Skip To Content

    Here's What The Cast Of "Squid Game" Look Like On The Show Vs. IRL

    They can come and slap me anytime, anywhere.

    🚨 Warning: There are some spoilers ahead! 🚨

    Everyone is talking about Squid Game β€” the South Korean series that only made its debut on Netflix 10 days ago and is already set to become the most-watched show on the streaming platform.

    Netflix

    It's also received praise for its dark, disturbing and addictive storyline, which pits people against one another in a Hunger Games-style survival game to win a huge cash prize.

    Netflix

    Along the way, you become invested in the characters, thanks to the incredible performances from the actors. Immediately after binge-watching the series, I wanted to know more about the cast. So, here are the IRL stories behind your faves in Squid Game.

    Netflix

    1. Lee Jung-jae as Seong Gi-hun (Player 456)

    Netflix, The Chosunilbo JNS/Imazins via Getty Images

    Who they played: Lee plays Seong Gi-Hun, a divorced dad who is addicted to gambling and struggles to financially support both his mum and daughter. He participates in the Games to settle his many debts.

    What they did before Squid Game: Both an actor and fashion model, Lee has had a huge career. Some of his most notable appearances include City Of The Rising Sun, Il Mare (which was remade for American audiences and called The Lake House), Oh Brothers, The Housemaid, The Thieves and The Face. Bonus fact: Lee also owns a bunch of businesses, including a chain of upscale Italian restaurants in Seoul, a real estate development company and an entertainment label. What a king!

    Follow Lee Hung-jae on Instagram.

    2. Park Hae-soo as Cho Sang-woo (Player 218)

    Netflix, Myunggu Han / WireImage

    Who they played: Park plays Cho Sang-woo, a gifted student who studied at Seoul National University and is now head of an investment team. He's wanted by the police for stealing money from his clients, which is why he enters the Games.

    What they did before Squid Game: Starting off his career in musical theatre before transitioning to acting, Park had his big break in the drama series Prison Playbook. He then appeared in other Netflix content, like Time To Hunt and Racket Boys, before landing the role of Cho Sang-woo.

    Follow Park Hae-soo on Instagram.

    3. Jung Ho-yeon as Kang Sae-byeok (Player 67)

    Netflix, @hoooooyeony / Via instagram.com

    Who they played: Jung plays fan-favourite Kang Sae-byeok, a North Korean defector who participates in the Game so that she can be reunited with her surviving family members and start a life with her younger brother.

    What they did before Squid Game: If you couldn't already tell by that beautiful bone structure, Jung is a renowned fashion model. She started modelling at the age of 16 and has since appeared in Vogue Korea, Nylon Korea, British Vogue, Harper's Bazaar Korea and Korea's Next Top Model β€” to name a few. Squid Game is Jung's first foray into acting and she absolutely nailed her performance.

    Follow Jung Ho-yeon on Instagram.

    4. Oh Yeong-su as Oh Il-nam (Player 1)

    Netflix, Wang Tae-kyun / Via asianwiki.com

    Who they played: Oh plays Oh Il-nam, an elderly man with a brain tumour who prefers to relive the excitement of his youth through the Games rather than waiting to die in the outside world.

    What they did before Squid Game: There's not much on the internet about Oh, but I did find out that he's been in a couple of TV shows and movies β€” like God Of War, Chocolate and Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...And Spring. Regardless of how many roles Oh has had, he played his Squid Game character fantastically (especially if you've seen the ending!).

    5. Heo Sung-tae as Jang Deok-su (Player 101)

    Netflix, @heosungtae / Via instagram.com

    Who they played: Heo plays Jang Deok-su, a nasty gangster who racks up a large debt to his boss and a gambling debt to a Filipino organisation, which forces him to join the Games.

    What they did before Squid Game: Not many actors can say they got their start by drunkenly signing up to a TV network talent show audition, but that's exactly how Heo began his acting career. Since then, he's appeared in a slew of TV shows and films, including The Age Of Shadows, The Fortress, Your Honor and Beyond Evil.

    Follow Heo Sung-tae on Instagram.

    6. Anupam Tripathi as Abdul Ali (Player 199)

    @sangipaiya / Via instagram.com, @sangipaiya / Via instagram.com

    Who they played: Tripathi plays Abdul Ali, a migrant worker from Pakistan who enlists in the Games to provide for his young family after his employer refuses to pay him.

    What they did before Squid Game: This is Tripathi's main cast debut and he shines in it, stealing all our hearts through his character's kindness and the straw he gets served in Squid Game. Prior to this, he had training in singing and acting in his home country of India, before moving to South Korea in 2010 to attend Korea National University of Arts. It was in his third year of university when he began acting in South Korean plays and commercials, leading to roles in Ode To My Father, Taxi Driver, Space Sweepers and, of course, Squid Game.

    Follow Anupam Tripathi on Instagram.

    7. Kim Joo-ryoung as Han Mi-nyeo (Player 212)

    Netflix, @kimjooryoung / Via instagram.com

    Who they played: Kim plays Han Mi-nyeo, a mysterious and manipulative woman who we really don't know much about. She's annoying, she's a badass and by the end of the series, you're very much on her side β€” if you know what I mean.

    What they did before Squid Game: With a career spanning over two decades, Kim has found success in both Korea's TV and film industry. Her first offical role was in Plum Blossom, but most recently she's starred in Recalled and Kingmaker: The Change of Destiny.

    Follow Kim Joo-ryoung on Instagram.

    8. Wi Ha-joon as Hwang Jun-ho

    Netflix, @wi__wi__wi / Via instagram.com

    Who they played: Wi plays Hwang Jun-Ho, a police officer who sneaks into the Game as a guard to find out what happened to his missing brother.

    What they did before Squid Game: Currently boasting 4.2 million followers on Instagram, Wi is a rising star and model in Korea. He made his acting debut in a short film in 2012, before landing his first lead role in Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum. Plus, he's also appeared in K-dramas like Something In The Rain, Romance Is A Bonus Book and 18 Again.

    Follow Wi Ha-joon on Instagram.

    9. Gong Yoo as the Squid Game salesman

    Netflix, Han Myung-gu / WireImage

    Who they played: Gong Yoo plays a salesman, who recruits participants for the Game by challenging them to a game of ddakji.

    What they did before Squid Game: Easily the most recognisable cast member of Squid Game is Yoo, who you'll remember from the internationally acclaimed zombie movie Train To Busan. Besides that, he's also appeared in several hit k-dramas like Coffee Prince and Guardian: The Great and Lonely God, as well as successful movies like Silenced and The Age Of Shadows. Also, if Squid Game gets confirmed for Season 2, he definitely needs to reprise his role for, uh, several reasons, of course.

    10. Lee Byung-hun as The Front Man

    Netflix, Anadolu Agency / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

    Who they played: Lee plays The Front Man of the Game, who is later unmasked and revealed to be Hwang Jun-ho's missing brother.

    What they did before Squid Game: Lee is an icon in both the Korean and American film industry and has received critical acclaim for a number of his works. I would suggest looking at his Wikipedia page, as there are way too many to name, but I will mention that Lee has five films β€” Joint Security Area, The Good, The Bad, The Weird, Masquerade, Inside Men and Master β€” on the list of the highest-grossing films in South Korea. How legendary is that?! In the US, you'll know him from the G.I. Joe series, RED and The Magnificent Seven.

    11. Lee Yoo-mi as Ji-yeong (Player 240)

    Netflix, @leeyoum262 / Via instagram.com

    Who they played: Lee plays Ji-yeong, a young woman who has just been released from prison after killing her abusive father. Also, let's be honest, her role was short, but she stole the screen β€” especially in episode six.

    What they did before Squid Game: Like some of her co-stars, Lee is a rising star, who has appeared in several movies and K-dramas. Her first role was in The Yellow Sea and her most recent prior to Squid Game was Hostage: Missing Celebrity.

    Follow Lee Yoo-mi on Instagram.

    12. Lee Jung-jun as Guard

    Netflix, @right_jun_ / Via instagram.com

    Who they played: Lee played a guard of the Game, who was unmasked and then killed in episode three during a conflict. Yes, he might have only be on the screen for less than a minute, but he made an IMAPCT.

    What they did before Squid Game: This is only Lee's third on-screen role! Prior to Squid Game, he had his acting debut in Class Of Lies, before moving on to Kairos. Based on his character's viral performance, Lee has got a bright career ahead of him!

    Follow Lee Jung-jun on Instagram.

    Who was your favourite Squid Game character? Let us know in the comments!

    Netflix