‘Squid Game’ lead Lee Jung-jae becomes the first Asian actor to win Best Actor Critics’ Choice Award

lee jung jae critics choice
  • “Squid Game” lead Lee Jung-jae made history at the 27th Critics’ Choice Awards on Sunday as the first Asian actor to win Best Actor in a Drama Series.
  • The South Korean Netflix original became the most-watched Netflix show of all time with 111 million accounts having streamed the series in the first month of its release.
  • In his acceptance speech, Lee stated. “I cannot express how wonderful I am of… thank you, Netflix.”
  • His error was met with gentle laughter from the audience, who may have understood Lee had intended to say “grateful” rather than “wonderful.”

“Squid Game” main lead Lee Jung-jae became the first Asian actor to win the Best Actor in a Drama Series award at the 27th Critics’ Choice Awards on Sunday. 

“Thank you, God,” Lee said after accepting the award onstage. “Thank you very much, Critics’ Choice Awards and everyone who loved and supported ‘Squid Game.’” 

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Fellow “Squid Game” actors Jung Ho-yeon and Park Hae-soo, both also present at the ceremony, were seen cheering enthusiastically from their table. While Jung clapped,  Park held up his phone to record Lee’s speech.

“I can’t express how wonderful I am… of… ” Lee said with a huge smile. “Thank you Netflix, thank you ‘Squid Game’ team.” The end of his speech was met with gentle laughter from the audience, who may have understood Lee had intended to say “grateful” rather than “wonderful.” 

His translator, also on stage, did not intervene and let him finish his speech. Lee left the stage with the award in hand. 

 

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The Critics’ Choice Awards began in 1996 but only began awarding for Best Actor in a Drama Series in 2011, when John Hamm won the then inaugural award for his performance in “Mad Men.” Sunday marked the first time in the category’s 11-year history that an Asian actor won its Best Actor in a drama series category. Winners are determined by members of the Critics Choice Association, which presents the Awards.

The South Korean Netflix original “Squid Game” became the most-watched Netflix show of all time with 111 million accounts having watched at least two minutes of the show in the first month of its release.

 

Featured Image via Getty (left), Noh Juhan / Netflix (right)

 

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