Squid Game has become a global hit for Netflix and already topped the most watched list in several markets.
The South Korean drama has proven incredibly popular with fans and critics alike since its release on September 17, as it delivers a mix of extreme violence and horror with familiar playground games.
Stars like Lee Jung-jae, Park Hae-soo and Wi Ha-joon all lead the way in the first series, and the nine-episode run is the first ever Korean series to hit Netflix’s top spot.
For those who don’t know, the show follows desperate members of the public as they compete to win millions by taking part in children’s games in a strange and deadly tournament with a cash prize of 45.6 billion won (£28m) at stake.
Now, here’s a look at the cast and where you might recognise them from…
Lee Jung-jae – Seong Gi-hun (456)
Lee Jung-Jae plays plays chauffer and gambling addict Seong Gi-hun (456) in the series, as he enters the game to settle his debts and provide financial support for his daughter.
After starting his career on TV in the likes of Feelings and Sandglass, he got his breakthrough in 1998 movie An Affair.
From there, he went onto star in the likes of Oh! Brothers, Typhoon, New World, City of the Rising Son, The Housemaid, and political TV drama Chief of Staff.
Park Hae-soo – Cho Sang-woo (218)
Park Hae-soo’s character Cho Sang-woo leads an investment team at a securities company, and while he showed promise as a gifted stunt at Seoul National University, he’s now on the run from police after stealing money from his clients.
Before making the jump to the big and small screen, Park got his start in musical theatre in the likes of Mister Lobby and Annapurna.
He moved into film and TV with the likes of The Pirates and Prison Playbook, with the latter kicking off his career as he went to appear in Netflix’s Persona as Baek Jeong-u.
Jung Ho-yeon – Kang Sae-byeok (067)
Jung Ho-yeon’s character Kang Sea-byeok is a North Korean defector playing the Game to get the money for a broker to find her family, who are still on the other side of the border.
Back in 2013, she was the runner-up on Korea’s Next Top Model and has earned a great reputation in the fashion world walking for the likes of Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Burberry and many more.
In January 2020, he signed up to Saram Entertainment, and Squid Game actually marks her acting debut.
O Yeong-su – Oh Il-nam (001)
O Yeong-su plays elderly Oh Il-nam in Squid Game, and his character – who has a brain tumour – would rather play the Game instead of being in the outside world waiting for death.
He has been in plenty of theatre productions after starting his stage career in the 1960s, and he’s often seen playing monks on-screen, including movies A Little Monk and Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter.. and Spring.
That trend has continued on TV too, in Queen Seondeok, The Return of Iljimae and God of War.
Heo Sung-tae – Jang Deok-su (101)
Gangster Jang Deok-su is played by Heo Sung-tae, and the character is in the Game to settle gambling debts.
Heo first rose to fame in 2016 period thriller The Age of Shadows, and his big screen career has seen him in the likes of The Fortress, The Outlaws and Hitman: Agent Jun.
In the world of TV, he’s appeared in Different Dreams, Psychopath Diary, Racket Boys, Beyond Evil and more.
Anupam Tripathi – Abdul Ali (199)
Anupam Tripathis’ character Abdul Ali comes from Pakistan and play the Game to support his young family after his boss doesn’t pay him for months.
Although Squid Game is his main cast debut, he first appeared on the big screen in 2014’s Ode To My Father.
Since then, he’s mainly taken minor roles in projects like Luck Key, Hogu’s Love, Arthdal Chronicles and Hospital Playlist.
Kim Joo-ryoung – Han Mi-nyeo (212)
Kim Joo-ryoung plays Han Mi-nyeo, a mysterious and manipulative character claiming to be a poor single mum.
Starting her acting career with a role in 2000 film Plum Blossom, she went onto appear in My Dear Enemy, Silenced, The Mayor and The Snob.
Since 2017, she’s taken on several TV parts – many of them cameos – with bigger parts in The Ghost Detectve, When My Love Blooms and Kingmaker: The Change of Destiny.
She also appeared in a cameo role as a doctor in Netflix’s The School Nurse Files.
Wi Ha-joon – Hwang Jun-ho
Wi Ha-joon plays police officer Hwang Jun-Ho, who has sneaked his way into the Game as a guard so he can find his missing brother.
While Squid Game has launched him into international stardom, he has become known for his parts in Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum and Midnight, plus TV roles in Something in the Rain, Romance is a Bonus Book, and 18 Again.
The latter is actually based on 2009 comedy 17 Again, which starred Matthew Perry and Zac Efron, although Wi wasn’t cast in either of the leading roles.
Squid Game is available to stream on Netflix.Credit: Original article published here.