All anyone has been talking about on social media lately is the Korean thriller Squid Game, which premiered on Netflix on Friday, Sept. 17. The nine-episode series centers around a group of people who take part in a survival game to win money. As the show progresses, viewers see the characters make tough choices in order to stay in the competition. One contestant fans were rooting for throughout the season was Kang Sae-byeok, aka player No. 067, who’s played by HoYeon Jung. When her character made her first appearance, she appeared to be nothing more than a pickpocketer, but fans soon came to realize there was more than met the eye with her. If you loved HoYeon Jung from Squid Game, get to know her with these facts about her.
Squid Game been a major global success. Just two days after its premiere on Sept. 17, the nine-episode series ranked in the top 10 shows in the United States on Netflix. It later hit No. 1 on Sept. 21, becoming the first K-drama to claim the top spot on the platform in the country. Aside from its thrilling storyline and lovable characters, it’s no wonder why viewers have become so attached to the series, even wondering whether there will be a Season 2 of Squid Game.
Throughout the show, Jung was without a doubt a scene-stealer. Her performance was praised by thousands of fans online, and if you loved her acting, too, learn more about Jung with these facts about her below.
1. She’s a model.
With how amazing she did on the show, it’s hard to believe Squid Game marked Jung’s debut acting role. In a Sept. 23 interview with W Korea, the star said she was surprised to land the role so soon after breaking into the acting world. “When my CEO told me I’d been cast, the first thing I said was, ‘Why?’” she admitted. “I was so happy when I heard ... but it was like a greater fear had taken over me. [I was like] ‘Thank you very much, but can I do this?’”
Before joining the cast of Squid Game, Jung first gained fame with her modeling career, which took off when she joined Season 4 of Korea’s Next Top Model in 2013. After coming in third place, she walked the runway at Seoul Fashion Week before working with big brands like Chanel.
2. She’s reportedly dating actor Donghwi Lee.
According to AllKPop, Jung has been dating fellow actor Donghwi Lee since January 2016. He’s known for his role in the TV series Reply 1988, as well as other shows like Divorce Lawyer In Love, Entourage, and SF8. The stars have a nine-year age gap between them, as Jung is 27 and Lee is 36.
3. She’s friends with BLACKPINK’s Jennie.
If you’re a BLACKPINK fan, you’ve probably seen Jung before on Jennie’s social media pages. The two are close friends, and the singer even visited Jung on the set of Squid Game and sent her a food truck to enjoy.
4. She’s become a social media sensation overnight.
Following the premiere of Squid Game on Sept. 17, Jung gained millions of followers on Instagram. Within just 10 days, she went from having less than 500,000 followers to nearly 6 million. With how much people are talking about Squid Game online, it’s likely she’ll only gain even more these next few months as more people watch the show.
Considering how incredible her performance was on Squid Game, it’s likely fans will see Jung in plenty more dramas soon!