[Exclusive Interview] with Angela Son and Kylie Haasz of Gangnam Project

Gangnam Project is a coming-of-age dramedy about one girl’s (Hannah Shin) quest to learn more about her culture by becoming a tutor at the prestigious K-pop academy, OME.

However, the tables turn when the CEO of OME notices her incredible enthusiasm and musical talent. Soon, Hannah finds herself transitioning from a tutor to a trainee as she embarks on a transformative journey driven by her exceptional potential. Today, we had the honor of speaking with two cast members from the show, Angela Son and Kylie Haasz.

What initially attracted you to your roles in “Gangnam Project,” and how do you personally relate to your character?

ANGELA: For me, I was first really intrigued at how detailed and relatable the story of Hannah was apart from the fact that this was a K-pop show. A girl from Canada with a Korean background going to her homeland to teach English and learning about her heritage…I can already name 4-5 people who have had the same experience as Hannah, and felt the same struggles she went through with finding her identity while making friends that love her for who she is deep inside and not what she externally represents.

In the same breath, Gangnam Project dives deeper than what it externally portrays, which is K-pop. The show delivers a message of staying true to yourself and your beliefs, and not letting any outside opinions change you from being who you believe to be.

KYLIE: What initially attracted me to Mina was her story. Even though she comes off as this tough, confident, mean girl, she has a side to her that wants to feel accepted and realizes she can’t do it all on her own. Mina is a mean girl and I can’t relate to her in that way however, once Mina has a plan and a goal, she will stick to it and try her best to accomplish it!

Credit: Courtesy of CBC Gem: Sun Hee (Angela Son) and Hannah (Julia Kim Caldwell) in Gangnam Project

Kylie, Given your background in dance, how did you approach the choreography for “Gangnam Project”? Were there any particular dance styles or sequences that were especially challenging or rewarding to learn?

KYLIE: I’ve been dancing for 15 years and within all those years, the style of dance we know as K-pop was never taught in my studio so I was excited to learn a new style of dance that’s so popular! I used techniques I’ve learned throughout my dance career and was able to incorporate it in the K-pop style while making it my own. I loved learning “Welcome to My World” since it was a fun girly K-pop dance and I got to do it with the girls!

Angela, What can you tell us about your character’s journey and how you’ve connected with her aspirations and challenges?

ANGELA: Sun Hee is a major supporter of Hannah on the show. The thing I’ve learned the most from this character was how selfless she was, despite the fact that she has been a trainee for five years and was probably just aching every day to become a famous K-pop star. She puts so much time into the success and happiness of her friends Hannah and Auzzy, while working and training hard to become the person that she wants to be every day. Throughout this show, I realized how much I aspire to be like Sun Hee – a strong individual who also possesses the qualities of a team player. She stays true to who she is and is confident in her abilities, and is capable of attaining her goal while assisting her friends in obtaining their goals at the same time.

“Gangnam Project” explores themes of identity, belonging, and acceptance. How do you hope the series will resonate with viewers?

KYLIE: I hope this series encourages people to open their eyes to the K-pop world. K-pop is for everyone! While filming, I got to learn more about K-pop. I hope this inspires viewers to try something new and take on new challenges just like Hannah!

Credit: Courtesy of CBC Gem: Sun Hee (Angela Son), Mina (Kyle Haasz) and Hannah (Julia Kim Caldwell) in Gangnam Project

As K-pop plays a pivotal role in “Gangnam Project.” Can you tell us what K-pop songs you’ve been listening to lately?

ANGELA: Lately, I’ve been obsessed with LE SSERAFIM and NewJeans. The concepts they bring out and their aesthetic choices are always so spot on. One of my favorite K-pop songs right now is “Cool With You” by NewJeans!

KYLIE: Recently, I’ve been listening to songs from NewJeans, BLACKPINK, and Red Velvet.

Can you share any fun memorable behind-the-scenes moments from filming, and describe the bond formed between the cast members?

ANGELA: The bond my castmates and I have formed is unimaginably valuable. The amazing thing about this entire process was that this was all of our very first big TV show opportunity, and we got to experience it with people who share the same culture and have a lot of things in common with. This being my first time as well, I can say that I am so privileged to have this opportunity with the absolute best castmates who I can say are now one of my closest friends. I love them all so dearly!

A fun and memorable BTS moment had to be when we were filming a scene for the final episode as we all literally could not stop laughing because we were having so much fun and goofing off in between. At one point, we were huddling in a circle and jumping up and down and laughing SO hard because of how silly we were all being. I miss it so much!

KYLIE: While filming this series, I’ve made the most incredible friends that I have been so lucky to have met. Every single day filming this series, we made memorable memories that I will never get. I’m so thankful for this experience on this show and the bonds I’ve created with all the cast members.

Gangnam Project can be streamed on CBBC, BBC iPlayer, and CBC Gem! And a special thanks to Angela Son and Kylie Haasz for interviewing with us!


Sarah is the founder and content manager of TokkiStar. She has been a K-pop fan since the age of 13 but began as a J-pop fan at 11. Some of her favorite groups include SHINee, Wonder Girls, Red Velvet, SVT, WJSN, NCT, Day6, The Rose, and SNSD. She is currently anticipating the day Pristin reunites.