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All the world’s a stage: Success of ‘Squid Game’ opens doors for Korean actors

A scene from “Squid Game” (Netflix)
A scene from “Squid Game” (Netflix)
The influence of global OTT platforms was once again proven with Netflix original series “Squid Game” supporting actor Oh Young-soo‘s win at the 79th Golden Globes on Monday.

International successes like Oh’s are increasingly likely in the near future as more Korean actors have started working on projects targeting global audiences.

Many big-name stars are choosing to appear in Netflix’s original series, which are made available in 190 countries.

Kim Hye-soo and “Parasite” star Lee Jung-eun are starring in the upcoming Netflix show “Juvenile Justice,” about a judge who hates juvenile criminals suddenly being appointed to the juvenile department of a district court.

“Money Heist,” an upcoming South Korean television series based on the Spanish heist crime drama series of the same title, will feature stars like Kim Yun-jin, Yoo Ji-tae and Jeon Jong-seo.

Veteran actor Hwang Jung-min, who led multiple megahit films like “Ode to My Father” and ”Veteran,” will also appear in the Netflix original series “Suriname,” along with another prolific actor, Ha Jung-woo, who has appeared in three megahit films that have sold more than 10 million tickets domestically -- “Assassination” and two flicks in the “Along With the God” series.

Netflix is not the only OTT that is aiming to produce the next “Squid Game” with big-name Korean stars.

Disney+, who entered the Korean market last year, is working with “Old Boy” star Choi Min-sik who will appear in its original series, “King Of Savvy.”

Oscar-winning Youn Yuh-jung and Hallyu star Lee Min-ho will appear in Apple TV+’s “Pachinko,” a Korean, Japanese and English-language drama based on the novel by Korean American author Lee Min-jin.

There is also a notable trend of young Korean actors being cast in Hollywood films.

Park Seo-joon, 32, will star in the sequel to “Captain Marvel,” officially titled “The Marvels.”

Park is widely known to international fans of Korean dramas, having starred in several hit romantic comedies such as “What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim” and “Itaewon Class.” He also made a cameo appearance as a friend of the character Ki-woo (played by Choi Woo-sik) in the Oscar-winning film “Parasite,” directed by Bong Joon-ho.

Jeon, 27, of “Money Heist,” also filmed her first English-language film “Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon,“ which was screened here during the Busan International Film Festival last year.

By Song Seung-hyun (ssh@heraldcorp.com)
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