Emmys 2022: Lee Jung-jae Named Best Actor for Squid Game in Historic Win

Squid Game‘s Lee Jung-jae hit the jackpot at Monday’s Emmy Awards, winning Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his work in Netflix’s South Korean smash. Jung-jae makes history as the first actor in a non-English series to win in the category.

The actor prevailed over fellow nominees Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), Jason Bateman (Ozark), Jeremy Strong (Succession), Adam Scott (Severance) and Brian Cox (Succession).

In TVLine’s Dream Emmy blurb for Jung-jae, we wrote, “It speaks volumes about Lee’s work that those braving Netflix’s South Korean survival drama come to give a fig about Seong Gi-hun, a sad-sack chauffeur whose aptitude as a divorced dad is only dwarfed by his ability to hold onto a buck. Gi-hun is the king of bad choices. Yet once he is pulled into the titular and deadly spectacle, a greater survival instinct starts kicking in and Lee compels us to track his character’s evolution, as well as his distinct dynamics with onetime chum Sang-woo, the quietly savvy Sae-byeok, the gangster Deok-su and, most intricately, Il-nam aka Old Man.”

In a TVLine poll ahead of Monday’s primetime ceremony, in which we asked readers’ which nominees they would most like to see win, Jung-jae placed third behind Odenkirk and Bateman.

Jung-jae recently landed the male lead in The Acolyte, Disney+’s upcoming Star Wars series.

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