Though it was only recently dethroned at the top of Netflix’s Top 10 by the legitimately wild third season of You, Squid Game has hardly lost its cultural cache. The ensemble of both charming and loathsome characters, in particular, has helped the show stick, and as viewers do their own digging into the actors (and learn that they’re pretty much all extremely good looking in real life), they’ll find a gold mine of other South Korean TV shows and movies starring their new favorites. After you’ve made ppopgi and had your fill of scrolling through all the TikTok memes, check out these other titles that feature the Squid Game actors-especially since most of them won’t be back if Season 2 happens.
Lee Jung-jae (aka Gi-hun) in The Housemaid (2010)
One of the many revelations of Squid Game was when the fans all collectively realized that Lee Jung-jae, who plays frumpy-haired everyman Gi-hun, is, in reality, very hot. The model-turned-actor starred in a very sexy, very Messed Up erotic thriller that came out in 2010 titled The Housemaid, in which Lee plays Hoon, the rich husband of a rich, lonely wife who hires an au pair to babysit their young child. Behind his wife’s back, Hoon and the au pair enter into an affair, which snowballs into various bizarre psychosexual situations involving coerced abortions, baby stealing, and threatening to whack people in their head with a golf club, so it’s no surprise that the film made Time’s 2014 list of the Top 12 Female Revenge Movies. –Emma Stefansky
Park Hae-soo (aka Sang-woo) in Time to Hunt (2020)
Park Hae-soo plays the heel that deserves to be fed a bowl of nails in Squid Game, but he’s no stranger to playing villains. The actor was most recently seen in another high-stakes Korean class drama, Netflix’s dystopian heist movie Time to Hunt, which made our list of the Most Underrated Movies of 2020. In Time to Hunt, Park plays Han, a ruthless contract killer who moves like the T-1000 and shoots like a henchman in a Michael Mann movie, who is hired to hunt down a group of poor friends who rob the wrong gambling house. Come for the dystopian vision of Korea’s future, stay for a tense back alley shootout that genuinely lasts for about 10 minutes. –ES
Wi Ha-joon (aka Jun-ho) in Romance Is a Bonus Book (2019)
The demise of hot cop Jun-ho at the hands of his brother, whose disappearance brought Jun-ho to the Squid Game island in the first place, before he could send out the evidence he collected on the organization behind it all was a terrible tragedy. Luckily, you can watch actor Wi Ha-joon in a number of Korean movies and TV shows-and the guy’s got range, starring in thrillers and romance K-dramas. To see his heartthrob softboy side, watch Romance Is a Bonus Book-one of our favorite K-dramas on Netflix-where he plays one of the main supporting characters as Seo-joon, a freelance book designer who catches feelings for one of the romantic leads. –Leanne Butkovic
Jung Hoyeon (aka Sae-byeok) in various music videos
Unfortunately, Jung Hoyeon, who plays the number one character in our hearts, hardass pickpocketer and North Korean defector Kang Sae-byeok, doesn’t have a ton of credits to her name just yet, having transitioned from modeling-she won Korea’s Next Top Model-to acting in just 2016. So for now, you’ll have to scroll through her posts on Instagram, or watch a handful of music videos by Korean artists-the legendary idol Lee Hyori’s “Going Crazy,” boy band 100%’s “Beat,” crooner Kim Yeon-woo’s “Move,” and rock act Hot Potato’s “Taste of Acid”-or the highlight reel of Pharrell’s CHANEL collection. –LB
Gong Yoo (aka The Salesman) in Train to Busan (2016)
Gong Yoo doesn’t have a ton of screen time in Squid Game, though he leaves his mark nonetheless-and if you caught yourself wishing you could see more of him, we have good news for you. Gong Yoo leads the cast of Korean zombie train horror-thriller Train to Busan, which, if you haven’t seen already, you need to seek out immediately. When a zombie outbreak begins to spread across South Korea, the passengers of a bullet train from Seoul to Busan find themselves trapped on a speeding vehicle with an ever-increasing number of zombies aboard. The premise is so good you’ll wonder why no one had done anything like this before. –ES
Anupam Tripathi (aka Ali) in Space Sweepers (2021)
Squid Game‘s breakout sweetie Anupam Tripathi hasn’t played a lot of core characters until this show, though he’s shown up in a number of South Korean films and TV shows since 2014. He plays a bit part in Netflix’s fantastic Space Sweepers, a sci-fi adventure movie-notably the first Korean space blockbuster-about a crew of “space sweepers,” outer space garbage collectors, who make money by collecting pieces of debris floating around Earth’s orbit while the rich live in a fabulous space station with clean air and water and fresh food every day of their lives. It’s an overt class commentary, but the obviousness of its themes is outdone by the fantastic action sequences and genuinely affecting story. –ES
Oh Yeong-su (aka Il-nam) in Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring (2003)
Maybe after learning that the ill old man Il-nam was actually the guy who came up with the idea of putting a bunch of desperate people in impossible situations you’d like to never see his sorry face again. C’mon, though, it’s just acting, folks! You’d be remiss to sleep on the ruminative and profound Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring, considered one of the canonical greats of South Korean filmmaking. In it, Oh plays a Buddhist monk-an opportunity to ameliorate the sociopathic association of the actor after watching Squid Game. –LB
Heo Sung-tae (aka Deok-su) in Beyond Evil (2021)
If you thought Heo Sung-tae was great as the slimy Deok-su (which he was, even though Deok-su is a universally hated character), Netflix has another series in its lineup with Heo as an equally amoral jerk: Beyond Evil. The series itself is a small-town murder mystery/police procedural that outpaces similar shows in its sheer number of twists and characters wrapped up in the plot’s whodunits. In the ensemble cast, Heo plays Lee Chang-jin, a detestable real estate developer whose entire being screams that he absolutely has something to do with the goings-on of the town, even if you don’t know what it is at the outset. –LB
Kim Joo-Ryung (aka Mi-young) in Memories of Murder (2003)
Kim Joo-Ryung, who plays actual psycho Mi-young in Squid Game, is another actor who’s shown up in a lot of things before breaking out in this series. She had a bit role in Memories of Murder, Bong Joon ho‘s crime opus loosely based on the first recorded serial killings in South Korea from 1986-1991, and follows two detectives haunted by a case they never solved, showing their botched methods and confused techniques as they fight against the notion that they are completely in over their heads. –ES
Lee Byung-hun (aka The Front Man) in I Saw the Devil (2010)
When the mysterious Front Man finally removed his black mask, outing himself as Jun-ho’s missing brother, you might have thought, “Hey, that guy looks pretty familiar!” If you’ve seen Terminator Genisys or either of the G.I. Joe movies Rise of the Cobra and Retaliation, that’s probably why. However, we’re recommending a South Korean movie to see more of Lee Byung-hun, 2010’s terrifying and violent movie I Saw the Devil, where he gets a ton of face time as a secret agent trying to track down a brutal serial killer. –LBWant more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.
Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.
What is special about the year of the Rabbit?
As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.
What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?
There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.
New South Wales
Darling Harbour Fireworks When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.
Dragon Boat Races When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.
Lion Dances When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.
Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.
Auntie Philter When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.
Lunar New Year Festival When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.
BriAsia Festival When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.
Chinatown Adelaide Street Party When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.
Crown Perth When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.