Get to know Squid Game’s breakout actress and Louis Vuitton’s newest ambassador, Jung Ho Yeon
Interest in Jung Ho Yeon skyrocketed after the release of Squid Game, the international TV series sensation from Korea. Before we heard knew her as Player 067 or the North Korean refugee, Kang Sae Byeok in the series, the 27-year-old breakout star was no newbie to the spotlight.
The macabre Netflix series is Jung Ho Yeon’s first acting stint. It’s success saw her become the second most followed Korean actress now next only to Song Hye Kyo, not bad for a series-newbie, right? In real life, the veteran model (she’s been one for 11 years) is far from her outcast and hostile character. The real Jung Ho Yeon is actually a total ball of sunshine. Here are 5 things you need to know about the next hallyu queen.
Jung Ho Yeon started modelling in a relatively young age at 16. From that time, her success in the modelling industry was never halt into stop. She started to gain fame when she joined the fourth season of Korea’s Next Top Model, on which she won third place. She then walked in runway shows at Seoul Fashion Week before bursting onto the global fashion scene.
She made her global runway debut for Louis Vuitton in 2017, then continued to walk for brands like Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Chanel, Jacquemus, and more. Recently, Jung Ho Yeon became one of the new global ambassadors of Louis Vuitton alongside other top Korean stars like singers Taeyeon of Girls Generation, and Bambam who was a former member of K-Pop boy group, Got7.
Good luck follows her around
She signed with Saram Entertainment in January 2020 to pursue her ambitions as an actor and already landed an acting gig in the following month, where she auditioned for the role of Sae-byeok. Jung Ho Yeon shared in an interview that she was currently preparing for New York Fashion Week in 2020 when she auditioned for Squid Game, “This was the first audition script that I received after moving to the acting agency. It had been less than a month since I had started working with them.”
Love in the limelight
Jung is reportedly dating South Korean actor Lee Dong-hwi who is 9 years older than her since 2016. She shared in one of her interviews that Dong Hwi is “very proud of the success of Squid Game” and described him as a “good friend, and a good person.” She added, “He cheers me on a lot, and he worries for me as well. He’s sort of like a dad.” They were called as the “fashionista couple” of the industry.
Best friends with Jennie
One of Jung Ho Yeon’s famous friends include BLACKPINK member Jennie. The two often show support for one another on social media, and often share goofy selfies of them together.
In fact, Jennie didn’t gave her friend a food truck, but also visited the set of Squid Game to physically show her support for her friend. The model has also worn items from NIEEH, the brand rumored to be co-owned by the K-pop star.
Kang Sae Byeok changed her view on family
She shared that one of her similarities with Sae Byeok was being far away from home for a living, she said that kind of experience either bring happiness and sadness at the same time, she explained, “I experienced this loneliness when I was modeling overseas so in this regard I could really relate to her. I always traveled by myself on the airplane, stayed at hotels by myself. Even though I got some big campaign, I couldn’t celebrate with someone else. I just stayed at the hotel, had a glass of wine and congratulated myself. That kind of loneliness makes me stronger, and I can feel Saebyeok’s strength came from that loneliness.”
However, her character also taught her something important in return, she said that unlike Sae Byeok, her life centered on her personal interest, whereas Sae Byeok puts other people first to the point she’s willing to sacrifice her life for her loved ones. In that sense, Jung Ho Yeon saw a different view on what her friends and family mean to her.