‘Initially I was gutted’: ‘Squid Game’ VIP actors respond to criticism of their acting

‘Initially I was gutted’: ‘Squid Game’ VIP actors respond to criticism of their acting‘Initially I was gutted’: ‘Squid Game’ VIP actors respond to criticism of their acting
Michelle De Pacina
October 21, 2021
Warning: Contains spoilers.
The actors who played the VIPs in Netflix’s “Squid Game” have responded to the widespread criticism of their performances in the show. 
Negative feedback: As “Squid Game” rose to fame, the actors behind the golden-masked VIPs received an overwhelmingly critical response to their acting skills.
  • In the K-drama, there are four actors who play the golden-masked, English-speaking billionaires. They appear to watch and place bets on players in the games at the series’ center.
  • However, following the success of “Squid Game,” negative feedback on the VIP actors’ acting skills flooded in with hundreds of tweets and memes.
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  • One of those tweets read, “I’m surprised I never see the VIPs mentioned? Those people’s acting was so bad, dialogues cringe as hell, really painful to watch and listen to? Especially since the level of acting was high throughout the series.”
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  • “The VIP dialog and acting in Squid Game made me feel like I was in some tavern while playing the Witcher and the NPCs were just taking turns spouting off lines. Nearly ruined the whole show for me,” another user tweeted.
VIPs respond: In an interview with The Guardian, the VIP actors expressed their thoughts on having been bashed on social media. They also provided a better understanding of their performances in “Squid Game.”
  • “I suffer from extreme clinical depression, so it’s been a bit of a challenge,” VIP two actor Daniel C Kennedy stated. “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.”
  • On the other hand, VIP four actor Geoffrey Giuliano takes a more positive approach. “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,” he said.
  • VIP one actor John D Michaels defended their portrayal. He said he writes, directs and has years of experience as a performer.
  • “I think the first thing to dispel is this myth that they just pick us up off the street,” Michaels clarified. “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.”
  • “We are generally providing an interpretation of what a Westerner is from the point of view of a different culture. For Western viewers, there can be this kind of uncanny valley feeling that comes from that. But as an actor, unless I feel that it’s pointlessly abusive, it’s not my place to challenge a director’s view of my culture. And as a human being, I can learn from it,” Michaels added.
  • Michaels also pointed out that while K-dramas are a welcome alternative to Hollywood, they were made primarily for Korean audiences and they should not become Westernized. He said, “I think we should let them stand on their own.”
Featured Image via Squid Game
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