- “Squid Game” star Jung Ho-yeon said she used her modeling career to help him develop her character.
- Model-turned-actress Jung Ho-yeon portrayed Kang Sae-byeok in the hit Netflix original series.
- She said she channeled the “competitive” nature she felt on “Korea’s Next Top Model” to understand Sae-byeok.
Model-turned-actress Jung Ho-yeon of the hit Korean survival drama “Squid Game” said being on “Korea’s Next Top Model” had prepared her to play her character on the
Jung Ho-yeon played Kang Sae-byeok (Player 067), one of 456 adults on the verge of financial ruin who are invited to play children’s games to earn 45 billion won, or about 40 billion won. million dollars – but losing the games has fatal consequences.
Jung was tasked with portraying a North Korean defector who took part in the murderous games in the hopes of using the prize money for his younger brother and helping his mother escape the country.
Prior to starring in “Squid Game”, Jung was one of the finalists for season four of “Korea’s Next Top Model” in 2013, and in 2016, she landed a contract with Louis Vuitton and paraded for luxury brands. like Chanel. and Gucci.
Jung said that she exploited certain aspects of the modeling contest to develop her character.
“I didn’t think I grafted the competitive, determined versions of myself from ‘Korea’s Next Top Model’ onto the character of Sae-byeok,” Jung told NBC Asian America. “But looking back on it now, maybe I still have these aspects in me that have helped me understand the role. And I’ve learned to accept that part of me too.”
She acknowledged the difficulty of physically trying to portray a North Korean defector given her modeling career, and said she instead focused on the psychological understanding of Sae-byeok’s life to accurately describe his character.
“To tell you the truth, people might think that going from a model to a North Korean defector would have been difficult on the surface,” Jung said. “For me, the emphasis was not on the external but the internal side of things, to fully understand Sae-byeok’s life.”
In preparation for the role, the actress said she wrote detailed and detailed journal articles about her character’s state of mind, painting a backstory to Sae-byeok that has never been to the screen. She included specific aspects that explored her family separation, describing the details she would have felt the day she last saw them or the last words they would have shared.
“I tried to write it down as much as possible to understand its character,” Jung said.
The Korean drama has become Netflix’s most popular series, trending as the platform’s top show in over 90 countries. It has been captioned in 31 languages and dubbed in 13, with around 95% of viewers outside of South Korea, Netflix told the Wall Street Journal.
Its fan base has skyrocketed following the show’s success, growing from less than one million Instagram followers to over 20 million after its premiere on September 17.