When your debut acting role becomes a global phenomenon.

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Warning: minor spoilers throughout.

Squid Game has given us a lot.

Netflix / Via giphy.com

(Anxiety. It’s given me anxiety.)

It introduced us to a new fictional world, made us question our morality as a species, and, most importantly, gave us the tragic character of Sae-byeok (HoYeon Jung).

So in honor of one of everyone’s favorite selfless heroes from the new series, here are 13 facts about breakout star HoYeon Jung.

2. She is besties with Jennie from Blackpink.

3. She works as a professional model.

5. She placed second on Season 4 of Korea’s Next Top Model.

Peter White / Getty Images

6. In 2016, she became an international modeling sensation for her fiery red hair, which captivated audiences.

7. HoYeon spent most of her time in between traveling for shoots watching movies, which made her want to get into acting.

8. She created a journal for Sae-byeok to help herself get into the mind of the character.


“[In some ways] her life was very similar to my life abroad,” she said. “During those times, it was difficult to share my emotions [and] celebrate with family and friends when something good happened or figure out what to do when something bad occurred. Everything [I felt] dwelled in my head and my head only. Hence, I could understand her loneliness and how she empowered herself.”

9. She’s currently dating South Korean actor Dong-hwi Lee, who is famous for the TV show Reply.

The Chosunilbo Jns / ImaZins via Getty Images

10. She is now South Korea’s most followed female actor on Instagram.

11. Her favorite documentary is Netflix’s Headspace: Guide to Sleep.

12. When she found out she was cast as Sae-byeok, she was worried that she couldn’t pull off the role.


“I was worried whether I could pull it off,” she told Time magazine. “I read [the script] wishing that I would not weigh down the project but have something to bring to the table.”

13. And last but not least, she has two siblings: a brother and a sister.

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