With 111 million households reached in its first month of release, “Squid Game” officially launched with the biggest opening for a Netflix original. But not every part of the Korean survival drama has been universally beloved. The Guardian recently spoke to the four actors behind the golden-masked “Squid Game” VIPs about the overwhelmingly critical fan response to their performances. In the show, the VIPs are English-speaking billionaires who watch and place bets on the games at the series’ center. The actors behind the VIPs have been bashed on social media and all feel differently about the response.
“I suffer from extreme clinical depression, so it’s been a bit of a challenge,” said Daniel C Kennedy, who plays VIP two. “Initially, I was gutted by the comments but, with time and distance and some honest self-reflection, I’ve been better able to filter the feedback into the stuff I can use to improve next time, versus the stuff that is bound to come when you’re part of a project that gets global recognition.”
Geoffrey Giuliano, who plays VIP four, is far more positive on the experience. As he told The Guardian, “I ain’t complaining, baby! I’m in the hottest show in the world. I got fan mail. Just today I got a woman who said: ‘Send me your autograph.’ So I did, and two hours later she sent me a photo where she had ‘Geoffrey Giuliano, VIP four,’ tattooed right across her forearm.”
Giuliano added, “There have also been some sexual invitations, from males and females…This project has elevated me from absolute, total obscurity. I get tattoos of my signature. I get invitations for fellatio. I’m a star!”
VIP one actor John D Michaels added his own thoughts: “I think the first thing to dispel is this myth that they just pick us up off the street. It’s different for every show, but non-Korean performers often act with dialogue that is translated by a non-native — sometimes even by Google Translate — so it can sound unnatural. And often we don’t have the scripts for the rest of the show. We are only given our scenes, so we have no idea of the tone.”
“Squid Game” is now streaming on Netflix. Head over to The Guardian’s website to read more from the VIP actors.