O Yeong-su Wins South Korea’s First Golden Globe for Role in “Squid Game”

Actor Oh Young-soo, winner of the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Limited Series or TV Movie Award. Image: Netflix via the Korea Herald / Asia News Network

SEOUL South Korean actor O Yeong-su won the country’s first Golden Globe on Sunday for his role in Netflix hit “Squid Game,” sparking acclaim at home and abroad despite criticism from ceremony organizers concerning the lack of diversity.

O, 77, won the award for Best Supporting TV Actor for his portrayal of Oh II-nam, also known as The Host or Player 001, becoming the first South Korean to win a Golden Globe .

He beat world-renowned contestants including Billy Crudup and Kieran Culkin, who were nominated for their performances on “The Morning Show” and “Succession,” respectively.

This year’s ceremony was held privately without the usual glitzy fanfare after many actors, directors and movie studios refused to attend amid criticism that its organizer, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, was lacking in support. decent ethical and ethnic diversity policies.

“After hearing the news, I said to myself for the first time ‘you’re a nice guy,’ O said in a statement released by Netflix.

“It is no longer us in the world, it is the world in us. Embracing the scent of our culture and love for my family, thank you to all of you in the world. I wish you a beautiful life.

O’s feat came after Youn Yuh-jung won Best Supporting Actress at last year’s Oscars, the first South Korean to win an Oscar, for her role in “Minari. “, a heartfelt tale of Korean immigrants.

Although Netflix did not submit the hit series to compete for the Golden Globe Awards, it was nominated for three Golden Globes last December – Best Drama Series, Best TV Actor – Drama, and Best Supporting Actor – TV – in under the new event organizer rule that allows for work that has not been submitted for review and appointment.

The “Squid Game” team did not win the other two awards for which they were nominated.

President Moon Jae-in praised O and the drama crew, saying “Squid Game” gives humanity hope despite its grim description of society.

Dystopian drama

“Squid Game,” in which cash-strapped contestants play life-threatening childhood games with the goal of winning 45.6 billion won ($ 38.1 million), has become a worldwide sensation and Netflix’s biggest original series launch.

In the nine-part show, O posed as a frail and harmless old man, before finally revealing his true identity as the sinister orchestrator of the games.

The dystopian drama has inspired countless real-world recreations and social media memes in South Korea, including its use of the term “kkanbu,” which roughly translates to “friend,” propelling his popularity as a “grandpa kkanbu “hippie.

Born in 1944 in what is now a North Korean border town of Kaepung, O is considered one of South Korea’s greatest stage actors, appearing in over 200 theater productions since 1963 and winning multiple awards. important.

He has also played many charismatic supporting characters in film and television, most notably in “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring” released in 2003 by award-winning director Kim Ki-duk.

The depictions of a Buddhist monk in this 2003 film and others have earned him the nickname “actor monk” and several television commercials.

He said during a television appearance in October that he decided to join “Squid Game” out of appreciation for the director’s insight into social irregularities.

“Our society passes as if only the No. 1 survived. No.2 lost to No.1, but beat No.3. After all, everyone is a winner, ”he said at the time.

Global success

Reflecting its worldwide success, “Squid Game” has won numerous awards at US award events.

In November, the series won the groundbreaking series large format category at the 2021 Gotham Awards.

Additionally, Hwang’s work won the 2021 Performance Award at the People’s Choice Awards in December. The show was nominated along with strong contenders like Disney + ‘s “Loki”, Apple TV +’ s “Ted Lasso”, Netflix “Sex / Life” and HBO’s crime drama “Mare of Easttown”.

The American Film Institute also selected “Squid Game” as one of three special honor recipients in December of last year. “Belfast” and “Summer of Soul” were also recognized as “works of excellence that do not meet Institute of American Cinema and Television criteria” with “Squid Game”.

Meanwhile, the director and cast of “Squid Game” did not attend the Golden Globe Awards, which faced backlash over allegations of racism and sexism. Many large media companies were reluctant to be part of the awards and did not submit their work for the award.

In response to the scandal, longtime Golden Globe Awards broadcaster NBC also failed to air the 79th Golden Globe Awards.

In a toned down presentation without an audience and on a red carpet, the ceremony took place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. KGA / JB

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