It is now one year since the success of the squid game , the South Korean series that came to Netflix to become the greatest television phenomenon of recent times based on a deadly contest of survival tests in which only one could remain. And its lead actor, Lee Jung-jae, continues to be successful.
This week he made history by becoming the first South Korean and also Asian actor to win the award for best leading actor in a drama series at the Emmys, which recognize excellence in the American television industry.
The person in charge of interpreting Gi-hun, the 456th player in the game and the main character in the story, won the award against high-level competitors, since that category was one of the closest with names like Jason Bateman ( Ozarks ), Brian Cox ( Succession ), Bob Odenkirk ( Better Call Saul ), Adam Scott ( Separation) and Jeremy Strong ( Succession ).
The actor’s surprised face when he heard his name was proof that he didn’t expect it either. Happy, he went up on stage to show his appreciation. However, his victory was discussed by some viewers on social networks who did not see it as fair that the interpretation of the protagonist of the squid game would have been imposed on others such as that of the actors of Succession Y Better Call Saul mainly.
Before becoming known worldwide for the sadistic Netflix fiction, Jung-jae, who will also star in the long-awaited second season of the squid game , was already very popular in his country, where he enjoys a prolific career, especially on the big screen. An example of his dazzling international success is that his followers on Instagram, where he only follows one account, have doubled in a year to five million. In addition, he has made his directorial debut with the film hunt which he also stars in and which he presented at the last Cannes Film Festival.
The 49-year-old actor made his directorial debut with the film ‘Hunt’, in which he also stars
Lee Jung-jae, who will turn 50 in December, grew up in a wealthy family in Seoul and started working at a coffee shop at a young age. There a talent scout noticed his attractiveness and signed him up to be a model. After two years on the catwalks he tried his luck in the world of acting. After graduating from college, he entered art school. In 1993 he made his television debut with the series dinosaur teacher . And at the age of 21, he managed to win the best new actor award at the three most prestigious award ceremonies in South Korea.
Since then he has participated in more than thirty K-Drama productions, a Korean drama genre. And in 2020 he was awarded the actor of the year at the Asia Artist Awards. About his possible jump to Hollywood, he said a year ago: “I have decided that I will only do one job at a time. For now, I have no plans to do a project abroad. But if a good opportunity presented itself, of course I would be open to it.” And it seems that the opportunity has come, since the signing of him as the protagonist in the Star Wars series has recently been confirmed. The Acolyte .
He currently combines his acting career with his facet as an entrepreneur, since he is the owner of a chain of luxury Italian restaurants that bears the name of one of his films: Il Mare; he has a real estate development company, and has founded the entertainment label Artist Company.
He is a star in South Korea, where he has participated in more than thirty productions
Very few details are known of his private life. Currently, he has been dating since 2015 with a wealthy heiress, Lim Se-ryung, daughter of the president of the Korean food giant Daesang Group, according to what he has published. The Korea Times .
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Lee Jung-jae, the first Asian to win an Emmy, signs for the new Star Wars series