BTS’s V: Relive his appearance in the Korean drama ‘Hwarang’
There’s a lot of overlap between music and acting in the K-pop and K-drama scene. Part of it has to deal with the industry model within the industry, either way it leads to some interesting overlap. Your favorite K-pop stars probably have some acting credits to their name and vice versa, This, BTS ARMY members, leads us to V and his own acting career, more specifically, his role in the K-drama Hwarang.
What’s so special about this Korean drama? It was the BTS’ members acting debut. V, real name: Kim Tae-hyung, made quite a splash in the 2016 series. What is Hwarang about? What role did V play in the K-drama? Where can you watch the series? We’ll answer all that and more as we go over everything you need to know.
What is Hwarang about?
Taking place in the turmoil of the Silla Kingdom, Queen Ji-soo (Kim Ji-soo) decides to protect her son and heir by forming the Hwarang, which is an elite group that will cut across existing factions. Their duty? To protect the prince and the throne from all who want to harm him. Within their number, however, is the future king along with another member with a secret he’s not even aware of.
That’s the basic idea of the series anyway. Historical drama? Check. Intrigue? Check. Found family? Check. It pretty much has everything that a person could hope for and more. The series stars Park Seo-joon, Go Ara, Park Hyung-sik, and Choi Minho. It ran for 20 episodes and four specials.
Let’s talk about V in Hwarang
V played a character called Suk Han-sung for 18 out of the 20 episodes of the series. Suk Hang-sung is the youngest member of the Hwarang with a “warm personality” and gets along well with everyone in the group. He does carry a heavy burden, however, as the last jin-gol of his clan. What is a jin-gol? It has to do with the “bone-rank” caste system of the era.
There was the sacred bone (senonggol), which was the highest rank. Right under it was a jin-gol or the true bone. They could hold any official position, up to and including full minister. Going into the bone-rank system will take up a lot of time, but let’s just say V’s character is feeling the pressure to do well for his clan.
In the BTS YouTube Red series, Burn the Stage, V admitted that he was really nervous about acting in Hwarang. He said that he felt the pressure to do well for the band’s image as a whole. “Oh, is he in BTS? He’s good at acting! Or He’s in BTS? BTS kids really can’t act. These are the only two ways people could react. That put on a lot of pressure since then, and I thought I had to do well.”
Eventually, he broke down in front of Jimin, admitting that he was having a hard time focusing and felt really nervous about acting. That got other members of the group involved and they talked it out with V. They said, “We can’t fix this for you, but we’re here to give you support.” With their backing. V worked hard to make his role in Hwarang his own and give it his best shot. We stan supportive boys!
On the experience
Now that everything is said and done with Hwarang, V has nothing but fond memories of the series. He said of Suk Han-sung to International Business Times, “I was happy to be able to smile and cry together with Hansung in the drama, and to live as Hansung. I hope that the sincerity of Hansung that I felt was also conveyed to viewers.” He also credited his fellow actors and the crew with helping him in his first acting role.
Now if you’re curious about checking out Hwarang, then the series can be streamed on Netflix. Spoiler alert though, if you can’t handle the thought of seeing V injured or dying, his character does die at the end of the first season in what’s been called a “touching performance”. But, yeah, just emotionally and mentally prepare yourself on that front before going in.