Netflix’s smash-hit Squid Game is no stranger to breaking barriers and crushing records. After the show’s initial massive success on the streaming platform, Squid Game and its cast have continued to collect awards and accolades–the latest being at the 28th Screen Actors Guild Awards. Held on Sunday, February 27, 2022, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California, the ceremony awarded Squid Game with three of the four awards the series was up for.
An A-list Ensemble
The first award of the night, the cast of Squid Game won the award for Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series. Alongside the K-drama were nominees such as Cobra Kai, Marvel heavyweights The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki, and Mare of Easttown. The ensemble award winner was announced before the ceremony aired.
Lee Jung-jae Steals the Show
Seasoned K-drama veteran Lee Jung-jae has experienced exponential success in the Western entertainment market following the release of Squid Game. For his performance as the show’s leading man, Song Gi-hun, Lee took home the award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series. The win was hard-fought, with his fellow nominees including Brian Cox, Kieran Culkin and Jeremy Strong of HBO sensation Succession, and Billy Crudup of Apple TV’s The Morning Show.
With his translator accompanying him on stage, Lee accepted his award with grace and all the excitement of a rookie actor, despite his impressive acting history. “Well, I did write a lot, but I don’t think I can read it all,” the actor joked, tucking away his speech notes. The award marks Lee’s first-ever SAG nomination and win. Lee’s co-stars were just as excited as he was, on their feet in a heartwarming scene of shared joy and camaraderie.
Breakout Star Jung Hoyeon Nabs Outstanding Actress Award
With Squid Game as Jung Hoyeon’s first role on-screen, the model-turned-actress won the SAG award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series. Jung beat out Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon of The Morning Show, Elisabeth Moss of The Handmaid’s Tale, and Succession’s Sarah Snook.
Jung expressed her gratitude for the award with teary eyes and wringing hands, noting that she grew up watching so many of her fellow nominees and the stars in attendance. “Thank you [for] making my dream and open[ing] the door for me,” the actress said.
A Historic Awards Season
The show’s nominations were historic, as the first non-English and first Korean series to be nominated for a SAG award back in January 2022.
This isn’t the show’s first win–in January, O Yeong-su nabbed the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor, Television, making him the first Korean man to win in the ceremony’s history. In addition, Lee Jung-jae will now be the first Korean man to win the SAG award he took home this year. The last time a Korean cast won an ensemble award at SAG was in 2020, with Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite winning for best ensemble cast in a motion picture.
Fans of the show can anticipate a few more nominations–there is early speculation that the show could be nominated for a Primetime Emmy, as the Television Academy has confirmed the show is eligible. Squid Game fans can also stay on the lookout for a second season, which director Hwang Dong-hyuk and Netflix have confirmed.
Congratulations to Lee Jung-jae, Jung Hoyeon, and the cast of Squid Game for their wins!
Want to keep up with the Squid Game cast? Check out our coverage of Lee Jung-jae’s recent move to work with Creative Artists Agency.