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10 Little-Known Facts About 'Start-Up' Star Kang Han Na That You Definitely Need To Know

Aside from being an actress, she’s also a radio DJ!
What you need to know about Kang Han Na from 'Start-Up'
PHOTO: (LEFT TO RIGHT) Instagram/tvndrama.official, Instagram/k_hanna_

Not gonna lie, our social media feed is currently filled with Start-Up-related content and we bet it’s the same for you. There are a lot of reasons why everyone’s obsessed with this Netflix series: The story is easy to absorb and actually quite relatable, the OST is everything, and the cast members are fantastic.

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You already know the lead characters: Seo Dal Mi played by Bae Suzy, Nam Do San played by Nam Joo Hyuk, and Han Ji Pyeong played by Kim Seon Ho. Now, let’s get to know more about the 31-year-old actress Kang Han Na, who plays the role of Seo Dal Mi's estranged sister, second-generation chaebol Won In Jae:

1. She’s a theater major.

Kang Han Na’s alma mater is Chung-Ang University, one of the leading private research universities in South Korea. With a degree in Theater Arts, the actress loves plays, and wants to appear in a Shakespeare work someday.

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2. She’s a true-blue bookworm.

Kang Han Na mentioned in a magazine pictorial how reading gives her so much joy (same, sis!): “When I read, I develop new thoughts and words appear in a new way. I can feel my brain being stimulated.” In one of her Instagram posts, she shared her trip to the bookstore where she is seen holding a pile of books. 


3. She loooooooves food!

Her Instagram posts are enough proof! Looking at these will make you hungry:

4. She debuted in 2009 in the short films Last Homecoming and King of Guitar.

Aside from these, she's also starred in other Korean movies such as Empire Lust and No Tears For The Dead. It was in 2013 when she started acting in K-dramas, with Miss Korea as her first series. In this MBC drama, Kang Han Na portrayed the character of Im Seon Joo, a beauty pageant contender.

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5. Kang Han Na was nominated for Best New Actress in the 53rd Baeksang Arts Awards for her role in Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo.

ICYDK, the Korean award-giving body is equivalent to the Oscars, and this just goes to show how good she is as an actress. Han Na was a cast member of the highly-successful 2016 K-drama Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (which you can now watch on Viu!) where she transformed into an ~evil~ queen. Nam Joo Hyuk was also cast here, which means that Start-Up is their second project together!

6. Because of Scarlet Heart Ryeo, she became really close to singer and actress, IU.

They may be rivals in the show, but definitely not in real life! Even after the drama wrapped up, Kang Han Na and IU kept their friendship strong and would often hang out with each other, doing some *serious* restaurant hunting

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In 2018, Han Na expressed her support to her friend when she attended IU’s concert in Seoul. When IU appeared in a radio show, she fondly described her friendship with Han Na: “I usually watch movies and order food with Kang Han Na. She’s quite calm but she has this unique energy to her and she’s so much fun. She jokes around a lot but it’s never too much.” Awww!

7. Kang Han Na actually cut her hair for her role in Start-Up.

During a press con, the actress said that she studied her script hard, watched clips of successful CEOs so she can embody them, and cut her hair for the role. “I had a meeting with the director and writer and we discussed how a shorter hairstyle would suit Won In Jae better, so I went for it. My character is a really amazing businesswoman, but I feel sorry for her. I hope the viewers will cheer on her and her personal happiness.”

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8. While most of her roles are serious, she wants to play a cheerful character in the future.

She’s wicked in Scarlet Heart Ryeo, quite a snob in Start-Up, and a lonesome team leader in the JTBC drama Just Lovers—it seems like Kang Han Na’s characters often carry a dark backstory! However, in a magazine interview, she said that she wishes for a different role someday: “I want to try playing a bright and energetic character. When I was in school, I often played funny or scatterbrained characters, but that hasn’t been the case since my official debut. I would like to take on a sitcom or romantic comedy.” We’re excited to see her comedic side soon!

Meanwhile, here’s a ~completely different~ Kang Han Na channeling her inner K-pop idol and busting out moves to miss A’s “Bad Girl, Good Girl” in the Korean variety show, Running Man:

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9. Kang Han Na has also worked as a radio DJ.

Last year, she was chosen as the radio DJ of the KBS radio show Volume Up. Before her, Touch Your Heart actress Yoo In Na was at the helm of the program. In one of the show’s episodes, her fellow Scarlet Heart Ryeo actor Kang Ha Neul congratulated her for debuting in the radio industry via a phone call. The actor first introduced himself as Hwang Yong Shik from Ongsan, a hilarious reference from his award-winning K-drama, When The Camellia Blooms. LOL!

Some of Han Na’s guests in Volume Up included her friend IU, WINNER’s Mino, ITZY, and EXO’s Baekhyun, who is also a part of Scarlet Heart Ryeo. Here’s the two doing the #CandyChallenge:

10. Kang Han Na was rumored to be dating Darren Wang not just once or twice, but four times.

Yup, you read that right—the actress has been caught in dating rumors with Chinese actor Darren Wang so many times. Her agency at that time had to keep explaining that the two are just close friends. Wonder who she likes? It’s actor Jung Hae In! She said: “When he smiles the screen lights up.” We super get what you mean! 

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Han Na has also revealed in a Running Man episode that she has gone through a breakup before. The cast ended up giving her advice:


Bonus: Here are Kang Han Na’s adorable childhood photos to make your day:

You can watch new episodes of Start-Up on Netflix every Saturday and Sunday night at 9:30 p.m.

Follow Hanna on Instagram.