Lee Jung-jae, the star of the series, took home the top acting prize and became the first person from a foreign-language show to win best actor in a drama. And Hwang Dong-hyuk won the drama directing Emmy.
Lee Jung-jae has become a global celebrity after the success of the Korean drama series Squid Game on Netflix. The South Korean actor won over the hearts of audiences playing Seong Gi-hun, a.k.a player 456. While playing down-on-his-luck chauffeur on Squid Game, Jung-jae made some serious coin in real life.
South Korean actor, Jung-jae got his start as a fashion modeling before he started acting in 1994. Jung-jae has appeared in countless Korean films and TV shows. While he was famous in Korea before the massive success of Squid Game, he has now become a household name, gained millions of social media followers, and is even taking over the internet as the biggest meme of 2021.
The series, Netflix’s most watched new series ever, according to the streamer, was also up for the Emmy for best drama, an award “Succession” ultimately won.
As South Korea’s biggest show, Squid Game is the talk of the country. Not only has it become a hit with viewers, but it’s stars have also become overnight sensations.
The nine-episode series reportedly cost a staggering 20bil won (about S$22.9mil) to produce, making it one of the most expensive Korean dramas ever produced.
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Lee Jung-jae plays Seong Gi-hun, a divorced man who lives with his mother and daughter and struggles to support himself. He participates in the Game to settle his debts and become financially stable enough to gain custody of his daughter.
Jung-jae is the most successful actor in the series, as he is the lead character of a popular Korean drama. The popularity of Squid Game grows as more people stream it on their devices. It will be interesting to see what Jung-jae will do with his newfound international celebrity.
Lee Jung-jae was also the first asian to break the records and win the Emmy for best actor.
“Thank you for making realistic problems we all face come to life so creatively on the screen,” Lee, aged 49, said to Hwang Dong-hyuk, creator of Squid Game who also won the Emmy for best drama series direction.
Speaking in Korean at the awards ceremony in Los Angeles, Lee thanked the audience in his native country and said he expected the awards to open doors for other Asian actors. Backstage, Hwang said it was a “major moment” for him and Lee.
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Sources: Showbiz CheatSheet, Today Online, Aljazeera
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