HoYeon Jung Is a Standout in Squid Game — Here's What You Need to Know About the Model/Actress
If you haven't watched Squid Game on Netflix yet, then you're seriously missing out. The Hunger Games-esque series tells the story of a group of financially troubled people who are given the chance to change their lives by winning huge sums of money by playing classic schoolyard games — though failing at those games leads to deadly consequences.
If you've binged all nine episodes, then you've most definitely found yourself captivated by the tenacious and secretive Kang Sae-byeok, aka Player 067, played by HoYeon Jung. If HoYeon looks familiar, it might be because you've seen her walk runways for major designers, but it won't be because you recognize her from another K-drama. Squid Game is HoYeon's first foray into acting, and so far it's been a major success.
The show premiered on Netflix back in September, and it has since exploded in popularity — Ted Sarandos, a co-CEO for the streaming service, said there's "a very good chance it's going to be [Netflix's] biggest show ever." Since things look like they're only going up from here, it's time you get to know the model/actress behind the mysterious Sae-byeok. Check out the gallery to get to know her better.
She Is the Most-Followed South Korean Actress on Instagram
Before Squid Game premiered, HoYeon had around 400,000 followers on Instagram. Now, with the show's success, she has over 14 million followers, which is a pretty major change over such a short time. In fact, she's now the most-followed South Korean actress, according to NME.
She's New to the Acting Game
Despite seeming like a veteran actress based on her portrayal of Kang Sae-byeok, it turns out that Squid Game is HoYeon's first acting gig. In fact, she was incredibly shocked and nervous when she found out Netflix had cast her in the role. She told W Korea that a "fear had taken over" and that she'd wondered if she could pull off acting.
HoYeon was able to channel some of her modeling experience into her role on Squid Game, since she experienced a lot of loneliness while modeling overseas and felt her character could relate to that loneliness. HoYeon told W Korea about her similarities to Sae-Byeok, saying, "Feelings of loneliness while trying to live and persevere isn't all that different."
She's an Expert at Street Style
HoYeon is just as glamorous off the runway as she is on it. She's known for her impeccable taste in streetwear, and makes the whole "model off-duty" thing look like a total breeze. We'll definitely be looking to her for style inspiration.
She Was a Runner-Up on Korea's Next Top Model
Back in 2013, HoYeon participated in Korea's Next Top Model and finished the competition as a runner-up. Since entering the modeling world, she's walked in shows for Chanel, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, and more.
She's a Graduate of Dongduk Women's University
HoYeon graduated from Dongduk Women's University in Seoul. The university has multiple departments and majors, and HoYeon majored in modeling, which certainly looks like it's paid off!
She's Good Friends With Jennie From Blackpink
Aside from her Squid Game costars, HoYeon has some recognizable friends you might already know. The model/actress is close with Jennie from the K-pop group Blackpink, and Jennie even visited HoYeon while she was filming Squid Game.
"Jennie was happy for me ever since I told her I was cast in Squid Game," HoYeon said, according to Soompi. "She sent me a coffee truck, and she actively cheered me on by even uploading to her social media."