Kang Dong Won, Best Actor to Play “Watanabe” in Haruki’s “Norwegian Wood”


A film adaptation of “Norwegian Wood,” popular novel by Japanese author Murakami Haruki, is set for release in Korea. This movie that talks about the loss, wounds, and recovery in life through Haruki’s own chic yet emotional voice. Haruki himself wrote part of the script and Tran Anh Hung, who’s built his own reputation through “Cyclo” in 1995 and “The Scent of Green Papaya” in 1994, directed the movie.

Prior to the release of this movie, Korean portal Nate conducted a survey asking “Which Korean actor would best fit the role of Watanabe (in movie ‘Norwegian Wood’)?” Kang Dong Won was voted first with an overwhelming 41% of the responses, followed by Hyun Bin, Won Bin, and Lee Min Ho. The protagonist of the film, Watanabe, is an avid reader and music listener with a soft side who struggles to overcome his first love, but still finds his heart flutter at a new love.

Perhaps because of his role in 2007 film “M,” Kang Dong Won has a mature yet childish image, much like Watanabe does. Just by looking at Kang Dong Won’s teary eyes and closed mouth, the viewers can feel the emotional loss of a first love. Won Bin, who keeps a warm yet desolate image, came in at 2nd with 32% of the votes. Hyun Bin received 18% of the votes with his heavy-reading Kim Joo Won character in SBS drama “Secret Garden,” and Lee Min Ho who’s been getting a lot of love with his tall height and luxury image also got 9% of the responses. Whatever the results are, it’s quite satisfying to just think about the four actors play Watanabe’s role. The film adaptation of “Norwegian Wood” will be released in Korea on Apr. 21st.

Written in Korean by [email protected]; Translated by [email protected]