Struggling US actor, 68, who was homeless in India stars in Netflix hit Squid Game
A struggling single parent actor who was homeless in India last year has finally found fame – starring in the Netflix hit Squid Game.
Geoffrey Guiliano, 68, was stranded in Jaipur, Rajasthan, with his son, Eden, then 12, when Covid-19 erupted last March.
The pair were forced to survive on ‘monkey nuts and bananas’ without changing into fresh clothes for six months – even sleeping rough and begging for ‘flea-infested beds’ in yoga ashrams.
The father, who is originally from Rochester, New York, and son returned to their home in Thailand in January and were finally able to take a hot bath.
Penniless actor Geoffrey was relieved just to be alive – and could never imagine how his fate was about to change.
Squid Game director Hwang Dong-hyuk recognized Geoffrey from Peninsula Train to Busan on Netflix and ‘handpicked’ him for the role of VIP 4 in the hit show.
The actor has now been ‘bombarded with offers’ for roles in star-studded movies following the hit drama’s release on September 17.
A high-profile memorabilia dealer has even offered the star $250,000 for the black and gold robe he wore in the show.
Speaking today, October 6, Geoffrey said: ‘A year ago I really thought we would starve to death. I had to fight every day just to get food for my son and me to survive. We lived on monkey nuts and bananas.
‘It was the darkest time of my life and I was thinking it was the end for both of us.
‘When I was asked to work on Squid Game I wasn’t expecting it to be such a hit. My life has flipped upside down and I’ve finally found success my son can be proud of.’
Geoffrey said he travelled to India on a spiritual pilgrimage after becoming disillusioned with life. He took his son Eden who is also starting out as an actor, hoping the experience would help him.
Just like the characters in Squid Game, the single father was struggling with money in the squalid coastal town of Pattaya, Thailand, where he lives.
However, he said his fortunes forever changed when his manager received a call from the Squid Game production team and the director told him he ‘was the only foreigner in the world’ he wanted for the pivotal role’.
Hwang Dong-hyuk had seen Geoffrey in a previous Korean zombie movie and was attracted by his portrayal as an American villain.
Geoffrey sent a video casting before being flown to South Korea for his part in the show, which sees him dressed in a bear mask as the main VIP while betting on the players taking part in a game in episode 7. There is too a controversial nude sex scene.
Incredibly, since the show’s release Geoffrey has rocketed from obscurity to one of the top 2,500 actors in the world on movie database IMDB.
The star, who is still looking for a top Hollywood agent to handle his stratospheric rise, added: ‘Although I’ve had good solid parts in 28 movies over the last 15 years nothing really moved the needle until Squid Game.
‘Astonishingly, I have three films on Netflix, ‘Kate’, ‘Peninsula Train to Busan’ and of course the biggest so far, ‘Squid Game’.
‘It’s just been my son and I all these years and because of Netflix’s faith in me, I have turned his life around for which I’m very grateful. In this difficult age of covid, this is a truly happy ending.’