If you’re anything like me you’ve probably pulled an all-nighter in the past week and binged the entire season of Squid Game on Netflix. The series itself is nothing short of excellent, but the world seems to be stanning one actress in particular: HoYeon Jung who plays Sae-byeok – otherwise known as Player 067.

Her Instagram account is evidence enough; she’s shot from 400,000 followers to a whopping 12 million (and counting) in just over two weeks.

While we won’t uncover Sae-byeok’s fate in the show because ~*spoilers*~ we did a deep dive on who exactly she is, so you don’t have to.

Surprisingly, Squid Game was actually HoYeon Jung’s first ever acting role. Unsurprisingly, it isn’t her first time in front of a camera. If her razor sharp cheekbones and ridiculously good looks weren’t already enough of a dead giveaway, Jung is actually a very successful model.

Her modelling career began at age 16 when she walked Seoul Fashion Week, but really took off in 2013 when she appeared on the fourth season of ‘Korea’s Next Top Model’ and bagged second place. After the show she excelled as a model, appearing in countless magazines across the globe. She’s since walked international runways for Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Alberta Ferretti and Fendi.

Jung was actually so busy with her modelling career that she auditioned for Squid Game via a self-taped video from New York that was taken amid fashion week.

“I remember how I spent all my time reading the script apart from when I ate food. I sent the video in, and the director contacted me, asking me to meet in person. So I dropped everything and flew in right away,” she told W Korea.

Considering Jung’s modelling background, it makes sense that she’s rubbed shoulders with some of Korea’s most elite. She’s very good friends with Jennie from BlackPink. Jung recently posted a photo of her and Jennie hanging out on the set of Squid Game. She’s also been spotted wearing clothes by the brand NIEEH, a brand rumoured to be owned by Jennie.

It comes as little surprise that a show with a cult following like Squid Game has a subreddit dedicated specifically to the show. However, Jung’s fame has reached such heights that she actually has her own subreddit dedicated entirely to discussing… her. The subreddit r/HoYeonJung currently has 1,584 members and features photos of the model and a live chat about her.

A quick search of the r/squidgame Reddit sub will see hundreds – if not thousands – of pieces of fan art that fans have painted and drawn of her. Jung even featured one of the fan art drawings on her official Instagram page.

Squid Game is on track to become Netflix’s most watched show ever. If you’re part of the 0.05% of the population that hasn’t seen it yet, then you can head here to watch it.

Watch the trailer for Squid Game featuring HoYeon Jung:

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine