Jung Ho-yeon from the psychological thriller Squid Game is now the most followed Korean actress on Instagram.
Jung’s follower count has soared from 400,000 before the launch of the series to 14.7 million followers at the time of writing.
Playing the role of North Korean defector Park Hae-soo in what’s on track to become the most-watched show on Netflix, Jung won over the hearts of fans in her very first acting role.
Making her name as a fashion model, Jung worked hard to prepare for her role as a storied pickpocket.
“I watched a lot of documentaries about North Korean defectors. I also practiced speaking in a North Korean accent with a teacher, and studied a lot,” Jung told W Korea.
Jung was initially hesitant about herself as an actress and playing Sae-Byeok in the movie, but quickly grew into the role.
“More than anything, I think I was able to accept Sae-byeok without any big difficulties because I am similar to her. In 2016, I left Korea to further my modeling career overseas, and I spent a lot of time alone. At the time, the emotion that I felt the most was loneliness. That feeling of loneliness while trying to persevere and live isn’t all that different,” she said.
With all the newfound popularity, it sometimes leads to feelings of feeling overwhelmed, but the actress maintains a positive attitude, sharing with The Herald Korea how she’s handling the sudden stardom.
“I was chatting with Park Hae-soo the other day, and he said, Let’s keep our feet on the ground. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I live with the thought that my feet are on the ground,” Jung shared in an interview with The Herald.
“I am well-aware of how much work I have to do and learn to become a better actor and I try not to dwell too much on the success of Squid Game. For the fans, I think it is best to show Jung Ho-yeon improved as an actor, in my next work.”