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Lee Jung-jae Voices Sadness at Squid Games Success

The success Squid Games had was a shock to the world. American audiences tend to only consume American-produced shows, yet the Squid Games Korean production did not seem to deter any fans. The TV show became Netflix’s most successful production in the platform’s history. 

After the success of its pilot season, plans for season two were immediately put in place. One of the tv show’s lead actors, Lee Jung-Jae, became “the first Asian to win an Emmy as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama for his role as Seong Gi-hun, aka Player 456.” In an interview with the Guardian, he explained that while is happy to be in such a successful show, the TV show’s content has deeply worried him, “I’m happy about it, of course, but it’s bittersweet. Yes, it’s great that audiences are consuming Korean content around the world. And they appreciate it. But if you think about the themes of Squid Game – how far are we willing to go to accumulate personal wealth; the lengths people are forced to go to – the fact it resonated with so many around the world is worrying. You get a sense this is the reality for so many people globally. And that makes me feel hugely sad. And we had to express the experiences of these characters being pushed to those extremes. Doing that? It was terrible. The more beautiful the game set was, and the more childish and fun it seemed, the more horrific it was for the characters and, therefore, us as actors. I do think about what happened in that show. It’s impossible not to. And it made me think about what I’m not doing. Many of us live obliviously. It made me rethink how I look at the world. It couldn’t not.”

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