Player 067 From ‘Squid Game’, Explained: Who is HoYeon Jung? –

Warning: The following contains spoilers for Season 1 of Squid Game.

For news on Season 2, click here.

The tragic hero of Netflixs Korean battle-royale sensation Squid Game is North Korean defector Kang Sae-byeokplayer number 067 (played by HoYeon Jung)whose redemption comes with a glass shard stuck in her side and a steak dinner she cant even enjoy. Tragic, indeed.

We dont know much about her character. We know she comes from the north with her brotherthe only two remaining family membersand that her brother is separated from her and living in an orphanage. We know she had some kind of personal and/or professional relationship with gangster Jang Deok-su. And we know her motivation for playing the game: she wants to get her brother out of the orphanage and improve both their lives.

Like everyone else, shell need to win all six games to receive the prize money. How she plays these games, however, tells us most about her.

As with other characters in the series, player 067 also seems to stand for larger concepts of moral decision-making.

In general, Kangs self-protectiveness is set against the collaborative efforts of players like Seong Gi-hun (No. 0456) who immediately seeks to form alliances. In contrast, Kang is reluctant to join teams and continually points out the flaws in collaboration: you cannot trust a single teammateeveryone will naturally betray you.

Alongside its being the current top dog on Netflix, Squid Game is also something of an introduction to game theoryalbeit an overly simplified, though (definitely) more fun version of whatever youll get in a classroom.

The schoolyard games played to the death are usually of two sorts: cooperative and non-cooperative. Either its in the players interests to work together to solve a problem (like the bridge or the tug-of-war), or they are incentivized to lie, cheat, and betray one another for individual gain (the marbles).

Seong, either through heroic optimism or sheer idiocy, maintains that not only is collaboration a dominant strategy, but people also wont always act out of self-interest, and, therefore, collaboration is always somehow possible.

Kangalongside players like Jang Deok-su (the gangster, number 101)thinks this belief is crap. (Cho Sang-woo, No. 0218 and Seongs childhood friend, is often on the fence, though concludes toward the final games that egoism is best.)

The differences are enforced not just in the characters blockingwhere Kang is often shown isolated and sometimes surrounded by hostile playersbut also in their identifications; in contrast to Seong, Kang doesnt even want other players to know her name. (She remains unnamed for several episodes.)

By the end of the series, however, Kang has come over to team Seong, not just physically but also ideologically. After the most obvious non-cooperative game (the marbles), where Kang witnesses her opponent play the game cooperatively, sacrificing herself so that Kang can use the money to return to her brother, she reaches a kind of breaking point.

During the next game on the bridge, she begins helping Seong. She is injured at the end of the game.

The night before the final game Seong approaches to help Kang . (Bending to aid injured, elderly, or dying persons becomes a kind of visual motif of the series; the penultimate scene involving a dying homeless man reinforces the message behind this motif.)

When Seong moves to murder Cho (No. 0218), Kang stops him, reminding Seong that this isnt you. It is the first time during the series where Seong acts antagonistically toward another player and the first time Kang disavows such an act.

Her character arc now complete, Kang dies.

Though Kang Sae-byeok, player 067, dies during the games, shes still able to help her brother. Seong locates him a year after the games, taking him out of the orphanage and uniting him with Chos motherwho has unknowingly lost her son.

Seong then vows to destroy the organization that had forced players to do what he and Kang determined to be wrong: exploit self-interest and treat players like horses.

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Squid Games player 067 is the first role for Korean fashion model HoYeon Jung. In 2013, Jung participated in season 4 of Koreas Next Top Model. She has since runway walked for brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Marc Jacobs.

In an interview with W Korea, Jung said she was surprised by her being cast in the Netflix series. When my CEO told me Id been casted, the first thing I said was, Why?, Jung said. I was so happy when I heard the news, but it was like a greater fear had taken over me. [I was like] Thank you very much, but I can do this?

At the time, Jung said she had just transferred to her current acting agency and had expected to receive more formal training before getting work. She auditioned for Squid Game early last year. She was given a script and told to send in a video audition in February.

Even though Jung hadnt received formal acting training, she prepared for the role like any working actor. I watched a lot of documentaries about North Korean defectors, she said. I also practiced speaking in a North Korean accent with a teacher, and studied a lot.

She said that, ultimately, she was able to tap into player 067 by finding affinity with the characters isolation from the group. In 2016, I left Korea to further my modelling career overseas, and I spent a lot of time alone, Jung explained. At the time, the emotion that I felt the most was loneliness That feeling of loneliness while trying to persevere and live isnt all that different [from Sae-byeok].

Though her character isnt likely to return should Squid Game get a season 2, we hope to see her in more film projects soon.

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