Lee Byung Hun, the Frontman in the current mega-hit Squid Game, opened up about facing racial discrimination in Hollywood in a 2015 interview that has resurfaced. He made his Western debut in 2009 and revealed the back-story of his life during that time.
He revealed some actors wouldn’t even look him in the eye and only shake hands after filming. After multiple events inside and outside the filming sets, he “got used” to the discrimination.
Squid Game’s Lee Byung Hun discusses facing racial discrimination in Hollywood
The 45-year-old Lee Byung Hun is one of the superstar veterans in the Korean entertainment industry. While he was a star in Korea, his acting in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Red 2, and Terminator Genisys made him a superstar loved by many across the globe. He later starred in Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven (2016).
Despite working in some of the classics, Squid Game's Lee Byung Hun revealed he had been subjected to discrimination. The incidents were to the point that he would want to cry out of anger.
“I can't tell you who they are, but there are actors who don't even make eye contact...I tried to shake hands a few times, but they ignored it and they passed.” -Lee Byung Hun to Dailian in 2015.
It seemed to him that there was a fourth-dimensional wall in Hollywood he couldn’t break or cross, even after being in the industry since 2009.
Even when he had been a superstar in Asia, he was no more than “just another actor who doesn’t couldn’t speak English” in Hollywood.
He even revealed that people would often mistake him for another Asian actor. A part-time student even said, “All Asians look the same,” when they mistook him for another star.
Among the many people who wouldn’t even greet him properly, not everyone behaved that way. The award-winning filmmaker and actor Al Pacino ate together multiple times and even revealed moments in The Godfather that no one else in public knows about.
During his speech at the 15th Asian Film Awards, the Squid Game actor mentioned that everyone around him was talking about the show in the United States. He even said that all filmmakers and storytellers in Asia can now feel proud of themselves, with the Asian Film Excellence Award trophy in hand.
In other news, Squid Game is now officially the biggest Netflix drama ever, overthrowing Bridgerton's 86 million viewers with its 111 million.