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2022 Emmy Nominee Profile: Jung Ho-yeon (Squid Game)

Months after snagging a Screen Actors Guild individual award for “Squid Game,” Jung Ho Yeon has now been recognized for her work on the Netflix show in the Emmy category for Best Supporting Actress in a Dramatic Role. The Korean series, in which Jung plays the role of Kang Sae-byeok, is his first TV credits. If she triumphs at the 74th Emmys, her first performance will be the first entirely in a non-English language ever honored by the Television Academy (unless one of her nominated co-stars beats her to the fist).

Jung’s episode submission “Gganbu” aired last September as the sixth episode of the inaugural season of “Squid Game.” It focuses on the fourth part of a deadly winner-takes-all contest involving Sae-byeok and 455 other players competing for a huge cash prize. At the start of this particular game, Sae-byeok and his chosen playing partner, Ji-yeong (Lee You-mi), are each given 10 marbles and told that only whoever finds a way to win the other’s entire streak will advance. Before playing a single trick that ensures Sae-byeok’s survival, the two young women have exhausted the half hour sharing their past secrets and future plans.

“Squid Game” racked up a total of 14 Emmy nominations for its first season, including one for Outstanding Drama Series and four more acting offers for guest star Lee, supporting the men. Oh Young-su and Hae-soo Parkand drive Lee Jung-jae. The show itself is the most-watched Netflix original program of all time, racking up 1.65 billion watch hours in its first four weeks on air. Since setting the record last fall, he has withstood challenges from popular American series such as “Ozark”, “Bridgerton” and “Stranger Things”.

At 28, Jung ranks among the 20 youngest women to have competed for the Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Dramatic Role. If she wins, she will be the fifth youngest champion in the category, after Kristy McNichol (15 and 16, “Family”, 1977 and 1979), Barbara Anderson (22, “Ironside”, 1968), Susan Saint-James (22, “The Name of the Game”, 1969) and Julia Garnier (25 and 26, “Ozark”, 2019 and 2020). Garner, who is four months older than Jung, has a shot at winning a third trophy for “Ozark” this year.

Besides Garner and Sarah Snook (“Succession”), those who challenge Jung are also new to this category of support. These other featured newbies are Patricia Arquette (“Break”), Christine Ricci (“Yellow Jackets”), Rhea Seehorn (“You better call Saul”), J. Smith-Cameron (“Estate”) and Sydney Sweeney (“Euphoria”). Arquette previously won a Best Dramatic Actress Emmy for “Medium” in 2005 and a Best Motion Picture/Limited Supporting Actress for “The Act” in 2019. Arquette is also currently nominated as producer of “Severance,” while Garner, Seehorn and Sweeney were simultaneously recognized for their respective work on “Inventing Anna” (Best Film/Limited Actress), “Cooper’s Bar” (Best Short Form Actress) and “The White Lotus” (Best Film/Actress in a supporting actor).

This article is part of Gold Derby’s “Emmy nominee profile” series highlighting the 2022 acting contenders.

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