‘Squid Game’: 4 Interesting Facts About Anupam Tripathi

Indian actor Anupam Tripathi plays Ali in the Netflix series Squid Game. Ali is a migrant factory worker from Pakistan. Desperate to earn money for his family, he participates in the deadly survival game. Although Ali faced a cruel fate in the show, the character instantly became a fan favorite. The talented actor is taking the world by storm, starring in numerous South Korean dramas and movies. Here is everything we know about the 32-year old actor. 

Anupam Tripathi studied at the Korea National University of Arts 

Anupam Tripathi wearing a green jumpsuit in 'Squid Game'
Anupam Tripathi from ‘Squid Game’ | Youngkyu Park

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Anupam Tripathi was born in New Delhi, India. According to SBS News, the actor moved to South Korea in 2010. He decided to apply to the Korea National University of Arts after a friend told him about a scholarship. The institution is one of the top universities for the arts in the country. 

At first, his parents disapproved of the young actor moving to South Korea. Tripathi told the outlet that his parents didn’t want him to study in Korea. “My dad would have been so delighted to see me right now, but he passed away in 2017,” he said. “He would have been really happy.” 

When he moved to Korea, Tripathi struggled with the language barrier. In an interview with Arirang News, the actor said overcoming the cultural differences was challenging. “It’s very hard, and it’s difficult,” he explained. “But at the same time, I’ve always challenged myself. If I’ve come this far, let’s move one more step.”

‘Squid Game’ actor Anupam Tripathi studied migrant workers in Korea 

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After landing the role in Squid Game, Tripathi went above and beyond to prepare for the part. To portray the raw emotions of Ali on-screen, the actor made it his mission to understand the character on a deeper level. According to Manila Bulletin, he talked to migrant workers in Korea and listened to their stories. 

“In the drama, I accepted that Ali was a person who worked hard to live well with his family despite all kinds of adversity. I saw to it that he endured the fierce survival game as well,” he explained. “Also, I worry about ‘How can I survive in Korea or what if I don’t have a job’ every day in Korea. I never let go. Of course, I never lost a smile just like Ali.”

Tripathi 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). He also made appearances in Korean blockbuster films like Space Sweepers, The 8th Night, and Miss & Mrs. Cops. Although the actor played small parts in his previous work, Tripathi had the breakout role in Netflix’s Squid Game

The ‘Squid Game’ star has a theater background

Aside from acting on-screen, Tripathi has a theater background as well. According to India Times, the Squid Game star was a theater actor during his university years. Although he loves performing on stage, the actor wants to make his presence known on stage and on the big screen. 

Squid Game is streaming now on Netflix.