Squid Game’s Hoyeon Jung Opens Up About Experiencing ‘Chaotic’ Overnight Fame: ‘I Couldn’t Eat’ – PEOPLE


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"I didn't believe it. I didn't trust it," Hoyeon Jung told Vogue of her Squid Game fame

By Dory Jackson January 05, 2022 03: 05 PM

Hoyeon Jung was met with overnight success after Squid Game debuted on Netflix in September — but navigating that newfound fame has proved to be an adjustment.

In Vogue's February 2022 cover story, the 27-year-old model-turned-actress said her "entire life changed in just one month" after the Korean survival thriller premiered.

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"The feeling, there's a limit to what words can express," said Jung, who plays Kang Sae-byeok in Squid Game.

Becoming famous has also had some negative repercussions on Jung. According to the publication, she managed to lose eight pounds.

"I don't know why, but I couldn't eat," she said. "I was so confused, and it was so chaotic. I didn't believe it. I didn't trust it."

As her celebrity grew, Jung was able to rely on her family to help keep her grounded. "My mom did joke that my acting was very realistic, like when I'm being mean to her," she said, adding a laugh.

"My younger sister never really took an interest in my career," the star added. "She just thinks of me as her older sibling, so when she told me that my acting was 'not that bad' in Squid Game, I was quite surprised."

Hoyeon Jung

Credit: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Getting her role on Squid Game was no easy feat either. During the audition process, Jung left her New York City residence at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to participate in a callback.

"I didn't even have time to pack my things," she recalled. "I had to leave my Balmuda oven and a brand-new naembi [pot]."

Squid Game was a massive hit for Netflix. After its premiere this past fall, it broke the streaming service's record for the biggest series debut. (Bridgerton previously held the title.)

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The success of Squid Game has naturally sparked discussions about future seasons. While series creator Hwang Dong-hyuk previously said the show's first season "could be good closure for the whole story," he also is aware it "ended in an open-ended way."

Jung Ho-yeon

Credit: Noh Juhan/Netflix

"There are some other stories in the series that have not been addressed. For example, the story of the police officer and the story of his brother, The Front Man," he told The Hollywood Reporter in October. "So if I end up creating season 2, I'd like to explore that storyline — what is going on between those two brothers? And then I could also go into the story of that recruiter in the suit who plays the game of ddakji with Gi-hun and gives him the card in the first episode."

The director added, "And, of course, we could go with Gi-hun's story as he turns back, and explore more about how he's going to navigate through his reckoning with the people who are designing the games."

"So there's been so much pressure, so much demand and so much love for a second season," he said in November to the Associated Press in Korean, according to Forbes' translation. "So I almost feel like you leave us no choice! But I will say there will indeed be a second season. It's in my head right now."

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