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Park Hae Il Opens Up About Real Feelings After Scoring Admiral Yi Sun Sin's Role in Hansan: Rising Dragon

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Credit: KBS WORLD TV/YouTube Screenshot

Park Hae Il will lead Hansan: Rising Dragon (also known as Hansan: Emergence of the Dragon), which serves as the newest installment in director Kim Han Min’s trilogy.

Park Hae Il successfully scored the role of Admiral Yi Sun Sin in the second movie of the trilogy. The upcoming installment follows the first flick, The Admiral: Roaring Currents. Its box office success led to the continuation of the trilogy, with Noryang: Sea of Death coming soon after Hansan: Rising Dragon.

The upcoming movie explores the historical Battle of Hansan, which happened five years before The Admiral: Roaring Currents’ Battle of Myeongnyang.

Park Hae Il, who starred in several flicks like Paradise Murdered and War of the Arrows, was tapped to play the titular role of Admiral Yi Sun Sin.

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Park Hae Il Honored To Portray Admiral Yi Sun Sin’s Character in Hansan: Rising Dragon

Director Kim Han Min was inspired by Admiral Yi Sun Sin’s life as he was a legendary Korean admiral who led the naval battles of the country against Japan. Because of his commendable life, the filmmaker decided to make a trilogy about the historic figure.

During a press conference at Lotte Cinema Konkuk University on Tuesday (via The Korea Times), actor Park Hae Il spoke candidly about his role and shared how he felt while doing the admiral’s role in the film.

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"The weight was nearly unbearable because Yi is special to so many people. And having to express the same character as Choi Min-Sik (in 'Roaring Currents') and Kim Yun-seok (in the forthcoming sequel that centers on the Battle of Noryang) was a big challenge for me," he said.

The actor added that he worked hard to depict Yi Sun Sin’s strategies as he famously planned his attacks through spies.

Park Hae Il also felt more confident working with director Kim Han Min as it served as their third collaboration after Paradise Murdered and War of the Arrows.

Hansan: Rising Dragon Details

Aside from Park Hae Il, the film will also present Byun Yo Han, who plays the role of his Japanese counterpart.

As this film shows the victory of the Korean side over the Japanese navy, I think it would have been difficult for a Japanese actor to portray a defeated Japanese general. I may not be completely fluent in Japanese, but I'm confident that my character, Wakisaka (Yasuharu), and I were attached spiritually," he said.

Byun Yo Han added that he focused on making people picture him as someone with destructive power.

Meanwhile, director Kim Han Nim showered Admiral Yi Sun Sin with compliments, saying that he was a seonbi, a scholar who had a principled, simple, and righteous life.

Hansan: Rising Dragon will premiere on July 27.

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