Squid Game‘s cast is full of great actors, and both Jung Ho Yeon and Anupam Tripathi can be considered the show’s breakout stars!
While filming a video called “The Squid Game Cast React To Their Own Show” for the YouTube channel Still Watching Netflix, Squid Game‘s writer and director, Hwang Dong Hyuk, explained why these two actors were the perfect choices for their now iconic roles in the K-Drama.
Jung Ho Yeon played Kang Sae Byeok, a North Korean defector, and Anupam Tripathi played Ali Abdul, a migrant worker from Pakistan.
In “The Squid Game Cast React To Their Own Show,” Hwang Dong Hyuk revealed that he already had Lee Jung Jae in mind for the role of Seong Gi Hun and Park Hae Soo in mind for the role of Cho Sang Woo, but he wanted to give the roles of Kang Sae Byeok, Ali Abdul and Oh Il Nam (Oh Yeong Su) to lesser-known actors.
Luckily for Hwang Dong Hyuk and all of us who can’t get enough of Squid Game, he found the perfect person for each role. He said he was worried about finding a good actor to play Ali because there weren’t a lot of good foreign actors in South Korea.
Anupam Tripathi appeared “out of the blue,” and he was the perfect fit for the role. Hwang Dong Hyuk said, “He was fluent in Korean and he could act. His emotional acting was amazing, too.” Anyone who’s seen Squid Game knows just how much emotion Anupam Tripathi put into his lines as Ali, especially when he realized he’d been fatally betrayed by Cho Sang Woo in the episode entitled Gganbu.
Hwang Dong Hyuk also had a hard time finding the right person for the role of Kang Sae Byeok. He said, “I couldn’t find the perfect person for this role.”
He said an audition tape came in one day, and he finally found the person he was looking for. Of course, the actress in that tape was none other than Jung Ho Yeon! He said her audition “almost felt like a gift sent by God.” She even looked like the version of Kang Sae Byeok he had in his head! If you’ve seen Squid Game, you know that Jung Ho Yeon totally nailed her role and brought the complex character to life beautifully, and you may have never guessed that this was her first time acting in a K-Drama.
From Hwang Dong Hyuk’s kind words about Jung Ho Yeon and Anupam Tripathi, it’s clear that they were totally the perfect people for their roles and that they deserve all the recognition they’re getting and more.
See the full “The Squid Game Cast React To Their Own Show” video below.