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Lee Jung-Jae Earns Best Actor Nomination for “Squid Game” at the Critics Choice Awards

The South Korean actor hits a milestone with his first major acting nomination in the US!

Lee Jung-Jae Earns Best Actor Nomination for "Squid Game" at the Critics Choice Awards
(Image: Gucci)

Everywhere in South Korea, Lee Jung-Jae is recognized as a veteran actor with a rich roster of accolades under his belt. In the western hemisphere, though, he has only begun to make a mark. Hence, it’s nothing short of impressive that he scored his first Best Actor nomination from the Critics’ Choice Television Awards for his work in the South Korean hit series, “Squid Game.”

According to the nominations list published by the Critics Choice Association (CCA) on Monday, December 6, Lee was nominated for the “Best Actor in a Drama Series” category alongside other heavy-hitters in Sterling K. Brown for “This is Us”; Mike Colter for “Evil”; Bill Porter for “Pose”; and Brian Cox and Jeremy Strong, both for their work in the HBO black comedy-drama series, “Succession.”

“Squid Game” is also nominated in two other categories, namely for “Best Drama Series” and “Best Foreign Language Series.”

READ: Squid Game Turns Child’s Play Into One Disturbing Escape

This is the first time since the awards ceremony started in 2012 that a foreign language series will take home a trophy. It’s not hard to understand why either, given the abundance of acclaimed foreign language series that giant streaming services have and will continue to produce. 

In that category, “Squid Game” is up against four other original productions from Netflix — “Call My Agent!”, “Lupin,” “Money Heist,” and “Narcos: Mexico” — and one from Apple TV+ in “Acapulco.”

During last year’s edition of the Critics’ Choice Television Awards, “The Crown” took home the most awards, including the aforementioned “Best Drama Series” and “Best Actor in a Drama Series” for Josh O’Connor’s performance in the historical drama.

With Lee’s nomination, “Squid Game” continues to reach a new milestone after their historic win at last month’s Gotham Awards. During the awards show in New York, the survival drama took home the “Breakthrough Series — Long Format” award, marking the first time that the South Korean series won a major US award.

“Squid Game” director Hwang Dong-hyuk received the award, with series actors Lee Jung-jae and HoYeon Jung in tow.

Elsewhere, “Squid Game” is also nominated for “Bingeworthy Show of the Year” at this year’s People’s Choice Awards, as well as for the prize “Drama Program” at the 2021 Rose D’Or Awards. The series, which is already set for a second season, is also eligible for a Primetime Emmy nomination, per the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

Art Macky Arquilla

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