DramasExclusive | Interview

[Exclusive] Kang Min Hyuk talked about ‘Hospital Ship’ and Ha Ji Won

Kang Min Hyuk is known to most as the drummer of popular band, CNBLUE. He’s also known as a singer-songwriter and actor. Probably not too much to say that he is one of the best idols actor out there.

Kang Min Hyuk began his acting career in an Omibus film “Acoustic” alongside his fellow CNBLUE member Lee Jong Hyun. He then received another role in the SBS drama “It’s Okay, Daddy’s Girl”.


In 2011, he was cast in MBC’s youth drama “Heartstrings”, which stars fellow CNBLUE member Jung Yong Hwa. He then sung an OST for the drama, titled “Star”.

In 2012, he starred in KBS’s family drama “My Husband Got a Family”. The series topped the weekly ratings chart for 25 consecutive weeks and reached a ratings peak of 45.8 percent (TNmS) and 52.3 percent (AGB Nielsen), making it the highest rated Korean drama in 2012. Kang Min Hyuk received his first acting award, the “Rising Star Award” at the APAN Star Awards for his role.


He continued to gain more popularity in “The Heirs” (2013), a teen drama penned by Kim Eun-sook. Along with his co-star Krystal Jung, they were voted as the Best Onscreen Couple at the 2013 Drama Fever Awards.

After a three-year hiatus, Kang Min Hyuk made his television comeback in SBS’s musical drama “Entertainer” in 2016, for which he won an Excellence Award at the SBS Drama Awards.


This year, Kang Min Hyuk is back to challenge himself with a medical drama, “Hospital Ship”, alongside popular actress Ha Ji Won.


The drama is currently at the top of ratings for its time slot in Korea. “Hospital Ship” tells the story of Song Eun Jae (Ha Ji Won) who is looking for a fresh start. She starts working in a Hospital Ship – a life-saving initiative which provides medical services to those living in rural areas. Through working with a team of youth doctors, she grows to understand that life can be simple yet beautiful.

K-popped! had a chance to have a short interview with the good looking and talented guy himself, thanks to our friends at Oh!K. Without much further ado, check out the interview below!

I heard about the turmoil surrounding the casting process. What are your thoughts on it?

It is hard for me to say because I am not aware of how the casting process went. I was pleased that the producer and the writer was fond of me from the moment we met – it was like they met the real life Kwak Hyun.

What are some of the differences between this character and your previous roles?

My character is warm hearted but at the same time, he must make difficult decisions as a doctor. The way Kwak Hyun plows through the difficulties will be different than my previous roles as a student.

Personally, does Kwak Hyun’s characteristics resemble you?

Many people see the resemblance because of my calm personality.

Ha Ji Won

How is it working with Ha Ji-won?

Ha Ji-won is a great actress with a lot of experience. There are no difficulties working with her and we talk to each other a lot. She always takes care of those around her while filming. I think I need to learn from her on how to blend in with the director and those on set – the way she blends in is so natural.

You all are staying in Geojae Island together, how is it the atmosphere down there like?

The three guys on the show are the so called ‘moodmakers.’ It’s fun down there and we try to create a positive mood and atmosphere – Lee Seo-won is the silly prankster who tries the hardest. Also, since we are the only people filming there, it’s great that we are able to spend time with each other after work – in the drama, you’ll be able to see the chemistry and connection between us.

Many people say medical dramas should not deal with romance but just focus on medical aspects of it. Are there other elements seen in this drama besides medical practices? Could you please describe the charm, appeal and pros of ‘Hospital Ship’?

I wasn’t aware of the existence of a Hospital Ship at first. I don’t think many people know it either. The concept of a Hospital Ship itself is the biggest difference between our drama and other medical series. Not just depicting the success story of a doctor, but it shows how a doctor matures through patients that he or she treats. I think the heartwarming emotion we feel through the patients who we visit is unique to the Hospital Ship – this can’t be seen in other general hospitals.

Also, I thought of why romance appears often in medical dramas. In case of the Hospital Ship, it is an enclosed space with a few people. So, it is only natural for those people to connect, bond and grow a close relationship with each other over time. If you see a love story in the Hospital Ship, it will look more natural than in any other medical dramas. Many hardships and stories of overcoming those challenges will deepen the love in the Hospital Ship.

Can we expect some sort of a behind-the-curtain power game inside a hospital like in ‘Romance Doctor, Teacher Kim?’ Also, are there any memorable episodes at Geoje Island or on the ship?

On the Hospital Ship, there are only doctors, nurses, and the captain. We are only left with each other. There are no other high level hospital officials. We can only rely on our ability, capacity and determination to solve various problems. So, I don’t think you will see any behind-the-curtain power game in this drama. However, since there is a few of us and we are left alone, there could be more conflicts between us or we could be stronger as a one family.

In terms of shooting in Geoje Island, on my first day on set, I didn’t have to put any heavy make-up on because it was very hot. Our producer and Ha Ji-won actually thought the hot weather made me look more real than putting make-up on – when shooting the episodes, we all had to fight through the scorching heat.


That’s the end of our interview. “Hospital Ship” airs on Oh!K (Astro Ch 394) within 24 hours of the Korean telecast, every Thursday and Friday at 7.50pm. English, Simplified Chinese and Bahasa Malaysia subtitles are also available.