Filipino Actor Christian Lagahit Originally Auditioned For The Role Of Ali In “Squid Game”—Here’s Everything That Happened

You may recognize him as Player 276.

Filipino actor Christian Lagahit is best known for his role as Player 276 in Netflix‘s Squid Game. In an interview with Asian Boss, he revealed how he landed a spot in the hit show.

Christian Lagahit also known as Chris Chan | @chrisyan8/Instagram

Chris already had connections to industry workers thanks to his previous acting experience. He’s been acting in Korean shows and films since 2016, and one such contact offered him an audition. Apparently, he was initially interested in the role of Ali, a Pakistani immigrant who joined the competition to earn money for his wife and young child.

I believe they are all familiar with the character of Ali. In 2019, I got a call from a manager who said, ‘Hey, there’s a production who’s interested [in giving] you a script and they [want you to] audition for a character.’ And without hesitation, I just said, ‘Okay, yeah. I’m more than okay with that. So where’s the script?’ She sent me the script, I had a look at [it], tried it, checked it for two days, and I practiced and I went for the audition. After the audition, it took them a month and then they said, ‘Okay, just prepare for next year because you guys might start shooting next year.’

— Chris Lagahit

Chris and his friend Anupam Tripathi who ended up being Ali in Squid Game@chrisyan8/Instagram

Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. As Ali has many lines in Squid Game, the staff was looking for someone who was more fluent in Korean.

On the second attempt of doing the audition for the character of Ali, they said, ‘Your acting is good, it’s just that [we are] worried about your Korean proficiency.’

— Chris Lagahit

He put the experience at the back of his mind—until he received a phone call a few months later letting him know that the crew wanted him in the show: “Mid of 2020 or June, another management just tapped me and said, ‘Hey Chris, you know Squid Game? Their production is actually looking for you.'” They offered him a “special appearance” which they did not elaborate on until the start of filming.

Chris: They refused me. They actually rejected me.

Manager: No, they’re actually looking for you.

Chris: Really? To play the character of Ali, right?

Manager: No, no, it’s a different one.

Chris found out that he was given the role of Player 276 on the first day of filming. Though Chris himself is Filipino, Player 276 was a Pakistani immigrant whose background was that he owed debt back home. He travelled to South Korea to look for better opportunities but was dealt a bad hand as an illegal immigrant.

Chris may not have had speaking lines, but at least he was able to remain on set for much longer than he had anticipated.

When I got on set, they gave me that t-shirt number 276 [without letting me know] what I was supposed to do with [it]. Things just happened so fast when on my third day, they said, ‘Oh Chris, I’m so sorry, you can’t leave now because you will be having another shoot on this day.’ So my character 276 lasted for 19 days.

— Chris Lagahit

Chris on the first day on the set of Squid Game | @chrisyan8/Instagram

Those 19 days were spread out into five months due to the rising cases of COVID-19: “We were filming in the middle of a pandemic so there were times when we had to postpone the filming because the cases were going up.”

Though Chris did not end up with the first role he tried out for, he was very satisfied with how things turned out.

It was such an amazing and great journey even if it lasted five months. Imagine, a small character was there in that series for five months.

— Chris Lagahit

| Asian Boss/YouTube

To learn more about Chris’ experience as a background actor, check out the article below.

What It’s Really Like Being A Background Actor In South Korea, According To Filipino “Squid Game” Actor Christian Lagahit


Source: YouTube