How Squid Game made HoYeon Jung a Hollywood fixture: she was in The Weeknd’s music video, bagged film roles with Lily Rose-Depp and Cate Blanchett, and models for Louis Vuitton and Chanel

HoYeon Jung is the face for Chanel’s N°1 De Chanel campaign. Photo: @hoooooyeony/Instagram
One of the most-watched Netflix series of 2021, Korean thriller Squid Game has been renewed by the streaming platform for a second season and even has its own reality TV spin-off under way.

Director Hwang Dong-hyuk told Vanity Fair that the new season may come out by the end of 2023 or 2024. While most of the cast presumably won’t be returning for the show’s second series due to their fate from the games, not all hope is lost: it seems HoYeon Jung is still on the cards for a return alongside Lee Byung-hun and Lee Jung-jae. Hwang told Deadline, “Let’s say maybe she has a twin sister. You’ll see.”

HoYeon Jung started out as a model before transitioning to acting. Photo: @hoooooyeony/Instagram
Lee Jung-jae may be the show’s main character, but Jung was undeniably the breakout star. She’s since gained over 20 million followers on Instagram, nearly doubling that of veteran actress Song Hye-kyo.

So, nearly a year after Squid Game’s release, how is Jung doing?

Her accolades so far

HoYeon Jung is getting international recognition for her acting talents. Photo: @hoooooyeony/Instagram
Jung made it to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Asia list for 2022 alongside K-pop group Aespa. It’s worth noting that she’s the only actress to be included this year.

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In February, she won outstanding actress in a drama series for her role in Squid Game at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards, beating fellow nominees Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Elisabeth Moss and Sarah Snook.

She went viral with Sandra Oh

Sandra Oh and HoYeon Jung pose together for a Variety photo shoot. Photo: @hoooooyeony/Instagram
Sandra Oh and Jung went viral after the former congratulated the latter for winning at the SAG awards and posed with the cast of Squid Game. Months later, the two were reunited and starred on Variety’s Actors on Actors series presented by Apple TV+, a programme that invites stars to have an intimate discussion about their craft. The pair’s conversation revolved around Asian representation in pop culture and the importance of taking care of oneself in the business.

At one point, Jung revealed her attachment to her on-screen Squid Game role, Sae-byeok. She said she had been “ living with my character over a few months” and felt it was time “to let her go”.

Projects with Hollywood actors

HoYeon Jung attends The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, in New York City. Photo: Getty Images/AFP
Jung will star in A24’s The Governesses alongside Lily-Rose Depp and Renate Reinsve. The film is directed by Joe Talbot, who previously made his debut with the studio in 2019 with The Last Black Man in San Francisco.

She’s also been cast for Apple TV+’s upcoming thriller series Disclaimer. The TV show is headlined by Hollywood heavyweights Cate Blanchett and Kevin Kline, and will be directed by Alfonso Cuarón.

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She’s in The Weeknd’s Out of Time music video

The video marks Jung’s first on-screen appearance since Squid Game. In the artistic music video, she parties and sings karaoke with The Weeknd until, suddenly, his face starts to morph. It ends with Jim Carrey administering a face transplant to the singer.

Returning to her modelling roots

HoYeon Jung was named a Louis Vuitton ambassador in 2021. Photo: @hoooooyeony/Instagram

Jung was a successful fashion model before becoming a breakout actress. It seems fitting, then, that she kicked off the year by fronting Chanel’s beauty campaign for N°1 de Chanel, a product line incorporating skincare, make-up and a fragrance mist.

She also walked and opened the Louis Vuitton autumn/winter 2022 show at Paris Fashion Week. Last year, she became the brand’s ambassador for fashion, watches and jewellery.
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Squid Game
  • She rose to fame with Netflix’s Squid Game, which is confirmed for a second season and a reality TV spin-off, but will she join Lee Byung-hun and Lee Jung-jae to reprise her role too?
  • Hollywood’s next for the South Korean star, who beat Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon for the SAG award, and she also went viral with Sandra Oh