Anupam Tripathi was often only able to land the most minor roles during his decade living in South Korea, but
His Journey: Born to a middle-class family in New Delhi, Tripathi made his acting debut in India in 2006, according to 8Days. The 32-year-old actor moved to South Korea in 2010 after a friend recommended that he get a scholarship from the Korea National University of Arts (KARTs).
- Tripathi admitted he kept his travel plans to South Korea from his parents as they were “firmly against it.” His parents eventually relented after Tripathi was accepted into KARTs.
- He faced cultural barriers, such as food and language, when he arrived in South Korea. “I spent 10 years in Korea as a student and a theater actor with the thought of persevering every day,” he said, according to India Times.
Breaking into South Korean show business: Tripathi eventually landed his first movie role in the 2014 South Korean blockbuster “Ode To My Father.” His IMDb page only credits him as playing “Sri Lankan man” in the film, the fourth highest-grossing movie of all time in South Korea.
- Although Tripathi mostly landed migrant worker roles in Korean shows and films, after “Ode To My Father,” the actor never dwelled on his being typecast. Instead, he was reportedly happy and grateful for the jobs, viewing them as opportunities to improve his Korean.
- He went on to appear in several projects, including the 2016 K-drama “Descendants of the Sun,” where he played a small role as a man who was injured in an earthquake, Hindustan Times reported.
- His big break came when he was tapped to play the role of Player No. 199, Ali, in the international hit Netflix series “Squid Game.” Tripathi said his mother and brothers were very proud of his accomplishment. Sadly, he could not share this success with his father.
- “My dad would have been happy to see [my success], but he passed away in 2017…He would have been delighted,” he said.
- Hwang Dong-Hyuk, director of “Squid Game,” recounted how Tripathi “appeared out of the blue” when the production was looking for a foreign actor in Korea. The director went on to applaud Tripathi’s “amazing emotional acting” in the series.
Positive reception: Many fans took to social media to extend their love to Tripathi after his successful portrayal of Ali in the Netflix series.