INTERVIEW: Song Kang Ho Reflects on his Debut Drama, “Uncle Samsik”

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Song Kang Ho sealed his signature artistry in his first drama in 35 years, starring in Uncle Samsik.

This project marked a significant departure from his usual film work, where he was accustomed to telling stories within a limited time frame.

In a recent media interview, he shared his thoughts on this new challenge, the differences between acting in films and dramas, and his future in the industry.

Reflecting on the completion of Uncle Samsik, Song Kang Ho admitted to feeling embarrassed and regretful, emotions he commonly experiences after any project. He mentioned that watching his own performance is never easy as he tends to focus on his perceived flaws.

Discussing the transition from film to drama, he highlighted the unique advantages of the latter. Unlike films that require impactful storytelling within about two hours, dramas provide ample time for detailed and systematic character development, which he found particularly rewarding.

When asked about the possibility of taking on more drama roles, Song expressed openness to future opportunities, provided the content and circumstances are right. However, he reassured fans that he would not be abandoning films. He humorously shared his nervousness about future film scenarios, emphasizing his willingness to approach movies and dramas with equal dedication.

Uncle Samsik

On His Fondness To Uncle Samsik

Song Kang Ho also spoke candidly about his regrets after finishing Uncle Samsik. He acknowledged the disappointment of the drama not achieving global recognition but saw the project as a valuable experience. He praised director Shin Yeon-sik’s vision, emphasizing the importance of exploring new formats and broadening the scope of dramas.

The interview also delved into his relationship with director Shin Yeon-sik, with whom he collaborated on “Spider’s Nest,” “1 Win,” and “Uncle Samsik.” Song Kang-ho described their working relationship as a product of timing and connection rather than a premeditated decision. He appreciated the organic nature of their collaboration and the opportunity to work with a director who brought a fresh perspective to their projects.

Song Kang Ho was full of praise for his co-stars in Uncle Samsik, particularly admiring their passionate and unrestrained performances. He mentioned learning a lot from his junior actors, who brought a vibrant energy to their roles. The drama featured a diverse cast of supporting actors, whose excellent performances added depth to the story. Song Kang-ho was particularly impressed by the actor who played the prime minister, marveling at how convincingly they portrayed the role.

The conversation also touched on specific scenes in the drama, such as the ambiguous ending where Sam-sik’s death is not explicitly shown. Song Kang-ho explained that this creative decision was made after extensive discussions with the director. They wanted to leave the audience with a sense of ambiguity and the possibility of a continuation, even though it was ultimately decided that Sam-sik had died.

Takeaway On His 1st Drama Experience

Reflecting on his first drama experience, Song Kang Ho shared that Uncle Samsik allowed him to explore the long arc of a character in a way that films do not. He valued the chance to delve into the character’s depth and complexity over a prolonged period. This experience enriched his understanding of acting and storytelling, adding another layer to his already distinguished career.

Song Kang Ho also spoke about his approach to acting, driven by an instinct to avoid safe and predictable paths. He expressed a preference for projects that offer fresh and new perspectives, even if they come with risks. This mindset has guided his career, from his acclaimed performance in Parasite to his latest ventures. Despite the uncertainties and potential for failure, Song Kang-ho remains committed to pursuing innovative and meaningful roles.

Regarding his acting, he admitted to rarely feeling satisfied with his performances. He believes that this critical self-view is common among actors, driven by the unique perspective one has on their own work. This sense of never being fully content fuels his drive to continuously improve and take on new challenges.

Finally, he expressed a desire to be remembered for his commitment to quality and innovation in his work, regardless of commercial success. He hopes to be recognized as an actor willing to explore unconventional formats and tell stories that resonate on a deeper level. Through projects like “Uncle Sam-sik,” he aims to leave a lasting impact on the industry and inspire future generations of actors.

Uncle Samsik tells the story of its titular character, played by Song Kang-ho, who strives to feed people during wartime. Alongside Kim San, an ambitious young man portrayed by Byun Yo Han, they dream of creating a country where everyone can thrive.

Song Kang-ho’s character, Park Doo-chil, is a strategist who navigates life with cunning and determination. Meeting Kim San ignites a shared vision, leading to grand plans and the pursuit of their dreams amidst chaos. This drama, rich in character development and storytelling, provided the respected actor with a platform to showcase his talents in a new and exciting format.

Uncle Samsik