“Squid Game” Star Oh Young Soo Explains Why He’s Turned Down All His Commercial Offers + Moves Lovelyz’s Mijoo To Tears
In his first television appearance since starring in the hit series “Squid Game,” Oh Young Soo opened up about his life philosophy!
After entering the international spotlight through his unforgettable performance as Oh Il Nam in “Squid Game,” the veteran actor appeared on the October 16 episode of MBC’s “How Do You Play?” for a special interview with Yoo Jae Suk and Lovelyz’s Mijoo.
Despite skyrocketing to fame in the blink of an eye, Oh Young Soo has remained impressively down-to-earth in the month following the release of the smash hit drama. The actor has famously turned down all the commercial offers he’s received thus far, including an offer to star in a coveted fried chicken commercial.
Describing his reaction to the “‘Squid Game’ syndrome” that has been sweeping the globe, Oh Young Soo explained that he’s being extra cautious in the wake of his newfound popularity. “I feel like I’m floating on air,” he remarked. “It makes me think, ‘I need to calm down, organize my thoughts, and hold myself back right now.'”
“So many people have been contacting me [since the release of ‘Squid Game’],” shared the actor, “and because I don’t have a manager to help me, it’s hard for me to handle the volume of calls and messages I’ve been receiving. So my daughter has been helping me.”
Oh Young Soo added, “Now that I’ve suddenly risen in popularity, some of my [fellow actors] have been calling me, like Park Jung Ja and a few others.” When asked what Park Jung Ja had said to him, he replied with a laugh, “[She asked,] ‘How does it feel to become a world star?'”
As for how “Squid Game” has impacted his everyday life, Oh Young Soo remarked, “Things have changed quite a bit. Even when I go out to a cafe or somewhere like that, I now have to be aware of [how I appear to others]. It’s made me think, ‘Being famous is tough, too.'”
In a recent interview, Lee Jung Jae praised Oh Young Soo as a “senior actor with a youthful mindset,” but the veteran actor humbly responded, “I was the only older cast member [in ‘Squid Game’], and all the other actors were young. Since I was among them, I went overboard in pretending to be young in order to match their energy.”
Mijoo asked if the “Squid Game” cast actually played the dalgona game amongst themselves between takes, and Oh Young Soo replied, “There were some actors that did that. While filming this drama, it felt like all the actors were returning to their childhoods. We had fun playing like grown-up children. It was a happy time.”
Later on, Yoo Jae Suk asked Oh Young Soo to share his thoughts on how he believed life ought to be lived. The actor responded, “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.”
“I don’t have any grand ambitions,” he continued. “Big or small, I’ve received a lot of things while living my life. Now, I want to leave behind those things that I’ve received. 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.”
As Oh Young Soo spoke about his personal philosophy, Mijoo was so moved that she was unable to hold back her tears.
Watch the full episode of “How Do You Play?” with English subtitles below!