The 2 Culture Shocks Actor Song Kang Ho Experienced With American Actors During “Snowpiercer”

Korean and American actors work differently.

Veteran actor Song Kang Ho starred in director Bong Joon Ho‘s film Snowpiercer, working with American actors like Chris Evans and Ed Harris.

Song Kang Ho

Speaking with Vanity Fair, Song Kang Ho shared how surprised he’d been by how differently American actors work. He noticed it during a table read for the film, especially with Chris Evans.

All of the American lead actors shocked Song Kang Ho by coming to the reading having “memorized all the lines of the whole script.” That was completely different from how Korean actors typically work.

Song Kang Ho explained that Korean actors do the opposite, only memorizing whatever they’re filming at the time. And it wasn’t the only moment where Song Kang Ho was shocked by the American actors, either.

So, Korean actors don’t memorize the whole script. They memorize piecemeal, by what’s being shot day by day. And rehearse that.

— Song Kang Ho

Song Kang Ho noticed that the American actors were always “extremely concerned” when they didn’t nail a scene in one take.

So Korean actors can do bad takes, but American actors would be extremely sorry for messing up a take. Feeling sorry they were the ones who were holding up production.

— Song Kang Ho

On the other hand, Song Kang Ho laughed about Korean actors “[messing] up a lot of takes.

Ultimately, the cultural differences between all the actors helped Snowpiercer become the memorable film it is today.

Chris Evans and Song Kang Ho. | CJ Entertainment

Listen to the veteran actor share his experiences here.