On “Squid Game,” Kang Sae-byeok is played by Jung Ho-yeon, a young woman whose career in the entertainment industry began long before her star-making turn on the hit Netflix show. According to The Korea Times, Jung began modeling at the age of 16 and, in 2016, she made her debut in the US modeling industry with her trademark red hair helping her stand out amongst the crowd. After taking part in the modeling competition “Korea’s Next Top Model,” where she came in second place (via Vogue). She gained even more fans and has since gone on to walk the runway for brands like Louis Vuitton, Opening Ceremony, Fendi, and Prabal Gurung.
Although Jung already had an impressive fan base before appearing in “Squid Game,” her performance on the show has helped boost her star power exponentially. A report by the Korean news website News 1 (also confirmed by NME), she is now officially the most-followed Korean actress on Instagram; at the time of this article, her follower count exceeds 13 million. Considering that her follower count was reportedly around 400,000 before “Squid Game” premiered on September 17, that’s an amazing increase in only a few weeks.