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Squid Game star reveals why he is sad at the show's massive success
Photo: © ANP

Squid Game star reveals why he is sad at the show's massive success

Squid Game star reveals why he is sad at the show's massive success
Photo: © ANP

Squid Game star Lee Jung-jae has explained why the show's massive success is bittersweet.

The Korean show remains one of the most popular Netflix series in the platform's history, with an astonishing 1.65 billion hours watched by viewers in the first four weeks of its release.

The plot revolves around a contest where down-on-their-luck citizens are put through a series of deadly challenges based on children's games in order to win 45.6 billion South Korean Won, which is around £29 million.

Squid Game touches on many social issues such as the rich-poor divide and the lengths that people will go to for money, or survival.

Jung-jae, who won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in A Drama Series for his performance, says the fact that these themes resonated with so many people around the world isn't necessarily a cause for celebration.

“I’m happy about it, of course, but it’s bittersweet," he said in an interview with The Guardian.

Yes, it’s great that audiences are consuming Korean content around the world. And they appreciate it. But if you think about the themes of Squid Game – how far are we willing to go to accumulate personal wealth; the lengths people are forced to go to – the fact it resonated with so many around the world is worrying. You get a sense this is the reality for so many people globally. And that makes me feel hugely sad.

And we had to express the experiences of these characters being pushed to those extremes. Doing that? It was terrible. The more beautiful the game set was, and the more childish and fun it seemed, the more horrific it was for the characters, and therefore us as actors.

"I do think about what happened in that show. It’s impossible not to. And it made me think about what I’m not doing. Many of us live obliviously. It made me rethink how I look at the world. It couldn’t not.”

Squid Game series two

The enormous success of Squid Game both commercially and critically meant that a second series became inevitable, though a future was certainly hinted at in the last few minutes of the final episode of season one.

Netflix confirmed the sequel series this week along with a message from creator Hwang Dong-hyuk which read:

"A whole new round is coming. 

"It took 12 years to bring the first season of 'Squid Game to life last year.

"But it took 12 days for 'Squid Game' to become the most popular Netflix series ever.

"As the writer, director and producer of 'Squid Game', a huge shout out to fans around the world.

"Thank you for watching and loving our show.

"And now, Gi-hun returns.
"The Front Man returns.
"Season 2 is coming.

"The man in the suit with ddakji might be back.
"You'll also be introduced to Young-hee's boyfriend, Cheol-su...

"Join us once more for a whole new round."

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