Just minutes after Squid Game star Lee Jung-jae took home the award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series, his co-star Jung Ho-yeon also swept up the award for Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series. Both Korean actors responded emotionally to the honor, but it was Jung Ho-yeon who fought through tears while giving an incredibly touching acceptance speech.
“First and foremost, thank you so much,” Jung Ho-yeon said in Korean, which was then translated to English through an interpreter. “I have sat many-a-times watching you on the big screen dreaming of one day becoming an actor. I just want to say thank you so much.”
Then, speaking in English after pausing to shed a few tears, the actor added, “Thank you [for making my] dream and opening the door for me. I love my Squid Game crew!” She delivered her acceptance speech in custom Louis Vuitton.
This is Jung Ho-yeon’s first SAG Award, which makes sense considering her performance as Kang Sae-byeok, was her first-ever acting role. Despite that, millions of Netflix viewers fell in love with the North Korean defector who participates in a series of deadly games in the hopes of earning enough money to reunite her family.
“Last January I moved to my current acting agency, and at that time I thought that they would train me to a certain extent before putting me to work,” Jung Ho-yeon told W Korea in September 2021, per NME. “However, by February, a group chat including our CEO was created, and he gave me the Squid Game script and told me to film and send in an audition video. I was in New York for New York Fashion Week at the time!”