Kang Min Ah Talks About Her First Meeting With Park Ji Hoon And Bae In Hyuk, Going From Child Actor To Lead Actress, And More
Based on a webtoon, “At a Distance Spring Is Green” is a heartwarming drama about the ordinary struggles and love lives of college students. Kang Min Ah starred as Kim So Bin, a student who gets discouraged in the face of reality because of her ordinary grades and background.
Kang Min Ah made her debut more than a decade ago as a child actor, but “At a Distance Spring Is Green” was her first lead role on a public broadcast channel (e.g. KBS, SBS, MBC) drama.
She said, “I thought, ‘I’m finally the lead.’ Ever since I was little, the most important thing in my life has been acting. [When I was cast as the lead,] I reflected on the growth I’ve experienced and felt grateful for the chance. I did feel a sense of pressure, especially when I thought about how the viewers would react. But I realized that even though I had more scenes than usual, I was still only one part of the drama. A drama is made when lots of people come together. I decided to just do the best I could for the role that I’d been given, and I was able to escape from that feeling of pressure.”
She continued, “As the number of scenes increased, so did the number of times I had to come to set. I had to think about how to maintain my stamina more than I had before. In the past, I would pour everything I had into a single day, but now I had to think about whether I could maintain the same energy for the second half. I took a lot of nutritional supplements—does that make me sound old?”
Interestingly, Kang Min Ah shared that she had zero similarities to her character. She said, “There’s a line in the drama that says, ‘People who think a lot make less mistakes.’ I could relate to that. I’m jealous of her carefulness. But when I think about how she continues to hang around people who aren’t good for her, I get frustrated. I couldn’t relate to her habit of hiding her pain and just enduring the situation. Even though we’re about 0 percent similar, I tried to resemble the webtoon version in looks at least, so I’ll say 60 percent instead. Our personalities are completely different. It’s more comfortable to act out someone who shares certain similarities inside, but I’m not very shy like she is, I like to talk, and I like being friends with people. I’m the type to talk without filters and then go home and think, ‘Did I talk too much?’ When I date, I hate feeling claustrophobic. I don’t raise my voice and get into fights, but I can speak harshly when I need to. If I feel like I’m going to get angry, I just say it in advance. I’m the type to be honest when I start to like someone as well.”
Kang Min Ah shared what her relationship to her co-stars had been when they first met. “Because we were all around the same age, it felt like starting a new school,” she said. “We naturally became close and had a lot of conversations. Because of that, our acting chemistry was good too. I’m the oldest between me, Park Ji Hoon, and Bae In Hyuk, but only by a year or two. At first, those guys called me ‘sunbaenim‘ [senior]. We first met at the director’s office, and as soon as I came in, they jumped to their feet and said, ‘Hello, sunbaenim.’ They kept speaking to me formally and I felt like I was being treated like an elder and couldn’t stand it. I eventually told them to speak comfortably to me. Later, they’d call me noona or by my character’s name.”
She added, “I think that it would have been disrespectful for me to worry too much about Park Ji Hoon’s fans [as a singer], because he was on set as an actor. If I worried about that, it would be like I wasn’t treating him as a fellow actor, but rather as a singer. I’d seen his previous work and I’d listened to his songs before. I’m the type to look up my co-stars’ previous work in advance. I’d also seen at least one of Bae In Hyuk, [CLC’s] Kwon Eunbin, and Woo Davi‘s projects before too.”
In “At a Distance Spring Is Green,” Oh Ah Rin plays the younger version of Kim So Bin. “I used to go on set as someone’s child actor,” Kang Min Ah said, “so it felt strange to realize that I was now the age where another child actor would play my younger self. Ah Rin would come with her mom, and I’d think of the times I went to set with my mom.”
Kang Min Ah’s mother used to be a theater actor. Asked about her influence on her career, she said, “My mom got me modeling jobs as a kid, and that’s how I started. When I began acting, it suited me perfectly. It’s not easy to find the job that’s perfect for you, so I’m grateful to my mom for that. My parents recognized that I liked the work and didn’t oppose me but always cheered me on, which I’m thankful for.”
Watch “At a Distance Spring Is Green” below!