Netflix backed Korean series Squid Game is trending all over social media for it’s whacky concept of ‘gambling on life’. It has become one of the most watched series and is climbing up on the popularity charts as more and more watch and recommend it. It follows a group of people who are staking their lives for children’s games and the one winner will end up taking home millions in cash prize.
Meanwhile, an Indian face, goes by the character name Ali Abdul or Player Number 199, has caught the fancy of the audiences here. Anupam Tripathi is gathering worldwide recognition after his role in Squid Game. He plays a Pakistani immigrant who ends up being a part of game forced by circumstance. Not just his nuanced performance, the characterisation of Ali has led Anupam receiving lots of love on social media. He currently has 2.5 million followers and more on Instagram and seems like his popularity has been catapulted by the virtue of this whacky project.
“The show (Squid Game) premiered on Sept 17. “I still remember, September 17, 2021, 4 pm, my life was OK, but after 5 pm, it became huge, humongous — suddenly everyone was messaging me and it was ‘Ali,’ ‘Ali’,” Anupam told Variety.
Who is Anupam Tripathi?
Anupam is Delhi born boy who moved to South Korea to pursue higher education in 2010. He has been residing in the country ever since and working in stage productions, TV series and movies. In fact, Anupam also had a small role in Ode To My Father (2014), which was remade in Hindi as Bharat (2019) with Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif.
Anupam grew up primarily interested in music until he chanced upon a stage production of Spartacus. He played a slave in the production and eventually joined the Delhi-based Behroop theatre group, where he was from 2006 through 2010. There, he was mentored by the late playwright Shahid Anwar.
He wanted to apply in the National School of Drama but in a change of plans, he got admitted to Korea National University of the Arts in an acting course on a scholarship. he learnt Korean in a span of two years. After his graduation, Anupam featured in Ode To My Father, hit series Descendants of The Sun and movie Space Sweepers. Post this, he applied for a master’s degree in acting at his alma mater and won another scholarship.
Anupam told Variety that he is looking at doing more work in South Korea including in different dialects of the language. He is also fluent in English and Hindi. “I’ve done theater only in India, but I want to see and explore how I will do in my own language. I would love to express myself there. That is my ultimate dream – to perform in front of my own home and own audience,” Anupam shared.
Anupam, belonging to India, often croons and dances to Hindi songs when he misses home. Some interesting videos shared on social media are proof. He also plays the guitar.
In order get into the skin of his Squid Game character Ali, Anupam said he watched BBC documentaries, YouTube videos about Pakistani migrants and spending time with Pakistani friends in South Korea to learn the nuances of Urdu-language diction.