Player #456 may have won the games, but Player #67 is stealing the show!
Now that Netflix’s Squid Game has skyrocketed to the top of the streaming platform’s charts, many of its stars now get to enjoy the fruits of their labor, including immense Internet fame. Even Lee Jung-jae and Park Hae-soo, also known in the series as childhood friends Player #456 and #218, have joined Instagram to interact with their fans.
But perhaps no one’s popularity grew as much as Jung Ho-yeon, who is now the most followed Korean actress on Instagram after gaining over 14 million followers since the series’ debut.
The Korean model, who portrays the North Korean defector-turned-grifter Kang Sae-byeok in Squid Games, surpassed Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo lead star Lee Sung-kyung and Descendants of the Sun actress Song Hye-kyo, to become the photo-sharing platform’s most popular Korean star. Jung’s 14.7 million-strong follower count has overtaken Lee’s 12.9 million and Song’s 12 million — which is amazing, considering that Player #067 only had around 400 thousand followers when Squid Game premiered less than three weeks ago.
While Jung’s breakout performance in the thriller series propelled her to popularity, “Squid Game” isn’t her first taste of fame.
Before stepping into the sadistic halls of Squid Game, Jung first strutted on runways as a model for prominent fashion houses such as Chanel, Prabal Gurung, Louis Vuitton, and more. She was even dubbed by Vogue as Korea’s next top model, describing her as a “redhead stunner who will be the next Korean girl to make a splash stateside” and that she did.
Apart from her thriving career as a model, her closeness to BLACKPINK singer Jennie also proves that she’s a big shot way before her first acting gig.
On Instagram, she shared a picture of their pair hanging out behind the scenes of Squid Game. Meanwhile, Squid Game’s main star Lee Jung-jae revealed that Jennie often visited the series’ set to support Jung, at one point even coming with a coffee truck.
Art Daniella Sison