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Song Joong Ki on Living the ‘Life of a Soldier’ for 5 Consecutive Years.

By Flora  /  10 Aug 2017 (Thursday)

Right after serving his mandatory 21 months in the South Korean military service, Song Joong Ki landed the lead role in the global hit ‘Descendants of the Sun’ where he rose to international fame as the top Hallyu star. Thereafter, he dons the army uniform once again -albeit for a short period of time - to play the special operative for the Korean independence movement in the upcoming war epic ‘The Battleship Island’.

“In the movie, I play a soldier, a special agent. If you count the number of years I had served the National Service in Korea, as well as playing the role as a soldier in 'Descendants of the Sun’ and The Battleship Island, I’ve been living the life of a soldier for about 5 years now,” quipped the charismatic actor at ‘The Battleship Island’ press conference.  “And now, playing a soldier is something so natural to me.”

(Watch the trailer here!)

Song Joong Ki, together with his lead cast members Hwang Jung Min and So Ji Sub, as well as director Ryoo Seung Wan, were in Singapore last Tuesday to promote the movie. At the press conference held at Marina Bay Sands, the actors and director shared more about the ambitious war film, based on the real-life history of Hashima Island, also known as Battleship Island. 

“The making of this film began with a picture of the Battleship Island that I saw it back in 2013. It was so overwhelming and it was so powerful,” shared director Ryoo. “ When I learned about the background of the island, I was very moved and determined to bring this story to the public. A lot of challenges along the way, but when you think about the suffering and atrocities that took place within the island, the filming is compared nothing to that.”

Apart from extensive action sequences and intensive fight scenes, the movie sets that depicted the apocalyptic setting during the World War II, was one of the highlights from the 133-minute feature. In it, the actors bare their bodies for their characters as forced labourers on the island. Playing the role of Choi Shil-sung, a gangster from Seoul, So Ji-sub even had to bare his all, wearing nothing except for his underwear… all in the name of ‘filmmaking’. 

When asked about that particular scene, So explained that he spent a lot of time discussing with the director about his scenes; not just about the nudity, but for other action scenes as well. 

(Head to our 'Gallery' for more pictures of the star tour in Singapore!)

“I went through a lot of training to prepare for the fight scene. Because it was the very first real action scene in the movie, a lot of emphases was placed into reenacting that. I spent a lot of time going over with the director to talk about the scenes.”

For Song, the challenges weren’t the action scenes, but having to lose weight. “The hardest thing about this movie was to lose weight as we had to look like labourers, and they were in fact very skinny because of malnutrition. That was one of the toughest.”

“There was a sense of fear while filming the movie because the set was so real and so massive,” said veteran actor Hwang Jung Min. Hwang plays a talented musician and dealer who finds all means and ways to protect his daughter from the nightmare situation by making himself useful to the Japanese, and serving as an interpreter between the Koreans and Japanese. “It really reenacts the Battleship Island many years ago, and because the story is about survival, and escaping the island, there are a lot of deep thoughts that were placed in the movie.”

The Battleship Island opens InCinemas 17 August 2017!
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