John D. Michaels and Daniel C. Kennedy play VIP 1 and VIP 2 in “Squid Game.” (Netflix)

John D. Michaels and Daniel C. Kennedy confronted harsh criticism after showing on the Netflix international sensation “Squid Game” as two of the VIPs. They addressed that criticism throughout a latest interview with The Korea Herald.

Critics mentioned the international actors’ performances have been excessive and didn’t match the tone of the collection.

Although they’re conscious of the criticism, Michaels and Kennedy mentioned they might not do it a lot otherwise even when they’d the possibility. They additionally expressed their respect for director Hwang Dong-sik’s choices and intentions.

“As far as I’m aware, I gave the performance the director wanted,” Kennedy mentioned. “That’s one reason why I’m hesitant to be like, ‘Oh, I would do it completely differently.’ He directed us. I got direction. I asked questions about lines and got answers and delivered them. It seemed like it was going all right. So to be like, ‘Oh no, it was all wrong,’ is also, in part, to implicate the director and what he wanted.

“I welcome the opportunity to come back and bring nuance to the role or try making it subtler. But he (the director) may not want that. He may want the caricatures to continue. And if that’s what he wants, then I welcome the opportunity to come back and shove it in everyone’s faces,” he added coolly.

Kennedy defined that his character, VIP 2, was written from the start as a person who doesn’t take issues significantly.

“I learned that my guy was very dumb. I was just like, ‘I’m just going to play it like a dumb frat guy who just is here for fun.’ And none of this is really that big of a deal to him. And it’s just like another party, like a Super Bowl party,” Kennedy mentioned. “At the end, there was a scene we shot that they didn’t use where it was revealed that none of us bet on the winner. So we all lost our bets but we’re all like, ‘Whatever. We lost our bets.’”

Michaels, alternatively, mentioned his character had grow to be much less severe through the capturing.
 

John D. Michaels talks during an interview with The Korea Herald. (The Korea Herald)

John D. Michaels talks throughout an interview with The Korea Herald. (The Korea Herald)

“The actual direction I got was very different from the direction he got,” Michaels mentioned, referring to Kennedy. “The direction I got was that, ‘You are very serious.’ But as we went on, as we were shooting, it became a less straight guy. My character himself kind of gave over to the games, kind of. So he’s just kind of playing along with everything.”

Although respect for the director’s choices is vital, Michaels mentioned, it is usually significant for an actor to be a part of a undertaking and really feel a way of possession. He thought of his response when requested about his finest function thus far.

“(Concerning) what effect it’s had on my life and may have on my life going forward, without a doubt, ‘Squid Game.’ But I did a drama called ‘The Spies Who Loved Me’ on MBC. I worked with Kim Tae-woo,” Michaels mentioned. “And the most rewarding acting experience that I had in Korea was working with him. Also the writer and the directors, the B-team director we worked with especially, she was really open to us rewriting our scenes. We added our own jokes.”

Kennedy talked in regards to the first huge function that he performed, within the JTBC drama “Awl,” as one in every of his most significant initiatives.

“One of my first big jobs here was as a French villain, and I learned a lot from that, both from the business perspective of the behind the scenes, as well as cutting my teeth on set stuff and interacting with other crew members and cast members,” Kennedy mentioned. “But ‘Squid Game’ has opened up a lot of doors for me in the states, and as a result, it’s become more meaningful to me.”

Michaels is from LA and Kennedy is from Oregon, Missouri. Michaels mentioned he used to take pleasure in consuming Korean meals again in LA, whereas Kennedy had by no means tried Korean meals earlier than he landed right here. The two actors additionally had very totally different backstories behind their journeys to South Korea.

Michaels mentioned he had come right here for a short-term job as a videographer.

“The job was canceled,” he mentioned. “Several months later, I ended up in this tiny little apartment, Itaewon, near Gyeongnidan. And there was a restaurant there that opened up early enough for me to go get coffee because I’m an American. I like to do the early morning drinking coffee. I went there and there was a waitress there that I became friends with and then I fell in love with. And now I’m married to.”

Michaels mentioned he began doing voice performing first after which acquired some small performing jobs in Korean dramas and movies from 2015.

“And then it just kind of picked up and snowballed from there,” Michaels added.

Unlike Michael’s romantic story, Kennedy’s story began with heartbreak.

“I always wanted to be a writer and performer. I majored in English and theater in the States. I taught theater debate and writing to Spanish speakers in New Mexico in Taos. Beautiful, amazing town. But it was very lonely there. I had just gotten divorced and was depressed, and my friend was like, ‘You’re teaching foreign language anyways, come out to Korea to teach,’” Kennedy mentioned. 

Daniel C. Kennedy talks during an interview with The Korea Herald. (The Korea Herald)

Daniel C. Kennedy talks throughout an interview with The Korea Herald. (The Korea Herald)

Kennedy labored as an English trainer in Korea for some time however he quickly discovered that the job was not for him.

“I was thinking about leaving Korea and folding my teaching career and that’s when I started doing voice acting, mostly for education. And then through that, I got a major role in the TV show.”

By Song Seung-hyun (ssh@heraldcorp.com)



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