'Squid Game' Actor O Yeong-Su (Player 001) Reveals How Netflix Changed His Life

Oct 23, 2021 by apost team

The Fall of 2021 was dominated by an extremely popular TV mini-series called “Squid Game.” The show is from South Korea and was added to the streaming service Netflix on September 17, 2021. It has since become a worldwide phenomenon and has broken records by drawing in 142 million viewers in its first month on the platform. The show’s massive success has led to worldwide fame for the actors. Among the main cast is O Yeong-Su, who plays the elderly character Oh Il-Nam, or player 001. 

Since becoming so famous, O said he has had a hard time leaving the house because he is often recognized. His acting talents are also in high demand, and without a manager, the actor had to recruit the help of his daughter to answer calls. All of this has made him realize that being famous comes with its own set of challenges.

O is a veteran actor who has had an impressive career performing on stage. The star was a member of the National Theater Company of Korea from 1987 to 2010. He has appeared in over 200 productions including “King Lear,” “A Streetcar Named Desire,” and “The Merchant of Venice.” O starred as Faust in Goethe's “Faust” when he was in his thirties. Later, in his fifties, the actor portrayed the titular role of Richard III. 

Now at 77-years-old, O has earned worldwide fame with his performance in “Squid Game.” The star opened up about the ways his life has changed in just a short period of time. Keep reading to learn more about this talented actor and to hear his thoughts on life and growing older.

Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video :-) 

The show “Squid Game” is centered on a contest in which 456 contestants, all deeply in debt, play children’s games for the chance to win 45.6 billion won. What they don’t know is that there are lethal consequences if they lose. The show reveals that O’s character, player 001, has a brain tumor and prefers playing the game to waiting for death in the outside world. The series is so popular that it was gained Netflix 4.4 million new subscribers.

O shared how he is adjusting to fame in an interview with Yoo Jae Suk and the girl group Lovelyz’s Mijoo for MBC’s “How Do You Play?” According to Soompi, he described his success by explaining that there have been both highs and lows. “I feel like I’m floating on air. It makes me think, ‘I need to calm down, organize my thoughts, and hold myself back right now,” he explained.

The distinguished actor revealed how he has been managing all of the attention. He said, “So many people have been contacting me (since the release of ‘Squid Game’) and because I don’t have a manager to help me, it’s hard for me to handle the volume of calls and messages I’ve been receiving. So my daughter has been helping me.”

Now that he is a worldwide star, O’s life has changed drastically, and not all of the adjustments have been easy for him. The star shared, “Things have changed quite a bit. Even when I go out to a cafe or somewhere like that, I now have to be aware of (how I appear to others). It’s made me think, ‘Being famous is tough, too.'”


Despite being the oldest member of the main cast, O fit in great with his costars while on set. “I was the only older cast member (in ‘Squid Game’), and all the other actors were young. Since I was among them, I went overboard in pretending to be young in order to match their energy,” he explained.

The interviewers also took the time to ask what O’s thoughts were on life. He said:

“Our society often only acknowledges first place as if everyone else doesn’t matter. As if only first place exists, and second place is meaningless. But even though second place lost to first place, second place also beat third place. So everyone is actually a winner. That’s why I think a true winner is someone who is working hard at the things they want to do and attempting to reach a certain state on the inside. I feel like that kind of person is a winner.”

He continued, “I don’t have any grand ambitions. Big or small, I’ve received a lot of things while living my life. Now, I want to leave behind those things that I’ve received. To put it simply, let’s say you go to a mountain and see a flower. When we’re young, we pick the flower and take it for ourselves. But by the time you reach my age, you leave it there exactly as it is, and you go back to see it again later on. It’s the same with life. Leaving things exactly the way they are. It isn’t easy.” 

Did you watch “Squid Game?” What are your thoughts on the series? Let us know and be sure to send this on to your loved ones.

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