One of the biggest breakout stars of Netflix‘s Squid Game is Anupam Tripathi who plays the role of Abdul Ali (Player 199). An undocumented Pakistani worker, he was mistreated by his boss in South Korea who failed to pay him for several months. Ali entered the competition to earn money for his wife and child.
He was introduced to viewers in Episode 1 in an incredibly memorable way. In “Red Light, Green Light,” players were required to reach the finish line by running forward when the doll chanted the title of the game. The catch? They were killed off if they moved even an inch at the wrong time.
This would have happened to protagonist Gi Hun (played by Lee Jung Jae) had Ali not grabbed his jacket and suspended him midair.
In an interview with Netflix, Anupam revealed behind the scenes information about the filming of the episode. According to him, actor Lee Jung Jae was notably kind even when he accidentally caused him pain.
When I grabbed Lee Jung Jae in ‘Red Light, Green Light,’ I think I grabbed him too hard. But he was very nice about it.
Lee Jung Jae comfortably gave him advice. As a senior actor with over 20 years of experience, he understood how to work well with his co-workers.
[He said] ‘Do what you want to do. Be comfortable.’
According to Anupam, the kindness of the senior actor made it easier to film the scene. Despite making a small mistake in the beginning, he soon relaxed and began enjoying the shoot.
It helped me open up [and think] ‘This is fun.’
Anupam Tripathi is an Indian actor who moved to South Korea to study acting. He was not immediately chosen for the role of Ali, but when director Hwang Dong Hyuk encountered him “out of the blue,” it was like a gift from above.
He was fluent in Korean and he could act. His emotional acting was amazing, too.
— Hwang Dong Hyuk
Check out the full video below for more information on the Squid Game actors.