Just minutes after Squid Game star Lee Jung-jae took home the award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series, his co-star HoYeon Jung also swept up the award for Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series. Both Korean actors responded emotionally to the honour, but it was HoYeon Jung who fought through tears while giving an incredibly touching acceptance speech.
“First and foremost, thank you so much,” HoYeon Jung said in Korean, which was then translated to English through an interpreter. “I have sat many-a-times watching you on the big screen dreaming of one day becoming an actor. I just want to say thank you so much.”
Then, speaking in English after pausing to shed a few tears, the actor added, “Thank you [for making my] dream and opening the door for me. I love my Squid Game crew!” She delivered her acceptance speech in custom Louis Vuitton.
This is HoYeon Jung’s first SAG Award, which makes sense considering her performance as Kang Sae-byeok, was her first-ever acting role. Despite that, millions of Netflix viewers fell in love with the North Korean defector who participates in a series of deadly games in the hopes of earning enough money to reunite her family.
“Last January I moved to my current acting agency, and at that time I thought that they would train me to a certain extent before putting me to work,” HoYeon Jung told W Korea in September 2021, per NME. “However, by February, a group chat including our CEO was created, and he gave me the Squid Game script and told me to film and send in an audition video. I was in New York for New York Fashion Week at the time!”
“When my CEO told me I’d been cast, the first thing I said was, ‘Why?’” she continued. “I was so happy when I heard the news, but it was like a greater fear had taken over me. [I was like] ‘Thank you very much, but I can do this?’”
The answer, of course, is yes. Congratulations!
This story originally appeared on GLAMOUR US.