Squid Game’s 11 richest cast members – net worths, ranked: from HoYeon Jung’s lucrative Adidas campaign, to Park Hae-soo’s new Money Heist Korea role and Gong Yoo’s Jeju villa
The nine-episode plot follows hundreds of debt-ridden players who participate in children’s games in the race for a cash prize – but with fatal consequences for the losers. It centres around eight main characters, highlighting the struggles they’ve faced in their lives and why they choose to continue playing in the dangerous competition.
But whether you’ve watched it or not, Squid Game has well and truly entered the global consciousness, from talking about the twists and turns of each episode around the water cooler, to seeing those red-hooded overalls that were all the rage for Halloween last year.
So it’s not too surprising – given the US$1 billion profit the show reportedly made for Netflix – that the series confirmed a second season in June, predicted to air in late 2023.
But that’s not all. A reality TV production, Squid Game: The Challenge, has even been greenlit, with a US$4.56 million cash prize – the largest cash prize for a reality series in television history. While it won’t literally be a case of life and death, it will be a “massive competition and social experiment”, said Brandon Riegg, Netflix vice-president of unscripted and documentary series. Audiences can expect the 456 real-world contestants undergo an “unpredictable journey”, Riegg added. Recruitment is currently open – if you dare.
As we wait for these two hotly anticipated TV events to hit our screens, we take another look at the stars who rose to stardom on the show – and how their riches have grown since. Let the net worth games begin!
11. Park Hae-soo – US$1.5 million
The 40-year-old actor is known for his role as Cho Sang-woo in Squid Game, but has also starred in many K-drama television series like Six Flying Dragons, Prison Playbook and Memories of the Alhambra. He’s also appeared in Money Heist: Korea. He’s managed to accumulate about US$1.5 million for his various appearances in recent years, surmises All Famous Birthdays.
10. Heo Sung-tae – US$2 million
9. Kim Joo-ryung – US$2 million
Player 212 in the show, 45-year-old Kim Joo-ryung has worked on a handful of films since her debut in Memories of Murder in 2003, but made most of her money through her prolific TV career. She is believed to have a net worth of around US$2 million, according to Celebs Revealed.
8. Anupam Tripathi – US$3 million
Though he’s starred in several Korean films and TV shows, Tripathi gained worldwide fame for his role in the hit show. Hailing from New Delhi, the 33-year-old actor is fluent in Korean and showed off his acting chops as one of the main leads in the series. He’s now reportedly thought to be worth around US$3 million.
7. Wi Ha-joon – US$3 million
6. O Yeong-su – US$3-4 million
Candidate 001 in the show is not only the oldest in the games, but also on this cast list. At 77 years old, O started out as a theatre actor in Korea in 1967, and found success on television later in life, curiously often playing the role of a monk in shows such as The Great Queen Seondeok, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter … And Spring and A Little Monk.
5. Lee Yoo-mi – US$4 million
4. HoYeon Jung – US$4 million
3. Gong Yoo – US$7 million
Making his acting debut back in 2003, Gong rose to fame thanks to roles in Train to Busan, Coffee Prince, Silenced, and of course, as the sinister salesman inviting Seong Gi-hun to join the deadly competition in Squid Game. K-drama Stars reported that his net worth currently sits somewhere around US$7 million, with the star splashing his cash on furniture, cars and food, according to Soompi. He also signed an endorsement deal with car brand Kia. He’s said he likes tanning, according to the same source, and also owns a gorgeous Jeju island holiday home. He even has his own theatre house in Hong Kong.
2. Lee Jung-jae – US$12 million
1. Lee Byung-hun – US$20 million
- With a second season of the hit Netflix K-drama confirmed, and Lee Byung-hun and Lee Jung-jae set to reprise their roles, could the stars add yet more millions to their wallets?
- Since the show aired, Lee Yoo-mi was cast in Netflix’s All of Us Are Dead – oh, and reality TV show, Squid Game: The Challenge, is in the works too