The 'Squid Game' actress continues to amass millions of followers since the show was released on Netflix.
The global success of Netflix's 'Squid Game' has catapulted the Korean actress and supermodel Jung Ho-Yeon into superstardom.
The actress has gained almost 13 million followers just 17 days since the show arrived on Netflix on September 17, 2021.
Jung Ho-Yeon plays the role of North Korean defector Kang Sae-Byeok in the Netflix series. She did an incredible job portraying the character, which is remarkable considering Squid Game is her first acting gig.
Before playing the deadly Squid Games, Jung Ho-Yeon participated in another tight competition, although much less violent than the Netflix show.
She joined Korea’s Next Top Model in 2013 and finished in second place. The competition jumpstarted her modeling career, and soon enough, she would be strutting down the runway at Seoul Fashion Week.
Her hard work and charm eventually landed her a chance to get into the international modeling scene.
By 2016, Jung signed a contract to become the exclusive model for Louis Vuitton during Fall/Winter 2017 Fashion Show.
There will be no stopping Jung since then. She continued to appear in high-caliber Fashion shows for big brands like Chanel, Gucci, and Marc Jacobs. Her constant participation in big fashion shows made her one of Korea's top fashion models.
Jung's career took an even more surprising turn in 2020 after she signed on to Saram entertainment.
She auditioned for Sae-Byeok in Netflix's 'Squid Game.' While busy preparing for New York Fashion Week, Jung gets asked to do a video audition for 'Squid Game.'
Jung spent most of the days focusing on studying the script. She only gets up to eat and hardly sleeps.
Two days after she sent the audition tape, she flew back to South Korea for an in-person audition.
All her hard work paid off. She got the part, and she could not believe it.
The actress told WKorea:
"It was shocking. When the CEO said that he had been cast, the first thing I said was 'Why?' Even though I felt so happy, it seems that a greater fear came over me. 'Thank you very much, can I do this?"
To portray the character successfully, Jung watched plenty of documentaries about North Korean defectors. She also studied their lives and talked with a North Korean defector's dialect teacher.
Jung added that she can relate to Sae-Byeok because both of them felt lonely in a foreign country.
"Most of all, the reason I was able to accept Dawn without much difficulty is that Dawn and I resemble each other," Jung said in the same interview.
"I left Korea in 2016 and worked as a model abroad until early last year, spending a lot of time alone. The emotion I felt the most at that time was 'loneliness'. Dawn also leaves her hometown and lives in Korea with her younger brother without parents. The friend was a pickpocket and I was just a model, but living alone and feeling lonely in a foreign country wasn't much different."
Despite her doubts, Jung managed to deliver an impressive performance. Viewers worldwide loved her and could not stop talking about her character. Her face is now all over the internet, and her face and name have become even more popular.