‘Squid Game’ actor started out on the Tampa stages

TAMPA – Geoffrey Giuliano has a self-deprecating assessment of his acting career.

Around this time last year, “the Hollywood establishment was aware of my work,” said the 68-year-old via Skype from his 20-year-old home country Thailand. “The public, not so much.”

Giuliano now laughed: “25 percent of the planet saw my bottom.”

Well, something like that.

Because of the creative editing, viewers know he was naked without seeing too much skin.

And while it’s unclear whether a quarter of the world’s population has seen the scene, it’s part of the most popular series in Netflix history.

Giuliano plays as VIP 4 in Squid game, the South Korean series that had more than 1.65 billion viewer hours according to Netflix.

In Squid game, the VIPs sponsor a competition in which the less fortunate compete against each other for cash prizes in deadly versions of children’s games. VIP 4 could be the most immoral of this immoral group.

Decades before he was cast as an antagonist on the series, Giuliano was on stage in Tampa.

“I learned all about acting in Tampa,” he said. “My heart is forever invested in Tampa.”

Giuliano was born in New York and moved to Tampa with his parents when he was 12. He graduated from Madison Middle School, Plant High School, and Hillsborough Community College.

“When I was 15 I leaned against my bedroom wall and thought to myself, ‘I’m going to visit as many foreign countries as possible. Hopefully there will be a few books on the shelf, and if I’m lucky, maybe a few movies, ‘”he said. “I remember it very well. All of these things have proven their worth. “

Geoffrey Giuliano (left) appeared in a 1967 Tampa production of “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”. [ Times (1967) ]

He began his career as a teenager with the Tampa Community Theater, a company that has since been disbanded.

Giuliano “immediately added charm and humor as a young collector” to the performance of Tram called Desiresays he Tampa Grandstand Retrospect 1968.

As Lord Macbeth in the lead role, he created “some very strong dramatic moments” and a “fairly strong” character, it says in the Grandstand Review of Macbeth 1975.

Giuliano, son of a plumber, said his family invested everything in him.

Other mothers watched rehearsals, he said, but his never did.

“She had holes in her shoes and didn’t mean to embarrass me,” he said.

Still, those who knew Giuliano at the time said he acted like a star.

“He was someone who owned every room he walked in,” said Brian Justo, who has appeared on HCC productions with Giuliano and who now owns Bay Stage Lighting. “He wanted to be an actor and was determined to be successful.”

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Marvin Kirschman, a retired HCC theater professor, added, “He was a dynamic character who gave a lot of energy to every play. He could do anything on stage. “

Related: Tampa teenage star in a Disney Christmas movie

Giuliano moved to New York in the late 1970s, and acting became his secondary creative outlet in the 1980s.

Instead, he focused on writing and specialized in history books about the Beatles. He has published 20 such books, including John Lennon, my brother, co-authored by the singer’s sister and The Beatles: A Celebration, both of which describe news archives as international bestsellers.

Giuliano said he lived in England, Canada, Japan, Cambodia, India and Laos. He settled in Thailand where he raises his 14 year old son.

“I refuse to buy a house based on the fact that it will anchor me in a certain area,” he said. “I enjoy traveling to ever more exotic places.”

He broke into the film industry in 2005. Previous roles included Captain Li in, according to IMDB.com Mysterious island with Patrick Stewart and The Scorpion King 3both filmed in Thailand.

“My acting career is like making a movie, I’ve done 28 so far,” including Squid game“And it’s just good enough to get me into another movie,” said Giuliano.

Early 2020, Squid game The producers cast Giuliano based on his performance as Hong Kong boss in the South Korean zombie film peninsula. They wanted an American actor who had previously worked in South Korea where Squid game got shot, he said.

Related: St. Petersburg teen star in “The Kid Who Only Hit Homers,” based on a popular book

He almost missed the big break.

Giuliano and his son went on a two week trip to India in March 2020. Meanwhile, international flights have been canceled to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“I brought $ 2,000,” he said. “I didn’t bring any credit cards because I was only on the road for two weeks. We couldn’t walk for months. We had to eat and live as beggars. “

Their plight has been followed by the media in India and Thailand.

“Actor Geoffrey Giuliano is stranded in India and needs help,” read a headline from May 2020 on the Republic of the world Website based in India.

“US actor and Thai son fight to survive the virus ordeal in India while waiting to fly home to life in Thailand,” read a headline on the Thai examiner Website, also from May 2020.

You boarded a humanitarian flight in October 2020.

“When we got home, my son tried to take off his jeans,” said Giuliano. “They fell apart.”

Two months later he traveled again, this time to South Korea to film Squid game.

“Little did I know it was going to be what it was,” he said. “Nobody had any idea that something like this was going to happen.”

But he does have an opinion on why the series was a hit.

“We live in a dystopian world, a 1984 Orwellian drama where there’s something out there that we could die if we breathe it in, ”said Giuliano. “There is global warming … there is a movement towards authoritarian politics … and if there wasn’t COVID, there wouldn’t be Octopus. By a kind of reflective psychological-traumatic way of thinking we are now tied up to see this thing almost like a car accident. “

What’s next, Giuliano has an audiobook called. written and commented Surviving Squid Game, I’m Vip4. It will be released on December 10th.

And he hopes this fame will lead to more films and series.

“I was asked to do an eternal, eternal non-stop comic strip contour around the planet, which I visit in January,” he said. “There are fan clubs for VIP 4 … So this is all happening around me. What didn’t happen? I have not been offered any roles in any film. But of course they will. “

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