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Kang Ha-neul (강하늘)

Updated: Feb 21, 2023

The indigenous name "ha-neul" is so unique in the Korean nomenclature that it is spelled with "乻", a character so rare that it isn’t even included in the the official hanja registry for Korean names. "Ha-neul" is also an unusual case where the two syllables do not mean two separate ideas; instead, both characters are merged to produce only a single idea: "sky."

Given his heart, his range of talents, and his incredible humility, Kang Ha-neul seems to have no trouble living up to the infinite possibilities of his name.

Birthday: February 21, 1990

Kang Ha-neul broke the k-drama leading man mold with his portrayal of Hwang Yong-sik, the adorkable country bumpkin cop in 2019’s When the Camellia Blooms--his first leading drama role and military comeback project. The rom-com/murder mystery was both a wild critical and commercial success, for which he earned numerous acting awards, including the highly coveted Baeksang Award.

Prior to this, he had already impressed and charmed TV audiences with his supporting roles as a smart but arrogant office worker in the workplace drama Misaeng (2014) and as the dreamy 8th Prince Wang Wook in the fusion sageuk Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (2016). Both dramas were wildly popular throughout Asia.

Kang Ha-neul also established himself as a versatile young Chungmuro (film) star, winning acclaim for his roles in quiet films like the biographical Dongju: Portrait of a Poet (2016) and suspense thriller Forgotten (2017).

Proving his bankability, he starred in box office hits: the coming-of-age comedy Twenty (2015) with Kim Woo-bin and Lee Jun-ho, and the buddy-cop comedy Midnight Runners (2017) with Park Seo-joon.

His most recent movie, the high-seas historical comedy The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure enjoyed a successful box office run in 2022, and he has been praised for his performances in the legal suspense thriller Insider and melodrama Curtain Call in the same year.

His success in k-drama and in cinema, impressive they may be for someone so young (he turns 33 today), is only half of his accomplishments. Many are also surprised to learn that Ha-neul is also a musical actor, and a very successful one at that. With a folk singer for a father and his own degree in theater, he has starred in an impressive number of Korean musicals, and is known to play the guitar at the behest of friends. He also has a reputation in the entertainment industry as a "midam (good deed) vending machine," known for being an exceptionally kind co-worker. You can get a glimpse of his endearing personality in the variety travel series Traveler: Argentina.

With his relentless work ethic, quiet intelligence, and easy-going demeanor, Ha-neul is a sky full of stars and we’re enjoying the heavenly view.

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