The First Reaction of “Squid Game” Star to the Show Was An Apology To The Director

HoYeon Jung, the star of “Squid Game”, talks about her reaction to the show, stating that she apologized to series creator Hwang Dong-hyuk after watching it. In the Netflix South Korean survival drama series Kang Sae-byeok, Jung played Kang Sae-byeok. Following its September 2021 premiere, Hwang’s series soon became one of the most popular shows on the platform.

Jung’s character in Squid Game was also known as Player 067 in the series’ titular games, in which people participate in twisted versions of childhood games for a chance to win a huge sum of money. Sae-byeok is a defector from North Korea who plans to use the money to help her parents cross the border and get her brother out of an orphanage before purchasing a home for her family to start a new life. In order to survive many of the game’s lethal trials, Sae-byeok teams up with Player 456, Seong Gi-hun. While Sae-terrible byeok’s situation may prevent her from returning for the second season of the hit show, Jung has given her initial reaction to the show.

Jung was asked about her expectations before the series premiered and whether she had to prepare for its unexpected success as part of THR’s TV Drama Actress Roundtable, which was recently released to YouTube. Jung confessed that, despite the fact that she had done little to prepare, she felt she had not given her finest performance. As a result, Jung sent Hwang a note after the first screening of the series, which she attended ahead of the cast, apologizing for the situation and thanking him for casting her. Jung also confessed that she was nervous before the show premiered because she was worried about how the crowd would react. Below is Jung’s complete response.

“…We watched it, Squid Game, before it came out, like the actors, because we had to do, kind of promotion and event stuff, but I thought that— Is it allowed to swear?… I thought that I f*cked up. I messed up, like I totally messed up… The first message after I watched Squid Game to director Hwang was “I am so sorry, and thank you so much for casting me.” I’m gonna cry, but it was so stressful. I was trying to prepare for the bad reactions and everything.”

Following the series premiere, Jung received critical accolades for her performance at the SAG Awards. Jung won the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series in February 2022. She took to the stage for her victory speech to thank the show’s crew, explaining that becoming an actress had always been a dream of hers after watching award programs since she was a child. Jung also stated she had visited the set of HBO Max’s Euphoria and aspires to appear in the teen drama in the future during a later appearance in March at the Critic’s Choice Awards.

While Hwang hinted that Jung would return to “Squid Game”, the star’s involvement in the project is currently uncertain. Despite her initial worries, Jung’s portrayal as Sae-byeok charmed spectators, leading to her character becoming a fan favorite and becoming one of the series’ breakout stars. With roles in A24’s The Governesses and Apple TV+’s Disclaimer already under his belt, Jung is sure to be enthralling audiences for years to come.

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