Lee Jung-jae took home the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series at the 74th annual Television Academy Awards for his performance in Squid Game. Lee was up against stiff competition having beaten out Jason Bateman (Ozark), Brian Cox (Succession), Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), Adam Scott (Severance), and Jeremy Strong (Succession) for the award.
Squid Game is a heart-pounding series that follows contestants who are suffering from financial hardship in Korea who compete in a deadly competition for 45.6 billion won (about $35 Million). In the series, Lee is player 456 aka Seong Gi-hun, though Seong is marked as the last of the 456 players, he’s also the last one standing at the end of the brutal and bloody game. The series made waves with its first season which hit Netflix one year ago on September 17. Within the first 28 days on the streaming platform, the Korean-language series raked in a whopping 1.65 billion hours watched, which equates to over 180,000 years — making it the number one most watched show on the platform.
Lee is the first Korean actor ever to win the Emmy for Lead Actor in a Drama Series, he’s also the first actor to win the award for a non-English-speaking role. Earlier in the night, series creator, Hwang Dong-hyuk won the Emmy for Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series for the episode “Red Light, Green Light.” Jung Ho-yeon, Park Hae-soo, and Oh Young-soo were also nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress and Actor in a Drama Series but lost the award to Ozark‘s Julia Garner and Succession‘s Matthew Macfadyen.
The 74th Emmy Awards were held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on September 12, 2022, and aired live on NBC and are available for the first time on their streaming platform Peacock.
Check out Lee Jung-jae in the Squid Game trailer down below:
For more 2022 Emmys news:
- Emmy Winners 2022: The Full List of Winners (Updating)
- Jennifer Coolidge Wins Outstanding Supporting Actress in Limited Series | Emmys 2022
- Brett Goldstein Wins Outstanding Supporting Actor in Comedy Series | Emmys 2022
- Sheryl Lee Ralph Wins For Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series | Emmys 2022
- Julia Garner Wins For Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series | Emmys 2022