Health

‘Hippy granddad’ O Yeong-su wins S Korea’s first Golden Globe for ‘Squid Game’ role

O, 77, won
best supporting actor in television for his portrayal of Oh II-nam, also known
as The Host or Player 001, becoming the first South Korean ever to snatch a
Golden Globe.

He beat more
globally renowned competitors including Billy Crudup and Kieran Culkin, who
were respectively nominated for their performances in The Morning Show and
Succession.

This year’s
ceremony was held privately without the usual glitzy fanfare after many actors,
directors and film studios refused to attend amid criticism that its organiser,
the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, lacked decent ethics policies and
ethnic diversity.

“After
hearing the news, I told myself for the first time, ‘you’re a nice dude,'”
O said in a statement released by Netflix.

“It’s
no longer us within the world, it’s the world within us. Embracing the scent of
our culture and the love for my family, Thank all of you in the world. I wish
you a beautiful life.”

O’s
achievement came after Youn Yuh-jung won best supporting actress at last year’s
Academy Awards, the first South Korean to win an Oscar, for her role in
“Minari,” a heartfelt Korean immigrant tale.

President
Moon Jae-in congratulated O and the drama’s crew, saying “Squid Game”
gave hope for humanity despite its gloomy depiction of society.

DYSTOPIAN
DRAMA

“Squid
Game”, in which cash-strapped contestants play childhood games with deadly
consequences in a bid to win 45.6 billion won ($38.1 million), became a
worldwide sensation and Netflix’s biggest original series launch.

In the
nine-part show, O posed as a frail, harmless old man, before eventually
revealing his true identity as the sinister orchestrator of the games.

See also  China appoints former paramilitary chief as new Hong Kong garrison commander

The
dystopian drama has inspired countless real world recreations and social media
memes in South Korea, including his use of the term “kkanbu”, which
roughly translates as “friend”, propelling his popularity as a hippy
“kkanbu grandpa”.

Born in 1944
in what is now a North Korean border town of Kaepung, O is regarded as one of
the greatest stage actors in South Korea, appearing in more than 200 stage
productions since 1963 and winning a number of major awards.

He has also
played many charismatic supporting characters in film and television, including
in “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring” released in 2003 by
late award-winning director Kim Ki-duk.

O’s
portrayals of a Buddhist monk in that 2003 movie and others won him the
nickname “monk actor” and several television commercials.

He said
during a TV appearance in October that he had decided to join “Squid
Game” out of appreciation for the director’s insight over social
irregularities.

“Our
society goes by as if only No. 1 survives. No. 2 lost to No. 1, but beat No. 3.
After all, everybody is a winner,” he said then.

Related Articles

Back to top button