[Herald Interview] Korean actor Park Hae-il impressed by Admiral Yi Sun-sin’s sentimental side

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[Herald Interview] Korean actor Park Hae-il impressed by Admiral Yi Sun-sin’s sentimental side

Hae-il Park (Lotte Entertainment)

Before sitting down in his chair, Korean actor Park Hae-il took out his smartphone and started reading a poem written by Adm. Yi Sun-sin during an interview with a group of local reporters at a cafe in Samcheong-dong, central Seoul, on Thursday.

The poem presented Admiral Yi’s worries about the future of the country.

Afterwards, the actor began to talk about how impressed he was to find out that Admiral Yi, a historical war hero and the character he played in director Kim Han-min’s new movie “Hansan: Rising Dragon” also had sentimental sides.

“He was an admiral who even wrote poems. He endured seven years of war and was probably stressed. At that point he had a few drinks, shot some arrows, and then when that wasn’t enough for him, I guess he wrote some poems,” Park said.

“Hansan: Rising Dragon,” set in 1592, centers on the legendary historical figure, Adm. Yi (played by Park). He fights a naval battle on the south coast of Korea against a Japanese force led by Adm. Wakizaka (played by Byun Yo-han).

Park’s two recent movies — Park Chan-wook’s ‘Decision to Leave’ and ‘Hansan: Rising Dragon’ — are being released back-to-back, as both films’ release dates have been pushed back due to COVID. -19.

He noted that it was a coincidence as the characters from both films seem to have similarities.

“Hae-jun (Park’s character in ‘Decision to Leave’) was a naval officer. He also speaks in a tone that would appear in literature. Adm. Yi writes poems and he is also a naval officer who fights battles at sea. They are both civil servants as well. I thought thinking about those similarities was a fun way to look at those two characters,” he said.

Not only do the two characters have something in common when it comes to profession, experience as a naval officer, and love for literature, but the actor also pointed out that they’re both taciturn and quiet.

“Hansan: Dragon Rising” (Lotte Entertainment)

These characteristics also differentiate Admiral Yi’s character from the same historical character who appeared in “Roaring Currents,” also directed by Kim, Park said.

“His (Yi Sun-sin in ‘Hansan’) emotions are contained but I still wanted the audience to feel his energy. During filming, I often asked the director if he could feel the energy I was trying to convey,” Park added.

“Hansan: Rising Dragon” will be released in local theaters on July 27.

By Song Seung-hyun (ssh@heraldcorp.com)

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