More than a year has passed since the South Korean audiovisual industry ended up entering through the front door to stay on Western screens thanks to ‘The Squid Game’, the Netflix series converted into an international phenomenon that demonstrated once again —and this time to a huge number of spectators— the narrative power of the Asian country; but its leading man Lee Jung-jae continues to be overwhelmed by its content and impact.
We live in a society
As he commented in an interview with The Guardian, the Emmy-winning actor for his work in the production of Hwang Dong-hyuk is very happy with the success of the show; though sees a dark side to the motives behind its international impact.
“I’m happy, of course, but it’s bittersweet. Yes, it’s great that the public is consuming Korean content all over the world. And they appreciate it. But if you think about the themes of ‘The Squid Game,’ how far are we willing to go?” reach to accumulate personal wealth, how far people are forced to go, the fact that it has resonated with so many people around the world is concerning. You get the sense that this is the reality for a lot of people, and that makes me feel terribly sad.”
For Lee, this bittersweet feeling extended to the set, where he lived experiences that continue to resonate Today.
“We had to express the experiences of these characters being pushed to those extremes. It was terrible. The more beautiful the game’s setting and the more childish and fun it seemed, the more horrible it was for the characters and therefore for us as actors. I think about what happened on that show. That’s impossible not to do. And it makes me think about what I’m not doing. A lot of us live in it without being aware of it. It made me rethink how I see the world.”
Will the second season of ‘The Squid Game’ have the same impact? Will it return to reflect some of the murkiest corners of our society? To clear up doubts we will have to wait, at least, until end of 2023as dropped by Hwang last May.