Anupam Tripathi, who has found the road to stardom with Korean global sensation Squid Game, credits his roots in India, and days spent learning theatre in Delhi.
"The love that I am getting after the show is growing every day. It feels great to be part of such a historical thing. At the same time, it (fame) is also new to me," says an elated Tripathi, talking about the web show that has amassed over 111 million fans in less than a month, and adds, "So, I am still observing myself, trying to express myself and enjoy it as much as I can."
His growing Instagram family is a sign of his growing popularity — his followers went from 3,000 to three million in a matter of days.
"The show suddenly became so huge that it was unexpected. We never imagined this kind of response. I still remember the day of the release, till 4 pm, my life was okay, but after 5 pm, everybody started talking about my role, and I saw the love pouring on Instagram," says the actor, who plays the role of a Pakistani immigrant tangled in a twisted, rather deadly, version of childish games in a dystopian reality, which pushed him out of the life of anonymity.
Growing up in Delhi, Tripathi was always inclined towards theatre and music, and he intended to join National School of Drama (NSD). But fate had other plans for him. He won an arts scholarship and joined Korea National University of the Arts, South Korea, in 2010.
"My journey from Delhi to Korea has not been easy, but it was fun. I enjoyed the lows as well as the highs. But I have to say that my roots in India and theatre days in Delhi helped me adjust in this different culture, and understand the language," Tripathi continues, "They have helped me stay grounded and still go after my dreams in a place where my language, culture even the food has changed."
For him, the time spent in India helped him stay hungry. "That's why I started doing freelance work, performing in front of live audiences here, and taking small roles. Through it all, I just kept thinking, let's search for one more job, let's survive for a few more months. So, that base from Delhi is still with me. It is that feeling of enjoying what I was doing in the theatre, even after people dismissed it. That feeling is still with me," says the actor, who is still studying in Korea.
Now, with this new attained fame, the actor, who has also featured in film Ode to My Father and series Descendants of the Sun, harbours a dream of travelling back to India and working in his homeland.
"I would like to perform in India and share my craft through different stories and different characters in my own language. I am getting other offers right now, but I am still waiting for a call from home or Hollywood. I really hope to work in India. I'm looking forward to a beautiful journey as a student actor who travels," he signs off.