Lee Jung-jae, the star of the international hit series “Squid Game,” made history at Monday night’s Emmys when he became the first Asian actor to win the Best Actor category.
“Squid Game” took home four Emmy Awards from its 14 nominations, including awards for guest acting, stunt production design and visual effects. The series also made history as the first non-English language series to be nominated for an Emmy.
The Emmy Awards took place on Monday night with actor and comedian Kenan Thompson serving as the event’s host. The ceremony was held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Lee took home the Best Actor award, becoming the first Asian and Korean actor to win the category as well the first actor from a non-English language series to win an Emmy.
The 49-year-old actor thanked “God above” and the Television Academy during his acceptance speech.
“Thank you to Netflix and thank you to the director for making realistic problems we all face come to life so creatively on the screen with a great script and amazing visuals. Thank you,” Lee said. “Thank you, ‘Squid Game’ team. Thank you to everyone watching in Korea. Thank you.”
In addition, actor Lee You-mi, who played Ji-yeon in “Squid Games,” won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series. She became the first Korean actress to win the category.
The show’s director Hwang Dong-hyuk won the Outstanding Drama Series award, becoming the first director to win an Emmy award for a non-English language series.
“Squid Game” was released on Netflix in November 2021 and instantly became a global hit, dominating the platform’s worldwide streaming charts. It also became Netflix’s most watched series of all time.