Variety Streaming Room: Television FYC
Korean cinema has been a topic of conversation in the U.S., most notably after critically acclaimed films “Parasite” and “Minari” hit the West. Netflix’s “Squid Game” is no exception, with actor…
Korean cinema has been a topic of conversation in the U.S., most notably after critically acclaimed films “Parasite” and “Minari” hit the West. Netflix’s “Squid Game” is no exception, with actor Park Hae-soo saying the films contributed to the show’s success.
“I think the foundation of that is how Korean content like ‘Parasite’ and ‘Minari’ were so well received and they were loved by so many people, that it kind of almost paved the way for ‘Squid Game’ to be received the way it did in the United States,” said the actor, who played Cho Sang-woo in the series.
Alongside Park, fellow “Squid Game” stars Lee Jung-jae and Jung Ho-yeon were joined by director Hwang Dong-hyuk, production designer Chae Kyoung-sun and music composer Jung Jae-il at Variety Streaming Room presented by Netflix — moderated by Variety’s Jenelle Riley.
Lee, who plays protagonist Seong Gi-hun, also spoke about his realization that the show was a success: “When I started seeing the reaction videos on YouTube about ‘Squid Game’ and then when I saw their very real facial expression watching the show, I think I really started to feel that.”
Hwang said it’s because the show conveys a universal message, saying, “you are left with this very strong message — almost like a warning about a capitalist society.”
The actors also spoke about how they prepared for their very different roles, with Lee explaining that he was confused about how to approach his character at first.
“If they went in with too serious of a tone for the character, it’s just going to bring the whole thing really down,” the star said. “I wanted to bring a sense of lightness and almost a clumsy part to the character.”
Park, who had more of a divisive character arc, spoke about how he understood the character: “Everyone, they have a sense of irony and duality within themselves, right? I just think that Sang-Woo is somebody that this irony was expressed to the extreme.”
Jung, who made her acting debut in the show, said she had doubts if she could pull it off: “I was daunted, thinking that, ‘Am I going to be able to pull this character off really? Am I going to be able to express this wonderful character?’”
Watch the full video above.