Lee Jung-jae is a name that’s become synonymous with a global phenomenon after starring in Squid Game.

A show unlike any we’ve seen in recent Netflix history, Squid Game cuts across genre and language to bring something universal to viewers about power, and those who must suffer in order for others to keep it.

The interrogation of power is a theme that Lee Jung-jae is increasingly wedded to.

The 49-year-old South Korean actor, who was in London recently promoting his directorial debut thriller Hunt at the London East Asian Film Festival, is all about contradictions.

In Hunt, he plays the lead character, a Korean secret service agent, KCIA officer Park Pyong-ho. The character is both good, and bad, and neither.

In Squid Game, too, he plays an everyman, downtrodden and beaten by the hands of capitalism, and whose innocent demeanour is slowly scraped away as he becomes entangled in a game of life and death.

We know why we flocked to the series, but to the lead star of the show, what is it about Squid Game that viewers found so captivating?

‘I was really surprised,’ he tells Metro.co.uk, referring to the global success of the show. ‘Squid Game is hands-down the most watched programme in Korea as well! No matter where I go, people recognise me because of Squid Game, and they talk about enjoying it.

‘They really understood the message we were trying to give through Squid Game. I’m really grateful.’

With his star continuing to rise, Lee recently made history after he was awarded an Emmy for his outstanding performance on Squid Game, and LucasFilm earlier this week unveiled that the star has landed the lead role in the Disney Plus Star Wars series, The Acolyte.

Information about the upcoming thriller is kept tightly under wraps, but given Lee’s propensity for choosing conflicted characters, his performance on the show is sure to be a riveting watch.

When asked about the future, Lee revealed that he was still acting – and writing, with the wealth gap, along with the world our children will inherit, both deeply informing his creative works.

‘I’m still working on the script so I’m not sure where it’s going to end up,’ he explains of an upcoming project. ‘I think that it will have something to do with how the reality we are living in and experiencing is changing at a very fast and very alarming rate.

‘For example, the environmental issues that we are experiencing? I think they are going to advance at a much faster pace than we anticipated, and also in a much worse direction than we are expecting.

‘I’m thinking about people who have so much wealth, and their pursuit of health using that immense wealth, and also how huge the gap is becoming between them and the Average Joe.

‘This kind of [unequal] future is not far off. It’s totally realistic. I want viewers think, “Oh my god, we can’t keep living like this”. And I want it to strike fear into the hearts of people.’

Source: metro.co.uk

By Damyan Ivanov

My name is Damyan Ivanov and i was born in 1998 in Varna, Bulgaria. Graduated high school in 2016 and since then i'm working on wordpress news websites.