Squid Game’s Lee Jung-jae Carves History with Best Actor Emmy Win

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BY: Michelle Liew

South Korean actor Lee Jung-jae, 50, made history by becoming the first foreign actor to win the Best Actor in a Drama Series trophy at the 2022 Emmy Awards held at the Microsoft Theatre yesteday.

Although his victory through the Squid Game was expected by many, his competition in the category involved was very fierce including Jason Bateman through the Ozark series, Brian Cox and Jeremy Strong (Successio) and Adam Scott (Severance).

In his speech, Lee thanked the director and creator of Squid Game, Hwang Dong-hyuk for bringing the drama to life in such an extraordinary way.

"Thank you to the director for successfully bringing the realistic life problems we all face to life so creatively on screen in addition to the script and extraordinary visuals," he said.

Not only Jung-jae, Squid Game also excelled when Dong-hyuk was named Best Director of a Drama Series at the prestigious award.

The director involved appeared on stage to give a speech without an interpreter and spoke entirely in English.

Jesse Armstrong's drama Succession was named Best Drama Series, Ted Lasso (Best Comedy Series), The White Lotus (Best Short Series), while Best Writing in a Drama Series was also won by Armstrong through Succession.

The 2022 Emmy Awards was hosted by Kenan Thompson.