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Looking out for 001: ‘Squid Game”s oldest star grappling with newfound fame

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Netflix/Noh Juhan

Squid Game has become a pop culture phenomenon, with huge — and unexpected — ratings for Netflix, and even a spoof last week on SNL. Its surprise success has also led to surprise stardom for its oldest cast member. 

Seventy-seven-year-old Oh Young Soo plays Player 001 in the series, and his affecting performance as the terminally ill, dementia-addled man has his phone ringing off the hook with new acting offers. 

According to the pop culture site Soompi, the actor told the Korean show How Do You Play, “So many people have been contacting me, and because I don’t have a manager to help me, it’s hard for me to handle the volume of calls and messages I’ve been receiving. So my daughter has been helping me.”

“I feel like I’m floating on air,” the actor admitted. “It makes me think, ‘I need to calm down, organize my thoughts, and hold myself back right now.'”

The actor, who was interviewed by the show’s host Yoo Jae Suk and Mijoo from the K-Pop group Lovelyz, explained, “Things have changed quite a bit. Even when I go out to a cafe or somewhere like that, I now have to be aware of [how I appear to others]. It’s made me think, ‘Being famous is tough, too.'”

Young Soo reflected, “I don’t have any grand ambitions,” adding, “Big or small, I’ve received a lot of things while living my life. Now, I want to leave behind those things that I’ve received.”

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