Would you risk your life playing kids games if it meant making a real fortune? Surprise hit Korean drama Squid game captivated audiences, portraying brutal competition for 456 billion Korean won (roughly $ 38 million). The nine-episode drama reached No.1 on Netflix’s Top 10, with millions of viewers following its cast of star Korean actors as they form alliances and foes through deadly versions of Red Light, Green. Light and other games for children. For fans who ripped apart the show and got attached to the talented cast, here’s everything we know about the characters and cast of Squid game.
Lee Jung-jae as Seong Gi-hun
An unlucky man, Gi-hun is a gambling addict who works as a driver and lives with his elderly mother. He enters the game with the hope of making enough money to prevent his 10-year-old daughter from moving to America with her mother and stepfather. Lee, 48, is best known in Korea for his appearance in the movies It Mare (2000), which was then transformed into The lake house with Keanu Reeves, and The face reader (2013).
Park Hae-soo as Cho Sang-woo
Gi-hun’s childhood friend Sang-woo is a neighborhood legend for attending South Korea’s top college. The investment banker then stole money from his clients and lost it on the stock market, and he must win the game to avoid being arrested and keep his mother’s house and business. Park, 39, is best known for his lead role in one of the most popular K-dramas of all time, Prison playbook (2017).
Jung Ho-yeon as Kang Sae-byeok
Sae-byeok is a North Korean defector who works as a pickpocket while her younger brother lives in an orphanage. She needs enough money to get her mother out of the North and buy a house for her family. Squid game is Jung’s first onscreen role. The 27-year-old model has previously appeared in season 4 of Korea’s next top model.
Wi Ha-joon as Hwang Jun-ho
Cop Jun-ho finds a playing card while searching his missing brother’s apartment. He then sneaks into the game as a guard to end the operation and find his brother. Wi, 30, is a promising film and k-drama actor, with roles in the horror film Gonjiam: the haunted asylum (2018) and the romantic drama Something in the rain (2018). He also played a serial killer this year in the film. Midnight.
Oh Young-soo as Oh Il-nam
Il-nam, the game’s oldest competitor, befriends Gi-hun early on. Doctors diagnosed him with a brain tumor and he plays to support his family. Oh, 76, has mostly played monk roles in his acting career, including movies A little monk (2003) and Spring, summer, autumn, winter… and spring (2003).
Heo Sung-tae as Jang Deok-su
Gangster Deok-su has joined the game to pay off his gambling debts after pissing off his boss with the crime. He’s the closest to the series with a player-antagonist, and he has a history with Sae-byeok. Heo, 43, has an impressive career as a k-drama actor, spanning several roles this year. These included Beyond evil, where he plays a similarly cool businessman, and Boys racket, where he made a full 180 as a coach of a boys’ badminton team in episodes 10-12.
Kim Joo-ryung as Han Mi-nyeo
Mi-nyeo is a mysterious gamer who will do or say anything to win the game, including seduction and begging. We never really learn why she plays, even though she pretends to be a new mother. Kim, 45, has had minor roles in several hit dramas and films, including CIEL Castle and Mr. Sun. She played the lead female role in the 2012 film Sleepless night, like half of a married couple going through everyday life. She also worked with Squid game director Hwang Dong-hyuk before, on his film Quiet (2011).
Tripathi Anupam as Abdul Ali
Kind-hearted Ali came to Korea from Pakistan to work, accompanied by his wife and baby. Ripped off by his employers, he plans to support his family with the prize money and send some to his parents and brother. Anupam of Indian origin is Squid game‘s another breakout player. He previously only had minor roles, including one in the Netflix movie Space sweepers (2021).
Lee Byung-hun as the front man
Lee plays the Masked Front Man, who manages the game’s day-to-day operations. He looks down from above into an ultra-luxurious apartment and maintains contact with the twisted operation superiors. The 51-year-old actor has been one of Korea’s most successful actors for decades, appearing in five of the 50 highest-grossing Korean films of all time. He has also appeared in American films, including the GI Joe franchise and Terminator Genisys, and he was the first South Korean to appear at the Oscars.
Gong Yoo as a seller
The ultra-famous Korean actor makes an appearance as The Salesman, the man who recruits Gi-hun in the Squid Game with a ddakji party on the subway. Yoo, 42, has appeared in some of Korea’s best-known international media. He starred in the hit film Train to Busan (2016) as a father and businessman trying to escape the zombie apocalypse on a bullet train, and played the titular immortal goblin in Guardian: The Great and Alone God (2016), one of the most successful k-dramas of all time. As for how he ended up on Squid Game, he starred in Hwang Dong-hyuk’s movie Quiet in 2011.
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