Hoyeon Jung chats to Vogue about “Squid Game”, fame, and more for the February issue.

The South Korean model-turned-actor, known for her role as Kang Sae-byeok in the hit Netflix series that was watched by some 142 million households in its first month, says her “entire life changed” when the show came out.

Hoyeon Jung. PHOTOGRAPHY BY HARLEY WEIR
Hoyeon Jung. PHOTOGRAPHY BY HARLEY WEIR

She says of becoming famous and her family’s reaction to it all, “The feeling, there’s a limit to what words can express. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t eat.” The star claims she lost eight pounds at the time.

“I was so confused, and it was so chaotic. I didn’t believe it. I didn’t trust it. My mom did joke that my acting was very realistic, like when I’m being mean to her.

“My younger sister never really took an interest in my career. She just thinks of me as her older sibling, so when she told me that my acting was ‘not that bad’ in ‘Squid Game’, I was quite surprised.”

READ MORE: ‘Squid Game’ Star Hoyeon Jung Says Her Weight Loss Is Because She ‘Didn’t Have Time To Eat’ After The Show’s Success

Hoyeon Jung. PHOTOGRAPHY BY HARLEY WEIR
Hoyeon Jung. PHOTOGRAPHY BY HARLEY WEIR

Jung also talks about landing a spot on Korea’s “Next Top Model” at age 19.

READ MORE: First Look At ‘Silent Sea’, Netflix Sci-Fi Thriller Featuring ‘Squid Game’ Stars

She recalls, “I searched my name every day, and I read all the comments, one by one. Even if eight people loved me and only two people hated me, I always cried, at home alone. Even now, I struggle with low self-esteem.”

The actress then discusses her love of New York City and finally feeling at peace with herself after her move.

She tells the magazine, “Growing up, I thought I had so many shortcomings, and I always thought that I had to fix them. New York was the first place that told me that they were okay. I remember being so moved.”

Vogue‘s February 2022 issue is available on newsstands nationwide on January 18.