(L-R) So Ji-sub, Hwang Jung-min, and Song Joong-ki at the press conference for
"The Battleship Island".
"The Battleship Island" stars Hwang Jung-min, So Ji-sub, and Song Joong-ki, along with director Ryoo Seung-wan, last week landed at our shores to promote their upcoming historical action movie.
During a press conference with the media, the cast and director revealed several interesting tidbits such as Hwang Jung-min really playing the clarinet in the movie (the music not just dubbed in) since he has been playing the musical instrument as a hobby since five years ago and Song Joong-ki sharing that the actors lost a lot of weight in order to portray the reality of the time.
Of course, there was also the bathhouse scene where So Ji-sub had to fight almost in the nude. Find out what the actor has to say about being naked, what Song Joong-ki thought of his role being similar to the one in "Descendants of the Sun", and what Hwang Jung-min's onscreen daughter does that he finds funny.
"The Battleship Island" director Ryoo Seung-wan listening intently while
his main cast answer the questions.
Cinema Online: So how was it like working with director Ryoo again for Hwang Jung-min, and working for the first time with the director for So Ji-sub and Song Joong-ki?
Hwang Jung-min: [Jokes] I'm not going to work with him again. Actually, since it was my third time working with him, it felt very familiar. We could rely on each other.
Song Joong-ki: Since our movie is action-packed, and the director is an expert, he made it into a very high class level production, and since the movie is based on a true story, I was surprised and touched by the details the director put in the movie.
So Ji-sub: He is so passionate towards the movie and he loves movies so much that I learnt a lot from him.
Ryoo Seung-wan: [Jokes] I agree with everything they say.
Ji-sub, is it true you agreed to take the role before even reading the script?
Ji-sub: I didn't know about my role at all but as soon as I knew that the director was director Ryoo, I said yes because I wanted to work with him.
It turns out you had to play a fighter, how long did you have to prepare for that intense bathhouse fight scene between you and another man in the movie?
Ji-sub: Personally as an actor I do not desire to fight. [On set] the instructions were given by professionals and the director. We had enough preparation time for it, about one and a half month.
Joong-ki, in your hit drama "Descendants of the Sun", you played a soldier. In this movie, again, you play one, how was that like playing quite similar characters?
Joong-ki: In the movie, it only appears one time [Joong-ki wearing uniform soldier] and it doesn't really occur to me that it was very much similar to "Descendants of the Sun".
Song Joong-ki talking about his soldier roles in "The Battleship Island" and
"Descendants of the Sun".
So Ji-sub and Hwang Jung-min each have their own interesting stories to share regarding the movie.
Jung-min himself has previously mentioned that this was one of the toughest movies he has ever filmed, why is that?
Jung-min: The shooting period was longer than other films and since it's about the Battleship Island, the energy needed was a lot. And as a main cast...let's say with the first scene, it only appears in the movie for about less than 20 minutes, but to shoot that part it took me more than one month, so maintaining the same energy for it was really hard.
Filming a heavy movie like this can be very taxing both physically and emotionally, was there anyone in charge of being the 'happy virus' and lightening up the mood?
Joong-ki: There were some intense scenes where the actors would be so serious and into it, but we also had some smiles and laughter in it too. I believe it was me that was the 'happy virus'.
The cast and director cracking up after the youngest, Song Joong-ki,
admitted to being the 'happy virus' in the group.
Jung-min, you seem to have something amusing you'd like to add?
Jung-min: I'd like to talk about my daughter in the movie, actress Kim Su-an. She always has candy and caramel, the ones that she finds as the least delicious ones come to me, the most delicious and expensive ones go to Joong-ki.
What was one of the more memorable moments for you in this movie?
Ji-sub: In the movie you can find a part where everyone has to be naked. And if you think that they were forced with guns or knives to do it, no. [No one was forced] but everyone agreed to do it. It was really touching to see that everyone was willing to be naked [in order to make the movie a success].
Ryoo: I always mention that the most memorable scene would be the one that audience remembers the most but personally as a director, there are a few things that I would like to mention. First is that moment when they escape, with the bridge falling down and instead of losing hope, the people find a way to continue. Also the final scene as seen through the eyes of the daughter, I hope the audience will be able to feel what she feels.
If you were to face a real-life Battleship Island situation, who among you would be the best survivor?
Joong-ki: It's me. I'm the youngest.
Ji-sub: He was just discharged from the military service so I believe that when it comes to survival skills, he's got the best one.
Director Ryoo Seung-wan (second from right) flanked by his "The Battleship Island"
stars at the end of the press conference.
Cinema Online, 15 August 2017