Who Plays 'Squid Game' Policeman Hwang Jun-ho? 10 Facts About Actor Wi Ha-jun

The cast of Squid Game, the Netflix K-drama that's taken the world by storm, has shot to global stardom following the premiere of the engrossing series about an extreme survival competition that sees hundreds compete to the death.

Among those enjoying newfound international fame is Korean actor Wi Ha-jun—sometimes spelled Wi Ha-joon—who plays Hwang Jun-ho, the policeman who infiltrates the game facility disguised as a staff member.

Dubbed a "scene stealer" in the series, South Korea's Newsen reported the actor has seen his Instagram following jump more than four times since the series aired, raising his total followers to 2.8 million. But by October 3, the figure exploded to over 5.1 million, which the actor also acknowledged via an Instagram story post, according to Newsen.

Here we take a closer look at the life and career of the rising global star.

Wi Ha-jun Grew Up in the Countryside

Born on August 5, 1991, Wi hails from Wando, a county/island in Jeollanamdo (South Jeolla), a province on the south coast of South Korea where he grew up in the countryside, South Korea's Money Today reported back in June.

He's a Rising Global Heartthrob

Fans have been swooning over Wi for his Squid Game character and his built body, showcased most recently in a cover feature for the October 2021 edition of Men's Health Korea, which reveals his washboard abs.

Twitter user @croa2615 wrote: "Okay, but if the existence Wi Ha-Joon isn't a testament to all the fine men South Korea has to offer, I don't know what is..." in a post that had over 1,000 likes at the time of reporting.

User @bluespiritsoka tweeted: "squid game hot cop Hwang Jun-ho Wi Ha-joon," sharing a video montage of the actor's scenes in the series. The video had over 5,000 views at the time of reporting.

Sharing an image, which can be seen here, from Wi's Men's Health Korea feature, user @mistimeanor simply tweeted: "WI HA-JOON GOOD LORD ALMIGHTY [drooling emoji]."

...But Wasn't Popular in School

Asked whether he was popular among girls when he was in school, the actor revealed: "I was just popular with my male friends" because of his personality, noting he was more into sports, in a June interview with the Two O'Clock Escape Cult Show on South Korea's SBS Power FM radio station.

...And Didn't Smile Much

Wi recalled he didn't smile much as a child and no one really approached him while he was in high school, he told the SBS Power FM show in June.

He Was Into Dancing Before Acting

The Squid Game actor enjoyed dancing during his school years. "There was no place to formally learn how to dance at the time, as it was the countryside, so I did dance covers," Wi said during the SBS Power FM show. He recalled dancing to tracks from K-pop group TVXQ when he was in junior high.

...And Is Into Acrobatics

Wi counts acrobatics and boxing among his hobbies/talents. He also enjoys listening to music, according to the website of Wi's management company MS Team Entertainment.

The policeman in "Squid Game."
The policeman in Netflix's "Squid Game" played by actor Wi Ha-jun. Netflix

He Has a Fear of Water

Wi said one of the most challenging scenes to shoot in Squid Game was a scene where he goes diving while escaping the game facility.

"There weren't any physical difficulties with the action scenes in the series but having to do skin scuba diving was really hard. I have a severe phobia of water, so it took a lot of training to overcome it," he said according to South Korean broadcaster SPOTV News.

Wi recalled the most difficult shoots were his scenes for the episode featuring the VIP members, during which Wi speaks English to the VIPs.

Despite Wi's seamless delivery of his lines, the actor said he actually doesn't speak English very well. So he had an English teacher help him as well as the series director Hwang Dong-hyuk who Wi said became fluent in English after studying abroad, SPOTV News reported.

He Felt Lonely During the 'Squid Game' Shoot

For his role as policeman Wi didn't share many shoots with other cast members and acted alone in most of his scenes. He recalled he "always felt lonely" on set, feeling he missed out on opportunities to bond with the cast and create more memories during the shoot, reported SPOTV News.

"Squid Game" on Netflix.
A still from "Squid Game" on Netflix. Netflix

He's a Superfan of the Front Man Actor

Wi is a huge fan of Lee Byung-hun, the veteran Korean actor who plays the Front Man in Squid Game and is familiar to Western audiences from the G.I.Joe film series.

The actor said he knew in advance that Lee was going to star in Squid Game and was so "excited and honored" and was also "touched" by how friendly Lee was towards him even outside the shooting of the series, SPOTV News reported.

Wi Is Keen for 'Squid Game' Season 2

In the final episode of the series, Hwang Jun-ho is shot in the arm by the Front Man (who—spoiler alert—earlier in the series is revealed as Jun-ho's brother), which throws the policeman off the edge of a cliff. Wi told SPOTV News he'd be "so happy" if Hwang Jun-ho is still alive and the story between the two brothers is unfolded in a second season of Squid Game.

A still from "Squid Game" on Netflix.
Wi Ha-jun as the policeman in "Squid Game" on Netflix. Netflix