‘Squid Game’: Oh Yeong-su Shares Wisdom About Life and His Personal Philosophy

Squid Game’s Oh Yeong-su was the oldest actor amongst his cast members. The 77-year-old actor played the main character, Il-nam, Player 001. Compared to his co-stars, Oh made a majority of his career as leading characters in stage productions. He then shifted to playing minor roles on TV and in movies as a Buddhist monk.

The Netflix original K-drama became the streaming platform’s biggest success of 2021. The worldwide phenomenon led Oh and his fellow actors to become global stars overnight. Despite Oh’s newfound fame, he explains he does not have grand ambitions and shared his personal outlook on society and how life should be lived.

'Squid Game' Oh Yeong-su as Il-nam in front of convenience store
‘Squid Game’ actor Oh Yeong-su as Il-nam in ‘Squid Game’ | via Netflix

Oh Yeong-su appears as a guest star on ‘How Do You Play?’

The Korean variety series, How Do You Play? is also known as Hangout with Yoo. According to Soompi, on Oct.16, Oh appeared as a guest on the show to talk about Squid Game and his newfound popularity. When it came to his cast members, Oh was the oldest among them and admits to trying to match their youthful energy.

In the TV interview, Oh looks back at a fond memory while filming the K-drama. The popular Dalgona challenge even enthralled the cast. In between takes, they would attempt to cut out the shape from the honeycomb-like cookie. “It felt like all the actors were returning to their childhoods. We had fun playing like grown-up children. It was a happy time,” explained Oh.

Actor HoYeon Jung revealed in a behind-the-scenes featurette video the honeycomb master was making Dalgona throughout the filming process. The master made more than 456 candy pieces throughout the day. Jung explains, “The film set smelled like honeycomb all day long.”

‘Squid Game’s’ Oh Yeong-su shares his personal thoughts on society and his ambitions in life

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How Do You Play? host Yoo Jae-suk asked Oh his thoughts on how life should be lived. Oh responded with a resonating message in relation to the underlying story of Squid Game. The K-drama focuses heavily on the gap in social classes and the desperate need of the 456 players to win the cash prize to alleviate their mounting debt.

“Our society often only acknowledges first place, as if everyone else doesn’t matter. As if only first place exists, and second place is meaningless. But even though second place lost to first place, second place also beat third place. So everyone is actually a winner. That’s why I think a true winner is someone who is working hard at the things they want to do and attempting to reach a certain state on the inside. I feel like that kind of person is a winner,” said Oh.

Squid Game’s Oh would then move one of the variety show’s hosts to tears. He shared his outlook on life and how it is meant to be interpreted. Oh explains he has no real ambitions in life, whether small or big. Throughout his life, he has received many great things and is now at a point where he wants to leave those things behind and give back.

“To put it simply, let’s say you go to a mountain and see a flower. When we’re young, we pick the flower and take it for ourselves. But by the time you reach my age, you leave it there exactly as it is, and you go back to see it again later on. It’s the same with life. Leaving things exactly the way they are. It isn’t easy,” explained Oh.

Oh Yeong-su has rejected offers as his ‘Squid Game’ cast venture into new roles

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Squid Game’s Oh was only previously known for his minor roles and his on-stage career. With the success of the K-drama, Oh admits he is trying to navigate the influx of calls and job offers with the help of his daughter. The actor admits he is trying to stay humble and not get ahead of himself and has rejected many offers to star in commercials.

Fans will have to wait and see where Oh will appear next as his co-stars are already set to star in new dramas. Park Hae-soo plays the leading role in an upcoming crime mystery titled Chimera. Rising actor Wi Ha-joon will star alongside actor Lee Dong-wook in an iQiyi original called Bad and Crazy. HoYeon Jung is K-drama’s newest actor who has already reached an impeccable level of success.