Updated: Nov 2
Birthday: November 2, 1988
The name Tripathi stands out among Hallyu’s Lees, Parks, and Kims for all the right reasons. Born in New Delhi, India in 1988, Anupam Tripathi probably could not have imagined landing a role in one of the biggest k-drama hits of all time---Squid Game.
Photo from PAKShowbiz.com
Tripathi began singing and acting in his native India in 2006. But like stereotypical Asian families, his parents didn’t really think he was serious about acting. He surprised them by working hard and earning the Arts Major Asian scholarship to study in Korea National University of the Arts. He began his studies in 2010.
It took him two years to learn the Korean language, his third. He is also fluent in Hindi and English. Once he had mastered the language, he started performing in plays and commercials.
One would think that the roles for South Asian actors are few in Hallyu, but Tripathi has not let that deter him. Taking on cameo roles in Let's Eat 2 (2015), Descendants of the Sun (2016), Arthdal Chronicles (2019), Hospital Playlist (2020), and Taxi Driver (2021), he finally won the role of Abdul Ali in Hwang Dong-hyuk’s Squid Game.
Things hadn’t always been rosy, however. He has been very open about his homesickness and wanting to go home after his first three months in a foreign country.
It’s a good thing he pursued his passion with grit and determination much like his character in Squid Game. His role as a naïve, humble, and honorable migrant worker from Pakistan trying to feed his young family catapulted him into fame. It also introduced the world to the possibility that people of non-Korean ethnicity might actually have a place in Hallyu!
Having spent more than a decade in South Korea, Tripathi is till finishing his graduate studies and continues to appear in k-dramas and films.