Entertainment21 February 2022
One plays the owner of a fish shop while the other portrays a newbie weather forecaster. In the newly released J-drama Fishbowl Wives and K-drama Forecasting Love and Weather, both Takanori Iwata and Song Kang play roles that end up starting a romance with older female partners with emotional baggage from previous relationships.
In Fishbowl Wives, Iwata plays Haruto, who shows kindness to Sakura, a housewife suffering emotional and physical abuse from her husband. In Forecasting Love and Weather, Song Kang plays Lee Si-woo, who meets a general weather forecaster at the Korea Meteorological Administration who had decided never to be in an office romance after a brutal break-up.
Still, their similarities extend beyond the screen. Iwata’s nickname “Gan-chan” sounds like Song Kang’s first name. They even have the same blood type and Zodiac sign.
To cap off this month of love, Netflix hosted a special cross-border chat between the two leading men where, despite different languages, the camaraderie was palpable as they talked about how they got into acting and shared diet tips.
Takanori Iwata: Thank you (laughs). I am a dancer and I started acting when I accepted an offer for a play. So I didn’t think I would be an actor at first. What made you want to take up acting?
Song Kang: I was inspired by Leonardo DiCaprio when I watched Titanic. On that day, I told my parents that I wanted to become an actor. I used to give up easily, but the art of acting has continued to fascinate me to this day.
Takanori Iwata: Oh, I see! I love movies and was inspired by Cristian Bale among others. But it seemed like a different world to me, so I am really amazed that you were able to take action like that. You appear in a lot of love stories, like the Netflix series Nevertheless, and Forecasting Love and Weather. I also appear in Netflix’s Fishbowl Wives. What do you pay attention to while acting in a romance title?
Song Kang: Generating synergies by matching tempo with my co-actor. I talk a lot with them about how we can make the scenes feel more emotional and I try my best to share how I feel while performing in them.
Takanori Iwata: I know what you mean! We are fighting the clock in a lot of productions, but I try to make time for those conversations. I really treasure communication on the set.
Song Kang: Can I ask you a question? Please tell me your acting tips for making someone’s heart flutter! (laughs)
Takanori Iwata: Well, I study how I appear. For example, I objectively examine how I can appear sad or find the angles that I look most attractive. A single blink can change how I appear, so I pay close attention to my expressions and gestures.
Song Kang: When I act with emotion, I focus on those feelings while thinking about the situation and listening to music. How do you drive up that emotion?
Takanori Iwata: I have also tried that method of listening to music. When I started acting, I wasn’t good at crying in scenes… I tried to cry by reminding myself right up until the shoot that my character was sad. Now I am able to draw out my emotion and respond to the performance of my co-actors.
Song Kang: I think it’s important to keep things “raw.” I used to really drill the script into my head before a shoot, but now I feel that it is 80% preparation and 20% responding to my co-actor on the set. Each time I do a take, I think about how I can express myself in a different way.
Takanori Iwata: I also prepare before filming, but if I see a different direction during rehearsal I will change my approach for the shoot. Even if I’d practiced dozens of times at home, it is different when the camera is rolling and you are acting with others. I constantly think that I want to explore various expressions.
On the other hand, while I value that live feeling, I also think it is important not to be flustered, no matter what happens during the shoot.
Song Kang: That’s a good tip! In Forecasting Love and Weather, there was a lot of technical jargon, so it was difficult to memorize my lines. What do you do when you play a character who is different from yourself?
Takanori Iwata:That can be tough! I also struggle in detective or medical titles, so I make up a profile. Where was he born? Which elementary school did he attend? How did he spend his junior high school days? In this way, I envision the character. If I do that, I am able to play him without any uncertainty, because I know when he laughs and cries. I use profiles included in the script when they are given to me, but when they aren’t, I make them up myself. I also take inspiration from the films I have seen.
Song Kang: By the way, do you have any dietary restrictions? I love to eat and can gain weight easily, so I try to exercise as much as I can. I go to the gym daily. Also, around two weeks before a shoot my diet is mainly chicken breast and broccoli.
Takanori Iwata: I also love to exercise and I go to the gym three or four times a week. I don’t think I need many dietary restrictions since I am constantly moving around for concerts and rehearsals in addition to acting. On my days off, I do oil painting to recharge. What about you?
Song Kang: I think that small joys are important to rejuvenate yourself. I feel comforted by small things, like going shopping or cooking. I also read a lot.
Takanori Iwata: Nice!
Song Kang: This is my first time talking with an overseas actor. It’s unusual, and I have learned a lot from this conversation and we think along the same lines.
Takanori Iwata: I totally agree. It’s fun to see we have many similarities in our focus on acting and how we spend our time off. It is an honor to share this rare opportunity with you. I wish you all the best!
Song Kang: Thank you! Before we spoke, I thought our thinking would be different because we grew up in different environments and countries. But because we’re both actors, I could really understand where you’re coming from so this was a lot of fun, and you are like an older brother. I wish you the best too!
About Fishbowl Wives
Directed by: Michiko Namiki (Fuji Television), Aya Narakino, Hiroaki Matsuyama (Fuji Television)
Based on: The original comic series “Goldfish Wife” by Kurosawa R published in Grand Jump Mecha by Shueisha
Screenplay: Fumi Tsubota, Miyako Koshikawa, Tomomi Matoba
Launch date: February 14th
Starring: Ryoko Shinohara, Takanori Iwata, Masanobu Ando, Kyoko Hasegawa
Living on the top floor of a high-rise condo building, Sakura Hiraga (Ryoko Shinohara) gives up on her dreams after an accident and marries a beauty salon owner. To outsiders it looks as if she has it all. And yet, she is met by physical and emotional abuse. But Sakura feels she cannot leave her marital home believing it is where she belongs to work as the co-management partner of the salon. One day, Sakura, who sees herself as a “goldfish” swimming in a bowl, meets Haruto, who accepts her for who she is. Unable to bear her husband’s abuse any longer, Sakura finally leaves her home and crosses a line. Is this a one-time fling? Or is it destiny?
About Forecasting Love and Weather
Directed by: Cha Young Hun
Writer: Sun Young
Launch date: February 12th
Starring: Park Min Young, Song Kang, Yoon Bak, Yura
Overview: Forecasting Love and Weather is a cheerful romance drama of people at the Korea Meteorological Administration who break, fall and get back on their feet every day. The story narrates Jin Ha-kyung(Park Min Young), who decides never to commit to an office romance after a brutal break-up, again falling into a relationship with a newcomer in the team Lee Si-woo (Song Kang) who is different but attractive in his own way. With a star-studded cast of Park Min Young and Song Kang, this is one of the most anticipated Romantic Comedies in the first half of 2022.