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Daniel Dae Kim says Succession and The Squid Game are companion pieces

"I don't know what it says about us, enjoying watching people be savage, whether it's in the form of a suit and tie, or whether it's life-or-death games of red light, green light."

The Hot Zone Anthrax Daniel Dae Kim
Daniel Dae Kim (right) plays special agent Matthew Ryker in the new National Geographic series The Hot Zone: Anthrax.
Peter Stranks/National Geographic

This story is part of I'm So Obsessed (subscribe here), our podcast featuring interviews with actors, artists, celebrities and creative types about their work, career and current obsessions.

In 2001, just weeks after the 9/11 attacks, a series of letters laced with anthrax were sent to prominent politicians, news anchors and editors. Like 9/11 itself, or our current pandemic, the anthrax attacks were an event that affected our daily lives. Mail went unopened, theories about who was behind the attacks were fueled by the fear we felt as a nation. The new National Geographic series The Hot Zone: Anthrax is a fictional retelling of it all. In the show, Daniel Dae Kim plays special agent Matthew Riker, the lead investigator in the search for the people behind the attacks.

Kim was a guest on CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast, where he explained that his character represents the numerous agents who actually investigated the attacks.

"The actual investigation involved hundreds of FBI agents and took place over the course of many years. And for the sake of consolidation, they took my character and made him an amalgamation of many of the agents and the work that they did," said Kim. "The events, and the actual course of the investigation is very factually based."

The Hot Zone: Anthrax premieres Sunday, Nov. 28, on National Geographic and will be available to stream the following day on Hulu. Kim, who you might know best from shows like Lost, Angel and Hawaii Five-0 says viewers will see some eerie parallels between what was going on back then with the anthrax attacks and what's happening right now.

"The common element is there's a catastrophic event that affects people on a large scale. And the reaction to that event reveals a lot about human nature," said Kim.

During our interview, Kim discusses why Lost is still a relevant show, his desire to play the title character of the Shakespeare play Henry V and his love for collecting watches. He also shares that he's obsessed with the show Succession, which he describes as a 180-degree flip from the show Ted Lasso. Kim thinks Succession and the show The Squid Game are companion pieces to each other.

"I don't know what it says about us, enjoying watching people be savage, whether it's in the form of a suit and tie, or whether it's life-or-death games of red light, green light."

You can listen to my full interview with Kim in the podcast player at the top of this article. Subscribe to I'm So Obsessed on your favorite podcast app. In each episode, Connie Guglielmo or I catch up with an artist, actor or creator to learn about work, career and current obsessions.