When he first took the role of Thomas S. Arashikage (Storm Shadow’s real name) in Rise of Cobra it had limited screen time in finding out his origin.
Based on Lee Byung-hun’s statements the3 actor was anticipating to reprise his role in the sequel and if you’re a fan of the character who would?
“If I had just a lot of sword fights and kicks in the first movie, this time my character (Storm Shadow) is seen more up close. It has a dramatic aspect that shows his history, inner conflicts. I loved how much of my acting I could show this time around... but I still think I could have been much more competent in a Korean film.”says Byung-hun Lee.
“Frankly speaking, it’s hard. Casual speech and delivering lines in English belong to two different dimensions. Because you use a foreign language, you’ve got to be sure you could recite lines without a mistake even if someone woke you up from a nap.”
“On the set, someone from the crew told me after I read my line that my pronunciation was off for one of the words. Right after my head became completely blank, busy thinking about that one line. Sometimes I felt I was back in the earliest days of my career.”
“I am really glad to be back in the role and was excited to show more of STORM SHADOW and his different sides,”
His role as Storm Shadow in Rise of Cobra of course produced some merchandise to his likeness. But there’s one product that Hasbro that definitely that was based from him which is the 3 ¾ Storm Shadow action figure that was released in the first wave of the series that definitely stuck.
Fully prepared to dive into the emotional inter-workings of the character, Lee brought a great deal of passion and physical commitment to the role and his approach. “Byung-hun came with strong ideas on who this character is and he spills it all on the screen,” says Chu.“Byung-hun has an amazing presence,” says producer di Bonaventura. “He’s doing all these fights himself, but also has an internal strength of character that gives STORM SHADOW great dignity.”
Also an incredibly powerful martial artist and athlete in his own right, Lee did extensive training to reprise the role and was excited to approach the action sequences from a more practical standpoint. “Jon said that he wanted the movie to be more real, so I trained a lot to make my body bigger and more cut.”
“Because we had actors who could really fight, I wanted to show the brutality of their fights and steer away from the uptight ninjas we’ve all seen before,” recalls Chu. “When STORM SHADOW gets hit in the face, I wanted to see the blood seeping through his white mask.”
A new component of the martial arts sequences that is sure to excite audiences is the introduction to the use of sais, the deadly sharp-bladed weapons often seen in the G.I. JOE comics.
“I was excited about using the sais as an extension of their punches, like brutal brass knuckles with an extremely sharp edge,” says Chu. “We put them in close quarters where audiences can really experience just how dangerous this is.”
G.I. Joe: Retaliation opens in cinemas nationwide on March 28, 2013 from Universal International Pictures to be distributed by Solar Entertainment!