[05.05.09] Kang Ji Hwan – The Story Behind His Debut


A person who is constantly consoled by his friends who say “We can’t understand why you’re not in first place,” but can only cry when he looks at his report card. Actor Kang Ji Hwan (32) can be said to be that type of person.

That’s because even though the dramas Kang Ji Hwan starred in drew avid fans, he lost the ratings to the big hit dramas that aired on the other stations. 90 Days to Hwang Jini, Capital Scandal to Money’s Warfare, Hong Gil Dong to New Heart…they were all completely knocked out by the competition.

Switching over to movies, Rough Cut brought critical acclaim, but the spotlight was on So Ji Sub who returned after 4 years in this movie.

I met KJH on the 15th. He started talking in his usual quiet fashion. “My position is a little vague. I’m neither a top star nor a supporting actor, and although I canbe a leading actor, I’ve never had a drama where I got top ratings…”


In spite of baring his “scar” he talks cheerfully because he’s confident of 7 Grade.

He is recognized as an actor now, but we might have encountered the “singer” Kang Ji Hwan first. “I wanted to go into the entertainment business in my early 20’s, but at that time I had no connection whatsoever. Then I remembered a Miss Korea saying “I would like to thank the owner of Sera Beauty Salon.” A friend from my military days happened to be working as a staff at “Park Sung Chol Hair Studio.” I asked him to introduce me to anyone in the entertainment industry, that I would take care of everything if only I could get an introduction.


That’s how he met the person in charge of drama music. “He told me he’ll make me a singer. I practiced at a karaoke box for several weeks, and eventually was called over to his house. After inviting me for a drink, he told me “I’m really busy right now. I heard a friend who’s producing musicals is holding auditions right now.” In other words, he passed the buck.

People around were saying “he’s not going to make it,” but being reckless, he found courage. Others were wearing sweats and dancing shoes, but KJH alone was in a suit and leather shoes. When asked at the audition, “Are you a good dancer? Do you frequently go to clubs?” he immediately answered he often went to Juliana, a popular club at that time, somehow thinking that if he mentioned a club in the Kang Nam district in Seoul that he would “appear rich.”

“People who frequent clubs seem to have natural rhythms. Not knowing what to do, my movements were definitely different from others. That was truly the most embarrassing moment of my life. Even so, I begged the director “please give me a chance. I’ll clean or do anything.”


And thus, Kang Ji Hwan went on stage. He was only one of the dancers, but he says he can’t forget to this day, the excitement and the tingling feeling he had that time. It was then that he acquired his first “fan.” “There were 2 girls who came almost everyday. Strangely, in the audience I felt four eyes that were looking only at me.”

After that, he got a fan club. Maybe because of the love they shared from the unknown days, KJH is called Minister Kang by his fans. The 4 eyes of those days became 4,000, and will soon be 40,000 eyes. Is it because he can’t forget those eyes? KJH said he will continue acting for the rest of his life. “There are actors like George Clooney and Sean Connery who are sexy even when they’re gray. I want to be an actor like that too.”

Credit: KangJiHwan Thread@Soompi

6 Responses to “[05.05.09] Kang Ji Hwan – The Story Behind His Debut”

  1. Bamboo VN Says:

    Dear KJH and your family, also to all your film Directors, your film producers,

    Life is too short. Do you think so?
    THank for your mother who bring you to us. All God give you from us sent to you that are famous, success, lovings and other very good feelings from us.
    Pls keep it and try more and more for now as well as for future.
    Because never repeat a Kang Ji Hwang except you have twin brother,
    because you still not have many dramas or movies yet for our wish,
    we always would like to see you everyday after a long hour work hard, after many other unhappyness in our life. You give us good releases, relax and good feelings, we feel happy when have your films.

    All of your shows, your scenes, your faces, your smiles, and…most are your eyes…it’s great, wonderful!
    very man face, very good-looking,most lovely eyes, special
    your eyes make some poeple thing that you have general and balance factors of your face between soft (long eyelashes & smiles) and strong (face moudle, noodle, shape..)
    you are one of very little poeple have long eyelashes, this can be a strong pint, advantage for your film career. Eventhough you knew already, because it’s belong to you, for ex. the scene Han Ji Min and you kiss together in Ep. 15-Capial Scandal (at that time you stayed in hospital, the Director plays very close the images of your eyelashes). pls watch it again if you forgot it!…oh..make us very surprise about your eyes…great!

    Ofcourse, no need for us to talk about all your performings, your plays,all is ok, very great! We see your try to do your best!
    Always happy and success, good health to you all!
    Remember and do not let time go over very quickly without you!

    Hope to see you always more and more!
    Thank you very much for everything related to you, your mother, also to all your film Directors, your film producers!


  2. I love Kang Ji-Hwan. Especially his drama “Be Strong Geum Soon”. The first time i saw his face, i got statstruck. I love everything about KJW. How i wish i will meet him soon at have ang autograph! Keep up the good work! God bless you always! Mwaaahh!!

  3. I love Kang Ji-Hwan. Especially his drama “Be Strong Geum Soon”. I love it very much! Especially he teamed up with my favorite korean actress Han Hye-jin. Theire chemistry makes me fall inlove in the drama. They’re a perfect couple. The first time i saw his face, i got statstruck. I love everything about KJW. How i wish i will meet him soon at have ang autograph! Keep up the good work! God bless you always! Mwaaahh!!

  4. Oh dear, I never thought I would go ‘gaga’ like this again at 35! Anyway, after watching Lie to Me here in the Philippines (although it’s still running here, I just watched it online) I really appreciated it. Aside from the fact that KJH and YEH looks perfect on and off the cam. Oh dear, I just hope KJH and YEH will team up soon, again for another project. Wishing you all the best in your career. Hope you can visit the Philippines 🙂

  5. Opaque you very so cut.you are very good actor……

  6. I really like KJH, his acting is the best. But I want to ask something. Is Kang Ji hwan Married. I read in fans group that KJH was married with Gracia, the lady from Philippine. is that right? if there are some fans from Korea, have you heard that KJH was married. it made me Confuse. you can check in this page https://www.facebook.com/groups/341635462594341/. I’m sorry if I have mistake

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