For their roles in the hit K-drama series Squid Game, South Korean stars Lee Jung-jae and Jung Hoyeon each bagged a win for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Drama Series in the male and female divisions. They’re the first Korean actors to win these awards in the drama series category.
Lee Jung-jae played Player 456 Seong Gi-hun, a cash-strapped gambling addict, while Jung Hoyeon portrayed a North Korean defector Kang Sae-byeok, who joined the deadly games to win its massive cash prize and get her brother out of the orphanage and her mother out of North Korea.
During his acceptance speech, Lee Jung-jae, 49, shared, “Oh my. Thank you so much. This is something huge for me. I wrote something, but I don’t think I can read it. Thank you so much, SAG Awards. Thank you to the global audience for all of your love for ‘Squid Game,’ and thank you ‘Squid Game’ team!”
Meanwhile Jung Hoyeon, won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series. In the running was also Jennifer Aniston, Elisabeth Moss, Sarak Snook, and Reese Witherspoon. In a teary-eyed and heartwarming speech, the 27-year-old said, “First and foremost, thank you so much. I have watched many of the actors in the audience through the TV screen, dreaming of one day becoming an actress. Thank you for making me dream and opening the door for me. I love you my Squid Game crew!”
The K-drama series also walked away with a win for Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series, edging out other nominees Cobra Kai, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, and Mare of Easttown.
This article was first published in The Singapore Women’s Weekly.