fear of confined or small spaces and it can lead to panic attacks.

Kang later said he has a "hard time" in crowded buses and that he often feels "suffocated" riding in cars with the windows wound up, which was why he wound down the windows during a taxi ride with Ahn and Ong.

Though Ahn, 33 (Be Melodramatic, 2019) encouraged Kang to tell them when he felt uncomfortable, Kang said: "To be honest, I feel like I'm making the people around me uncomfortable by talking about it. Because I'm making them worry about me."