Recently, the cast of Squid Game headed out to the states to attend a special screening of the K-Drama in Hollywood, California. Ready to go with their translator in tow, Lee Jung Jae, the series’ director Hwang Dong Hyuk, and the rest of the cast made their way onto the red carpet to greet their fans. However, it was here that an American reporter from NBC‘s Extra TV asked a question to Lee Jung Jae that has been receiving mixed responses from netizens.
The reporter, who can be seen interviewing the actor and the director with enthusiasm, asked Lee Jung Jae, “I’m sure you can’t leave the house anymore without people recognizing you. What has been the biggest life change for you since the series came out?” And while it was meant with the most pure intentions, some netizens believed that her question showed her lack of research into Lee Jung Jae.
NBC Reporter: I’m sure you can’t leave the house anymore without people recognizing you. What has been the biggest life change for you since the series came out?
Lee Jung Jae: Yes you are right, indeed. The biggest change has to be how I am so recognized by everybody everywhere, even in the United States at that. So when I would go to restaurants or out in the streets, I get recognized by so many people and sometimes, when they are staring at me, I get startled and think to myself ‘wait, why are they looking at me like that.’ But then when I lock eyes with them, they would instantly talk about ‘Squid Game.’ So those are the moments when I realized we really did make it big.
The reason behind the backlash is due to the fact that Lee Jung Jae has been one of South Korea’s top actors for decades now, ever since his debut back in 1993. Having been in the industry for almost 30 years, the actor never once found himself in a career rut. With every production he filmed, Lee Jung Jae found even greater fame due to his incredible acting talent and ability to digest every character portrayal.
With his recent appearance in Squid Game, however, Lee Jung Jae was catapulted into international success like never before. As he started to gain recognition all over the world, the actor began to see popularity, even in the Western nations. Lee Jung Jae has been busy promoting the Netflix dystopian series in the states, as he gets his name even more known in the country. However, those who are new to the Korean entertainment industry may not have been aware of Lee Jung Jae’s previous Korean fame—like the NBC reporter.
Even though the Squid Game actor had a wonderful response to the reporter’s question, many Korean netizens found her question to be “ignorant” due to her supposed lack of research about the actor prior to her interview.
- “Lee Jung Jae has been a top star ever since I was born. What the f*ck is she saying ㅋㅋ”
- “The translator has skills + sense..”
- “Lee Jung Jae never went through an unpopular phase ㅋㅋㅋㅋ”
- “His debut production had a viewership rating of 50% ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ”
- “What kind of question is this to a person who’s always been a top star ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ”
- “There’s no one in South Korea who doesn’t know who Lee Jung Jae is!!! Isn’t it common courtesy to research a little bit before interviewing someone? Wow, that country truly is ignorant ㅋㅋㅋㅋ”
- “ㅋㅋㅋㅋ Lee Jung Jae has always been a top star though…”
However, there were some netizens who were a little more forgiving towards the reporter, as they sympathized with her unfamiliarity with Lee Jung Jae.
You can catch clip from the interview in question down below.
"For you, I'm sure you can't leave the house anymore without people recognizing you. What has been the biggest life change for you since the series came out?"🤡
OH THE CRINGE pic.twitter.com/Z9h35yDWxG
— Fel (@Fel_Space) November 10, 2021