The most popular television series in the world right now is Netflix’s Squid Game. The South Korean] survival drama has become Netflix’s most streamed original series since its premier in September. The English dub for Squid Game features voice-over actor Reagan To, who mixes child- like innocence with ruthless brutality.
When did you first discover that you were passionate about acting?
I’ve always enjoyed acting since I was very little. I started attending acting classes at the age of 4, but my passion for it didn’t really come until I was 5 years old when I got really sick. I had a lung infection and went to the ICU. The doctor at the time told my mom that I might not survive. While I was in the hospital battling my illness, my mom asked me what my dream would be if I was able to recover. I told her that I wanted to become an actress one day and make movies to entertain everyone, especially kids who are sick and in need of encouragement and inspiration.
Did you have any idea how popular Squid Game would become when you were first cast?
Like many of the projects I was involved with, the production team kept most of the details of the show confidential. I had no idea what the show was about at that time. I didn’t know it was Squid Game until my dad and mom were watching the show and recognized my voice. My mom was so excited that we screamed together for over a minute!
It’s been Netflix’s most watched series of all time, and many people are watching it in English and hearing your voice. How do you feel about that?
It’s a great honor to be a part of the most-watched series of all time on Netflix. Being the “voice” of the doll was an amazing experience, especially since I can find it across all social media and even on Saturday Night Live. It really means a lot to me.
Have you actually been able to watch any of Squid Game yourself?
No, I am only 10 years old! My mom and dad obviously did not let me watch the whole show; however, they did let me watch the scenes with my voice in them up until the violent part. Even when I was working in the recording studio, the director asked me to cover my eyes as soon as I said “green light… red light!” Besides providing the voice for the doll, I also voiced the main character’s daughter, Ga-Yeong, so my parents and I did watch the scenes that I was in as this character.
What were some directions or intonations in the Korean dub that helped inform your performance?
The director of the voiceover team was very helpful. I was given enough time to listen to the Korean dub and get a feel for the original lines before performing my own version.
Did you use any specific techniques or inspiration to find the voice for the Squid Game Doll?
Finding the voice of the Squid Game Doll was a bit challenging. Obviously, they wanted the voice to be cute since red light, green light is an old-fashioned children’s playground game. At the same time, they wanted it to be kind of creepy because of the content of the show.
Which role has been your most memorable so far?
My most memorable role so far has to be the skit I did on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. I got a chance to work with Rami Malek for the whole day. He was so nice to me. He even said that I was like his lucky charm—and six months later, he won the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in Bohemian Rhapsody! I have a feeling that this lucky charm had something to do with that!
You have performed both live action roles and voiceover. How do you enjoy voiceover performances, and do you anticipate doing more in the future?
I love both live action and voiceover roles. Working on these voiceover projects, I learned so much about putting different types of emotion into acting. In one of my previous voiceover projects called Sisyphus: The Myth, my character had many scenes where I needed to scream, laugh, and cry. It was an awesome experience.
What other projects do you have coming that you can tease about?
I am currently working on three other English-dubbed TV series. They are also hugely successful drama series from overseas. I am dubbing for the main characters of the shows. I am really looking forward to the English version being released soon.
How do you manage school work and acting?
Whenever I missed school, my teacher would prepare a packet for me of the week’s learning material and I would finish them in the car while my mom drives me to Hollywood for auditions and acting roles. I am thankful to my teacher, Mr. Chu, who works with my acting schedule so I can balance both acting and school.
What are your thoughts about social media?
Social media can be a powerful way to communicate and connect. It allows me to share my news and acting journey with friends and followers. I would like to share my story and experience, through social media, to inspire others in a positive way.
Is there anything else you would like to add or share with our readers?
When I am not working on my acting projects, I enjoy Latin ballroom dancing. I have been dancing for over seven years. I have traveled around the United States and have won many trophies. I just had a competition recently which turned out to be very successful for me and my partner. We got multiple first-place finishes!