Oh shines after decades in the theater, on TV, in the movies


Oh Young-soo plays the oldest Buddhist monk in “A Little Monk”. (Naver)

Since her debut in the classic Korean film “The Seashore Village” in 1965, Oh Young-soo, 77, has played a variety of roles in theatrical projects, drama series and films, eventually winning the award for Best Supporting Actor. 97th Golden Globe Awards for his role as Oh Il-nam in “Squid Game”. He is the first Korean actor to win a Golden Globe.

“After hearing the news, I thought, ‘you’re a good guy’ for the first time in my life,” the actor said via Netflix on Monday. “I thank everyone across the world and hope everyone has a great life.”

Oh Young-soo wins Best Supporting Television Actor at the 79th Golden Globe Awards on Sunday in Los Angeles. (Hollywood Foreign Press Association)

Although his career spans decades, he’s not exactly a household name, as he has blossomed more on stage. In TV series and movies, he has mostly been relegated to minor supporting roles.

A graduate of the Drama Division of Seoul Dongguk University, Oh began his acting career in the Gwangjang Theater Company in 1963.

After making her screen debut in “The Seashore Village” and her stage debut with “Daytime Walk in the Park” three years later, Oh continued to play minor roles and eventually found her niche in roles. support in many movies and TV series.

After playing his first leading role in the theatrical production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” as Stanley Kowalski in 1971, he continued to perform actively in the theater, notably “Faust”, “Richard III” and “Crime on Goat Island “.

The actor continued his career mainly as a theater actor after joining the Korea National Theater Company and won the Baeksang Arts Award in 1994 and the Best Actor Award from the Korea National Theater Association. in 2000.

Oh spent most of his 40s to 60s in the State Theater Company from 1987 to 2010.

Make a name for yourself as a Buddhist monk specialist

While performing in the theater, Oh played minor film roles in “Getting on the Elevator” (1986) and “The Soul Guardians” (1998).

His film career took off after starring in “A Little Monk” (2003), taking the role of the eldest among three Buddhist monks in a quiet temple.

Oh grabbed public attention with his critically acclaimed performance as yet another old Buddhist monk in director Kim Ki-duk’s “Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter… and Spring” (2003), in which the life of a Buddhist monk is presented as he passes through the four seasons.

The actor made his small screen debut with the MBC drama “Moon River” (2009) and continued to star in “The Great Queen Seondeok” (2009), which topped ratings among all television dramas. released in 2009.

Despite his active performances in numerous theater projects, Oh was considered a specialist in Buddhist monks, as viewers came to regard him as irreplaceable when it came to the role.

A screenshot shows Oh Young-soo as a monk in “The Great Queen Seondeok”. (MBC)

The actor went on to appear in drama series as a monk in MBC’s “Warrior K” and in the KBS special drama “Gate of Non-Duality,” both of which aired in 2012. Oh even appeared as monk in a television commercial for the country’s leading telecommunications operator. SK Telecom in 2015.

Then came the role of Oh Il-nam, a seemingly ordinary old man who wanted to have fun playing games in the global sensation “Squid Game”.

Life since “Squid Game”

In his first on-screen appearance as a long-time non-monk character, Oh shocked the world as a “Squid Game” “Old Man” or “Player 1” scene thief.

After the release of “Squid Game”, several scenes featuring Oh and the lines he spoke went viral on social media and online communities, especially those revolving around “gganbu”, referencing a very reliable gaming friend.

The gganbu sensation prompted fans to speculate on a possible advertisement featuring their beloved Korean grandfather Oh for Kkanbu Chicken, a local brand of fried chicken.

In fact, Oh declined an offer to be the model for the brand, believing the publicity could detract from the meaning of “Squid Game”.

Having achieved mega fame, the actor is now a much sought after celebrity. He appeared on MBC’s popular variety show “Hangout With Yoo” and threw the ceremonial first pitch for the first game of the Korean Series, the Korean Baseball Organization’s Championship Series.

Oh Young-soo stars on the MBC variety show “Hangout With Yoo”. (MBC)

The actor also returned to the stage.

Oh plays the role of the titular psychologist in “Freud’s Last Session”, which opened at the TOM Theater in Daehangno on Friday.

Oh Young-soo is playing the role of Oh Il-nam in “Squid Game”. (Netflix)

With appearances in more than 200 projects over his decades of career, Oh capped his contributions to theater, television and film with his victory at this year’s Golden Globes.

By Lee Si-jin ([email protected])


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