Squid Game actor Yeong-su Oh is overwhelmed by all the offers he has received following the surprising worldwide popularity of the Netflix series, he tells South Korean TV show ‘How Do I Play.’
With 111 million viewers within a month, the Squid Game series is the most watched series ever on the streaming platform. That was also a surprise for Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos: “We did not see that worldwide popularity coming,” he said, according to Variety in September when it became clear that the series was a great success.
In the South Korean drama series, Yeong-su plays one of 456 participants in a series of deadly children’s games hoping to win the top prize and pay off their debts. He is player 001 in the game, an old man with dementia.
Now that “Squid Game” has become popular all over the world in a short time, the 77-year-old actor has suddenly become a celebrity. In the MBC program ‘How Do I Play’, he talks about all the offers he has received in recent weeks.
“It feels like I’m floating. I have to force myself to keep calm and gather my thoughts,” he told South Korean media. “There are so many people reaching out to me and since I don’t have a manager it’s very difficult to deal with all the calls and messages I get, so my daughter helps me.”
The success of the series has taken him by surprise, the actor says: “Something has really changed. Even when I go to a cafe or something, I have to think about how I come across to others. That’s why I’ve noticed that being famous is also hard.”
Fellow actor Lee Jung-jae recently told Variety that he is “open” to starring in American productions, but the lead actor of Squid Game says he has not yet received any offers.
Although the series is fictional, some South Korean millennials recently told Insider that their lives are not very different from those of the characters in Squid Game because of the massive debt crisis in their country.
“I consider myself lucky that I was able to keep my debt below $50,000,” Kim Keunha told Insider. “I am very aware of the enormous financial difficulties I am in, but I can do very little to change the situation.”
Recently, thousands of South Korean union members in Squid Game uniforms demonstrated for better labor rights.