Award-winning actor and runway showstopper Jung Ho-yeon faces the same insecurities as the rest of us.
In The Hollywood Reporter’s Drama Actress Emmy Roundtable discussion with fellow TV stars Christina Ricci, Emmy Rossum, Lily James, Rosario Dawson and Sandra Oh, Jung reflected on the moment she first watched “Squid Game” ahead of its global premiere.
“I didn’t have any warning signs [of its groundbreaking success] because we watched ‘Squid Game’ before it came out — like the actors did — because we had to do promotions and events,” said the 27-year-old actor, whose role as the gritty Kang Sae-byeok quickly became a fan favorite among viewers.
“But I thought… is it allowed to swear?” Jung asked before continuing. “I thought that I f*cked – like I f*cked up. I messed up, I totally messed up.”
Her initial reaction was to apologize to the mastermind behind “Squid Games,” director Hwang Dong-hyuk: “I am so sorry and thank you so much for casting me.”
Jung continued,“But like, it was so stressful. I was kind of trying to prepare for the bad reactions and everything but….” Wiping away her tears, the star was consoled by her roundtable peers, who shared an understanding of those same difficulties through their own experiences in the industry.
“You just don’t know,” Oh chimed in.
“I imagine your experience in the show is so intense,” added Rossum. “You have so much inside, internally, and then you’re going to share that with everyone. Sometimes it can feel quite exposing too because it’s so personal and then it doesn’t belong to you anymore.”
When asked whether she still believes she “f*cked up,” Jung piped up: “Maybe not! Maybe it was better than I thought.”
“I have more, kind of, ‘jashingam’” she said before clarifying in English, “Confidence.”
The others at the table expressed their agreement, adding that it’s still hard to watch themselves on screen.
“Everytime,” Oh agreed.
Jung, who shot to stardom overnight upon the huge success of the Korean series, took a lot away from the experience. “I think I just have to keep going even though I make mistakes. I cried right now — I don’t know why I cried at this table — but I just have to keep going, fight with my anxiety and fight with the situation that I had and keep learning and trying.”