'Squid Game' VIP actor says mockery of their acting skills has been 'a challenge'

·3 min read
Squid Game
Geoffrey Giuliano in "Squid Game" as VIP four. Netflix
  • The actors who played VIPs in "Squid Game" spoke to The Guardian about their panned performances.

  • One of three, Daniel C Kennedy, said he was "gutted" by the comments.

  • John D Michaels said their characters were a foreign country's point of view of "westerners."

The actors who portrayed the VIPs in the hit Netflix show "Squid Game" have responded to widespread criticism of their performances in the show in an interview with The Guardian.

"Squid Game" follows a group of desperate contestants who compete in deadly children's games in order to win huge sums of money. Towards the end of the series, we meet the VIPs, a group of rich people who finance the death games. In an interview with IndieWire, Hwang Dong-hyuk, the creator and director of "Squid Game" compared the VIPs to Donald Trump.

Whilst fans launched the show to one of the most-watched series for Netflix ever, several criticized the odd tone and stilted dialogue in the VIPs' scenes.

Daniel C Kennedy, one of the VIP actors said he was "gutted" to read the comments when speaking to The Guardian.

"I suffer from extreme clinical depression, so it's been a bit of a challenge," he told The Guardian via email. "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."

Meanwhile, his VIP co-stars Geoffrey Giuliano and John D Michaels defended their portrayal.

"I ain't complaining, baby!" Giuliano, who played the VIP who was unmasked during the show, said. "I'm in the hottest show in the world. I got fan mail... There have also been some sexual invitations, from males and females."

Squid Game
The VIPs in "Squid Game." Netflix

Michaels, who played VIP two, highlighted a series of problems that could have led to the weird tone including the dialogue being translated into English unnaturally from Korean, and the actors not being given the context of what the rest of the show is like.

Michaels said this problem was worse in Squid Game because of their "very heavy plaster masks" and distance between the actors so they had to yell their lines, which "added to the weird tonality of the delivery." Michaels and Giuliano also said that non-English editors may use imperfect takes because they do not notice the tone being off.

"Perfect example," Giuliano added. "My first line in Squid Game, you see me say: 'Listen, I'll give anybody some slack.' That's not what people say. They say 'I'll cut anybody some slack'."

In all subsequent takes, Giuliano made sure to say "cut some slack." But in the final version, they went with the "give."

Korean fans have previously pointed out that the language gap has led to important details in the show being missed out on.

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