Squid Game, the latest offering on Netflix, is a survival thriller that has been garnering a lot of interest.
This is a fictional survival series wherein the characters in the show participate in what looks like games children might play. The games played, however, turn violent very quickly, and the characters either win and live on, or die trying. The show focuses on a group of highly indebted people in South Korea and entices them to play the game to win the prize money of 45 billion South Korean won.
Much talked about amid the cast is Indian actor Anupam Tripathi, who essays the role of Abdul Ali, a migrant worker from Pakistan who enters the game to provide for his family.
Here are some facts about the actor, who is one of the few actors of non-Korean descent in the industry.
1. A Delhi-born actor, Anupam began his training in singing and acting in 2006. He moved to South Korea in 2010, where he attended the Korea National University of Arts after being awarded a scholarship. After completing his course, he decided to stay on in South Korea and also made an appearance in various Korean drama shows.
2. Anupam made his acting debut in the 2014 feature film Ode to My Father. He went on to play minor roles in popular K-Dramas like Descendants of the Sun (2016) and, most recently, Hospital Playlist (2020).
3. Anupam had to overcome the language barrier in a new country to be able to fully soak in everything that the institute he was enrolled in had to offer. In an interview with Arirang News, Anupam said overcoming the cultural differences was challenging. “It’s very hard, and it’s difficult. But at the same time, I’ve always challenged myself. If I’ve come this far, let’s move one more step.”
4. The 32-year-old actor was part of a few theater productions before he started making appearances in various Korean drama series. According to Kpopmap, the actor has been participating in these productions since his university days, even joining various film and drama festivals in the country. The character he played in a musical called Momo was very well received by all and was a true testament to his acting abilities.
5. Known for his research into the characters he plays, even for the role of the migrant labour in Squid Game, Anupam says in this interview to VICE, “For preparation, I met people, I watched documentaries, and read articles about migrant workers in Korea and abroad.” He goes on, “For me, it’s all about portraying Ali to the best of my ability, and in the future, to play a variety of different roles so that we can see more representation across various platforms in Korea, and the world beyond.”
Anupam has truly made a mark for himself in the world of entertainment despite facing cultural and language barriers when he started out. So powerful was Anupam’s portrayal of Ali’s character that there are now several fans petitioning for ‘justice’ for the character.