With almost 20 years under his belt as an actor, Kang Dong Won recently shared in an interview how he deals with malicious comments and expressed regrets over his public image, which is different from his actual self.
When asked about what was most different from his actual self and his portrayed image to the viewers, he said, “The idea that I was brought up in a rich family. This was reported 10 years ago and it is completely false. When I tried to voice this, no one would write about it.
“Even while attending kindergarten, I had to depend on my older sister. Yet, there were several reports that we belonged to a rich family. When reports about how my father was a vice president of a large corporation came out, that was around the time when the small-medium enterprise my father was at merged with a larger corporation. My father is an extremely receptive person, so he must have been good at his job. That’s how he became vice president and reports started to appear two months after his appointment.”
The actor also shared how he felt after receiving positive responses to his appearance on JTBC’s “Newsroom.” He revealed, “I was taken aback. It didn’t feel that great. I think I have lived with the exact same personality as I’ve had the last 30 years, but I felt that people were only now understanding me as a person. That aspect made me very sad. I even contacted my high school friend to have a drink. The fact that the public concluded I was not the person they’d thought I’d be within 10 minutes…although I could be feeling this way partially because a little bit has to do with how I acted.”
Kang Dong Won was asked if there were any preconceptions which made it difficult for him during his career as well; however, he was unable to answer readily. He explained with an awkward smile that people had previously left malicious comments after he responded to such an interview question before.
When asked if he frequently read netizens’ comments, the actor replied, “I do. I think that it’s impossible to just ignore the opinions of those people [who leave malicious comments]. Even if it was malicious, it was an individual’s opinion.” He calmly recalled that the most unforgettable malicious comment was, “Go die,” and there were more serious comments that were difficult to share.
“I thought, ‘How much pain did they have to go through for them to think that way?'” Kang Dong Won shared. “If there is a way I could heal them as an actor, wouldn’t that also be my responsibility? Wouldn’t I just have to make a movie that would help those people heal? I think there is no other method than this. I have no intentions to take legal action. I do realize how unrealistic it may seem, but I think I have to live more energetically and persuade them. After all, they are residents of South Korea and so am I.”
Kang Dong Won reflected on his career and shared, “I kept myself really busy when I was in my 20s. I felt uneasy and thought that it would be the end of my career if a project was unsuccessful. I was very competitive. It is only now that I realize ‘my career’ is being an actor. I start to question myself on what it means to have this as my career.
“I work in order to be happy. However, if there’s unhappiness around me, that means that I can’t truly be happy. I keep thinking, ‘What should I do so I can work in a happier society? Wouldn’t that kind of work be something a person who sees acting as their career can do?’ As an actor, I can just make people happy, and can also reach out to the viewers on societal issues through movies. I can also express human stories through movies and question the world. I figure, ‘Wouldn’t that be the calling of an actor?”