Squid Game’s VIP stars issue blistering response to backlash ‘Ain’t complaining!’

Squid Game official trailer from Netflix

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Writer and director Hwang Dong-hyuk’s masterpiece has become Netflix’s biggest show ever over the last month since its release. Unfortunately, not every aspect of Squid Game has lived up to the hype, and the show’s English-speaking stars have been forced to issue a scalding statement in response to the backlash. 

Supporting stars Geoffrey Giuliano, Daniel C Kennedy and John D Michaels have defended their performances as the VIPs in the final two episodes of Squid Game. 

The English-speaking special guests liaise with the games’ sinister Front Man (played by Lee Byung-hun) for the last two rounds.

Although their role in the series was integral in developing the seedy underbelly at the centre of Squid Game, the VIPs’ stilted dialogue stood out for non-Korean audiences. 

A number of viewers have even branded their scenes as a low point for the series, which has otherwise been critically lauded.

The actors have now spoken out against the backlash and offered some explanation as to why their sequences might feel out of place. 

Giuliano, known as VIP number four, has been unfazed by the comments, as he told the Guardian: “I ain’t complaining, baby!

“I’m in the hottest show in the world. I got fanmail. 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 even claimed: “There have also been some sexual invitations, from males and females.”

VIP number two, Michaels, gave a more measured response and tried to clear up some misconceptions about English-speakers in Korean dramas.

“I think the first thing to dispel is this myth that they just pick us up off the street,” he maintained.

“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.”

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“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.”

While series creator Hwang also wrote and directed all nine episodes of the series, the English dialogue had to be translated from Korean before filming. 

Plus, the series’ editors would have been focusing more the majority of scenes in their native Korean, and may not have picked up on some of the subtle changes the actors made to ensure their English lines were more authentic. 

As an example, Giuliano recalled: “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’.”

The actor made sure to say ‘cut’ in all his subsequent takes, but this subtle distinction was missed in the editing room. 

Kennedy, meanwhile, admitted he was initially “gutted” by the reaction, but has since accepted the comments as feedback he can use to improve for his next role. 

Nevertheless, Squid Game has certainly made stars of the entire cast and fans shouldn’t be surprised if the VIPs start to pop up elsewhere. 

Squid Game is available to stream on Netflix.


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