Last month, Squid Game‘s Heo Sung Tae (who played Jang Deok Su) revealed that the tug of war scene was the hardest to shoot because of all the effort they had to put into pulling the rope. Now, the actor has confessed which scene was the scariest.
A few days ago, Heo Sung Tae guest-starred on SBS‘s My Little Old Boy to talk about his rise to fame and time on Squid Game. Alongside hilariously confessing that his mom loved seeing his Instagram following grow from 10,000 to 2.2 million, Heo also revealed that fans find him scary when they see him in public because of his role as Jang Deok Su.
But what does Heo himself find scary? The actor confessed one of his biggest phobias with a story from Squid Game‘s filming days. One scene in particular played on his fear so hard, it’s stuck with him to this day…
… the scene with the glass stepping stone game. Why? “I actually have a fear of heights,” Heo Sung Tae admitted to the show’s hosts.
It was really hard for me to film the glass stepping stones scene.
— Heo Sung Tae
In episode seven of Squid Game, the players are gathered together to play a terrifying game. To win, they must cross a bridge suspended high in the air—with a big catch. The bridge is two panels wide with stepping stones to jump across, but only one panel on each side can support the weight of a player. The other is made of fragile glass that will give way as soon as it’s jumped on, but the panels look identical to the untrained eye.
Notably, this is the scene where Jang Deok Su is pulled to his death by the unlikely heroine, Han Mi Nyeo. Of course, while the stepping stones looked like they were dozens of feet above the ground on the show, in real life, the set-up was much safer. According to behind-the-scenes footage, the set was only around 1.5 meters (or 4.9 feet) high, which CGI used to create the death-defying look.
That said, it was still tall enough to trigger Heo Sung Tae’s fear of heights. Since Jang Deok Su was supposed to be a fearless character, the actor says he had to pretend he wasn’t scared at all—”but I was frightened to bits,” he admits.
In fact, Heo Sung Tae was so scared that he actually “shook in fear” whenever the cameras were off. Of course, you’d never be able to tell on the show, and if that isn’t a true testament to his acting skills then we don’t know what is.