South Korean star Jung Ho-yeon made history this week by becoming the first Korean featured in the Time100 Next list.
On Wednesday, Time unveiled its list of 100 people from different fields who they believe could shape the future, with 28-year-old Jung among the individuals named under the Phenoms list
Jung rose to fame after being cast in the hit Netflix series “Squid Game,” her first acting job. Hwang Dong-hyuk, the Emmy award-winning director of the series, recalled the first time he saw Jung audition for the role of Kang Sae-byeok.
Hwang told Time that he had already spent “three tiring months” searching for the right actor to play the character. He eventually watched Jung’s audition tape but “didn’t have high expectations” at the time due to Jung’s lack of acting experience.
About 10 seconds into the tape, Hwang said he suddenly darted upright from his chair and admitted he was “captivated by what was on the screen.”
“Her acting in the video was somewhat unfamiliar and stiff compared with other seasoned actors. However, I also saw Hoyeon not showing any sign of being shy,” Hwang said. “Nor did she want to hide the fact that she didn’t have any acting experience. She seemed to acknowledge and accept her weaknesses, and was committed to overcoming them.”
“I think Hoyeon is still fighting every day — against her fame, the expectations, and the jealousy of her success, as well as her own desires,” Hwang said.
“I often joke around and call her a ‘warrior.’ There’s no doubt that she has the skill and courage to fight her numerous battles. And I hope her acting career can become a true resting area, not her battleground.”