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Squid Game’s Jung Ho-yeon now 2nd most-followed Korean actress on Instagram

Her followers grew from 400,000 to more than 12.6 million in less than three weeks.

Squid Game’s Jung Ho-yeon now 2nd most-followed Korean actress on Instagram

Jung Ho-yeon in character as Kang Sae-byeok (or #67) in the Netflix hit, Squid Game. (Photo: Netflix)

Korean actress Jung Ho-yeon knows firsthand just how much of a pop culture phenomenon the Netflix hit, Squid Game, is.

Jung, who plays North Korean defector Kang Sae-byeok (or #67) in the series, had just 400,000 followers on Instagram before the show aired on Sep 17.

Fast forward to Oct 4 and she now boasts 12.6 million followers.

She’s catapulted over another popular K-drama actress, Song Hye-kyo, for the honour of being the second most followed Korean actress on Instagram, according to Soompi. Song has 12 million followers.

The top spot belongs to Lee Sung-hyung, who has 12.9 million followers. However, given Jung’s rising fame and the show’s popularity around the world, this might change in just a few days.

In an interview with Herald POP in Oct 1, Jung said she was “very surprised” by the growing numbers.

When I opened the app once, the number went up, and when I opened it again, it went up further. I thought that the love for Squid Game was being reflected in numbers, like fate, and I was thankful. Just the fact that so many people around the world are showing their interest puts me in a good mood.”

A couple of Jung’s co-stars have also just joined the platform, namely, Lee Jung-jae and Park Hae-soo, who play Seong Gi-hun (#456) and Cho Sang-woo (#218) in the show, respectively. Lee garnered around 1.3 million followers while Park scored more than 750,000 – in just a day.

(Screen grab: Squid Game)

Squid Game marks Jung’s first acting role, following her career as a model. Among the photos she has shared on her now bustling Instagram account is of herself and her close friend, Blackpink's Jennie. 

The Netflix series shows 456 cash-strapped contestants who compete in several deadly games for a prize of 45.6 billion won (US$38.66 million). It’s unclear at this point if there will be a second season.

The action-horror series could become the streaming service’s most popular show yet globally, said Netflix’s co-chief executive, Ted Sarandos.

"We did not see that coming, in terms of its global popularity," he said.

Source: CNA/sr