Growing as actor, Kang Min-hyuk says CNBLUE will always be priority

By Yoon Min-sik
  • Published : Nov 13, 2017 - 16:59
  • Updated : Nov 13, 2017 - 16:59

Eight years after CNBLUE began in Japan with live performances, the band’s four members have all parlayed into prominent individual careers away from the stage.

Kang Min-hyuk, who played a lead role in MBC drama series “Hospital Ship” that just ended, said he wants to keep growing as an actor but his heart will always belong to that passionate band of youngsters that performed in the streets of Japan.

“There are those who love us for our acting and those who love us for our music. At any rate, the reason that I’m even standing here is because of CNBLUE,” said actor and musician Kang during an interview held in Myeong-dong, Seoul, on Monday. “That is something I have to be thankful for the rest of my life.”

Kang Min-hyuk (FNC Entertainment)
Speaking to reporters for the first time since “Hospital Ship” ended to mixed responses from viewers on Nov. 2, Kang said that his -- and his bandmates’ -- dream still is to play until they are a “grandpa band.”

“Each passing year we get closer to that goal. Me and the other members do not doubt for a second that we will accomplish it,” he said. “Our priority is good music and performance. I think it’s only right that we pursue our acting careers to the extent that they do not hinder our music.

“The only issue is my stamina, and right now, we’re young enough and passionate enough to take on all challenges.”

The role of Kwak Hyun in the TV drama was the CNBLUE drummer‘s first leading role. Many viewers were critical of Kang’s acting abilities, which paled in comparison to his co-star and love interest: accomplished actress Ha Ji-won.

“I never thought that I would be adored from the start. I’m in the process of learning. I’ve felt frustrated at times, too, but I want to accept (my shortcomings) and show the fans my development (as an actor),” he said.

Kang would get a boost from working with Ha, who he described as vivacious and energetic. Despite her being 13 years his senior, Kang said he never felt he was working with a much older actress.

He also defended the program against criticism that it was “overly focused on the love story.”

“I think young men and women working in such close proximity in a hospital ship can easily fall in love. I do believe the process could’ve been depicted a little better,” Kang said.

Kang said he and his CNBLUE bandmates normally refrain from giving advice to each other. But the other members -- including band leader Jung Yong-hwa, who is currently starring in JTBC’s “The Package” -- would keep a close eye on each other’s work, Kang said.

“I think like Hyun (in ‘Hospital Ship’), I’ve grown just a little bit. I want to experience a variety of roles as an actor. It is fun experiencing a life I never had through the character,” he said.

CNBLUE debuted in 2009 in Japan and 2010 in Korean, and has enjoyed both commercial and critical success.

Kang began acting almost immediately, with 2010 omnibus film “Acoustic.” He has also starred in drama series “Heartstrings” (2011), “The Heirs” (2013) and “Entertainer” (2016).

Kang is slated to appear in the upcoming period film “Marital Harmony.”

CNBLUE in March released its seventh EP, titled “7℃N.”

By Yoon Min-sik (minsikyoon@heraldcorp.com)