South Korean model-turned “Squid Game” actress, Hoyeon Jung, has made history as the first Korean to land a solo Vogue cover.
Hoyeon Jung who is the most-followed Korean actress on Instagram, starred on the Netflix hit as North Korean defector Kang Sae-byeok, and is the cover star of the magazine’s February issue.
The 27-year-old, became a global sensation just weeks after the series was released in September as she went from 400,000 to 15 million Instagram followers according to Vogue’s cover story. As of Friday, January 7, that number had ballooned to 23.7 million for the “Korea’s Next Top Model” runner-up.
“Even if eight people loved me and only two people hated me, I always cried, at home alone,” she told Vogue. “Even now, I struggle with low-self-esteem.”
Following “Next Top Model,” Hoyeon signed with a New York modeling agency, moved to the Big Apple — until a “Squid Game” production call beckoned her home at the start of the pandemic.
Vogue also revealed she studied English, martial arts and acting.
“Looking back,” she told Vogue, “If not for those quiet and lonely times [watching cerebral films], I don’t know that I would have ever dreamed of acting.”
As for her global fame, Hoyeon said she lost eight pounds as she struggled to grasp the intensity of the situation.
“I don’t know why, but I couldn’t eat. I was so confused, and it was so chaotic. I didn’t believe it. I didn’t trust it,” she told Vogue, noting her family didn’t let it get to her head.
“My mom did joke that my acting was very realistic, like when I’m being mean to her. … My younger sister … just thinks of me as her older sibling.”