Social media has been saturated with Squid Game memes, theories, challenges, spoilers – you name it. But, there’s one tragic detail that non-Korean speakers missed out on in the hit Netflix show.
Jung Ho-yeon gave a compelling performance as Sae-byeok (aka number 067). Her harrowing background revealed that the North Korean defector needed the cash prize to get her brother out of an orphanage and reunite with her mother, who was captured in China after trying to escape North Korea.
Korean speakers have since picked up on a small but powerful detail that truly elevated her work.
One person took to Twitter and explained: “In the scene where Sae Byeok talks to her younger brother, she initially talks in the standard Seoul dialect, but immediately switches to the North Korean accent when her brother starts becoming distressed.”
Another viewer added: “When everyone watching with me I was like ‘why doesn’t everyone know she’s North Korean?’”
“That’s pretty awesome that the change of accent showed she was different in the show,” one tweeted.
A Reddit user took to the platform to explain that it’s typical for North Koreans to adopt South Korean speech and mannerisms “so they don’t stick out like a sore thumb”.
Sae-byeok only uses her authentic accent in the scene when she is speaking with her brother at the orphanage.
The 27-year-old actress has since become the most-followed Korean actress on Instagram, going from 410,000 followers to 15 million in barely three weeks.
Prior to Squid Games, Ho-yeon already made her debut in the fashion world, coming second on Korea’s Next Top Model.
She was recently announced as the global ambassador for Louis Vuitton.