On Tuesday, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol awarded South Korea’s highest cultural medal to “Squid Game” lead Lee Jung-jae and director Hwang Dong-hyuk.
The Geumgwan Order of Cultural Merit is the highest tier of cultural decoration given by South Korea. The medal was presented to Hwang and Lee by President Yoon in his Seoul office for their contributions to the national film industry.
Prior to the awards, President Yoon sent congratulatory messages to both Hwang and Lee. For Hwang, Yoon remarked on his “fierce efforts and talent” throughout his career, citing his work on the films “Silenced” and “Miss Granny” in addition to his Best Director Emmy for “Squid Game.” For Lee, Yoon said he gave a “remarkable performance” in “Squid Game” as Seong Gi-hun and merged his character and the hearts of viewers.
In September, Lee became the first Asian to win an Emmy for Best Actor in a Drama Series for “Squid Game.” He also became the first Asian to win the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actor, which he achieved shortly after collecting the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama SAG award in late February.
Earlier this year, Lee received critical praise for his directorial debut at Cannes with the political thriller film “Hunt.” The actor is slated to lead a forthcoming “Star Wars” series titled “The Acolyte.”
As for “Squid Game” Season 2, filming will reportedly start in 2023 and release sometime in 2024.