‘Squid Game’ star O Yeong-su becomes first Korean actor to win a Golden Globe

Warning: this article contains spoilers for Squid Game.

Squid Game actor O Yeong-su has become the first Korean actor in history to win a Golden Globe.

The 77-year old actor played the now-iconic Oh Il-nam, or Player 001, in the hit Netflix survival drama show.

Be warned, from here on out, this article will contain spoilers for Squid Game.

O beat out other heavy hitters in the Best Supporting Actor in Television category Sunday, including Billy Crudup and Mark Duplass for their respective roles on The Morning Show, Kieran Culkin for Succession, and Brett Goldstein for Ted Lasso.

Rather than a publicly broadcasted event this year, the Golden Globes resorted to having a stripped-back, private ceremony that wasn’t even so much as live-streamed, but updates on the Golden Globes official Twitter about who won in each category were tweeted throughout the night as they were announced. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic was certainly a factor, however a continuing controversy over the lack of diversity among Hollywood Foreign Press Association membership, and the ethics behind who financially benefits from the awards show, is at the root of the overhaul.

O’s performance as the seemingly sweet elderly man dying of cancer in a macabre life-or-death contest in Squid Game took audiences by surprise with the twist ending that the character was, in fact, the mastermind behind the competition that saw 456 financially destitute people compete for a life-changing sum of $38 million for winning in a series of children’s games. The character of Oh Il-nam turned out to be reveling in the life or death contest after leading a very wealthy lifestyle rendered his day-to-day existence somewhat meaningless, it’s revealed at the end of the show.

In South Korea, O is considered to be one of the great stage actors of that country, having begun acting in plays in 1963, according to the Golden Globes’ website. Appearing in over 200 stage productions and movies and television, he won the Dong-A Theatre Award in 1979, the Baeksang Arts Award in 1994, and the National Theatre Association of Korea award for Best Actor in 2000.