The Journey of Han: From Better Luck to The Fast and The Furious
Written by Alex Harrington

https://youtu.be/LWMonUFRYto

Sung Kang sat down with LA Times writer Jen Yamato where they discussed the inception of the Han character in BETTER LUCK TOMORROW, his evolution into the FAST franchise, how the character’s death and resurrection affected Sung personally…and finally, where the eating fetish came from.

To prep for this deep dive, it’s better to ask the question: what is Han versus who is Han…

According to Wikipedia, Han is described as “a concept of an emotion, variously described as some form of grief or resentment, among others, that has been said to be a characteristic of Korean culture.”

Sung talks about how he struggles with this own version of Han which he translates as a kind of “eternal suffering.”  The idea that you can never really be truly happy or satisfied.  If something good happens to you, it means that someone else in your family is suffering.  When you’re rich, it means that someone else, somewhere, is poor.

Always suspicious when good things happen, Sung has had a complicated relationship with Hollywood, and wasn’t surprised when his phone wasn’t ringing off the hook after TOKYO DRIFT:

“Han, if I were a white dude, that’s James Dean, that’s the next Paul Newman, everything that’s masculine and cool.  Then you go, African American dude, yeah that’s suave, he has swagger.   Asian dude?  No Kung Fu, long hair, hanging out with cars…good guy, bad guy…what is that?  How do you package that?”

But times have changed…and timelines have changed, specifically in the FAST universe, and that allowed Sung to reprise his role of Han in FAST 4, 5 & 6.  But when it seemed like his character was finally laid to rest at the end of FAST 6, there was definitely some inner conflict:

“To be part of something that was so important and then also socially, within the community, feeling like that character did make an impact for Asian American men…and then not being a part of it, it being stripped away, is very hard…”

That’s why when the #justiceforhan movement started to pick up steam, Sung didn’t get involved.  Of course he wanted to reprise his iconic role and return to the FAST universe but quite simply didn’t want to get his hopes up.  In this business your heart gets broken continuously.  It’s best to remain stoic, cautiously optimistic.

Well, luckily for him, and of course all of the fans, Han will live on in FAST 9…and hopefully beyond…

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4 Comments

  1. Meg Silva 2403

    Hello dear Sung, I confess that I participated in #justiceforhan with some posts on Instagram and made 2 videos on my Youtube channel asking for “Justice for Han”!I was not satisfied with the way the character was “eliminated” from the franchise and the entrance of Shaw to the fast family!
    I didn’t imagine that the character would be resurrected, I thought that justice would be done for the murderer or even another film talking about Han …
    I was happy with your return to the franchise … happy to see you at the party of the Fast and sincerely hope that you are happy with this.
    As an appreciator of your talent, I know that you do not need to prove to anyone that you are a great actor, I have watched almost everything that you have performed.
    I hope that other doors will open for you and that I can continue to appreciate your talent.Your real fans know that you are not just “Han”, I am thrilled to see you perform and I am enjoying watching you on Youtube!
    I will always be supporting your projects and publicizing your works on my Channel! Always with you! Unconditional love!

  2. Ram Mora

    I love you as Sung Kang, and not just as Han! I really hope the best for you! ❤️❤️❤️

  3. Don

    Love u Bro! We r one BIG family! Germany is with u!

  4. Bobby Nance

    I love it!!! Please keep this going I need more episodes and of course some car talk. Love those Fairlady Z’s the lines on them are breathtaking. Keep it up and hope to hear and see more of you, big fan. Oh and you were the best part of that Ninja Assassin movie I was so sad when you died in like the first five minutes. I literally said “how the hell you gonna do Han like that?” Still mad about it. #justiceforhaninallmovies