Lee Jung-jae says he didn’t put effort to look nice for one year for ‘Squid Game’ role

Published January 13, 2022, 4:44 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards nominee Lee Jung-jae said he did not put any effort into his appearance for one year due to his role in Netflix’s global hit Korean series “Squid Game.”

Lee Jung-jae was a guest on the Jan. 13 episode of the Korean show “You Quiz on the Block” where he discussed “Squid Game.”

Lee Jung-jae in “Squid Game” and during a guesting on a Korean TV news program (Instagram)

“When I was filming ‘Squid Game,’ I didn’t really put any effort into making my appearance look nice. I didn’t have to because of my role,” he said.

In “Squid Game,” Lee Jung-jae played the role of Seong Gi-hun, a man who lives with his mother and owes 410 million won (about $346,000) to loan sharks and banks.

“Squid Game” tells the story of 456 debt-ridden people who are recruited to play deadly children’s games for a prize of 45.6 billion won ($38.5 million).

“I lived a ‘natural’ life for about a year; I didn’t cut my hair, didn’t shave, didn’t even care what I wore. I had to maintain the look for my character, you know. It was kind of great, actually.” Lee Jung-jae said, according to SBS News.

He added, “At that time, people around me kept asking me what I was filming. I told them it was ‘Squid Game,’ and they would be like, ‘What kind of name for a series is called ‘Squid Game?'”

Because of “Squid Game,” Lee Jung-jae got nominated for best actor at the Golden Globe Awards, SAG Awards, 27th Annual Critics Choice Awards, 37th Independent Spirit Awards, 11th Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts International Awards and Gotham Awards.

During his appearance on “You Quiz on the Block,” Lee Jung-jae also thanked Korean fans for informing people that he does not look like Seong Gi-hun in real life.

“Since I got the sort of responses from non-Korean ‘Squid Game’ fans that you mentioned, lots of my fans in Korea shared ‘normal’ photos of me when I’m not Seong Gi-hun in ‘Squid Game’ to prove that I’m not usually like him,” he said.

He added, “They were like, ‘Please know that Lee Jung-jae is generally this good-looking.’ I’ve seen them sharing photos of me wearing suits, when I was in a good shape and stuff like that. I honestly do appreciate that.”