Netflix’s Squid Game took the world by storm, but one of the Korean drama’s stars thought she didn’t do so well when watching the show for the first time.
Jung Ho-yeon’s character Kang Sae-byeok quickly became a fan favorite, but the actress told the Hollywood Reporter in a roundtable discussion with Sandra Oh, Emmy Rossum, Rosario Dawson, Lily James, and Christina Ricci that she thought she “fucked up” and apologized to the director for not fulfilling their vision.
“We watched Squid Game before it came out, like the actors did because we had to do kind of promotion and events stuff,” she said at the 45:15 mark above. “But I thought that—is it I allowed to swear? I thought that I fucked up.”
Ho-yeon was even preparing for bad reactions due to her performance. “I messed up, like I totally messed up. The first message after I watched Squid Game, to director Hwang, was, ‘I am so sorry, and thank you so much for casting me.’ I’m gonna cry, but it was so stressful. I was trying to prepare for the bad reactions and everything.”
Elsewhere in the conversation, Ho-yeon talked about the anxiety she had when preparing for Squid Game and got emotional when describing how she dealt with it.
“I’m reading a lot of scripts and just starting to educate myself. Like, ‘Do you want to tell people about this woman’s life? Or this woman’s life?’ And then the other side, I’m thinking, ‘I just want to try everything so that I can have more of a sense of what I like, what I want to do.’”
Ho-yeon added, “But for now, I just have to keep going even though I make mistakes. Even though I just cried right now. I don’t even know why I cried, but I just have to fight with my anxiety and keep learning and trying.”