Jung Ho-yeon and Sandra Oh discuss Korean-American representation

“I came from Korea, I lived in Korea almost my whole life – am I allowed to represent them?” pondered Jung

Squid Game breakout star Jung Hoyeon and Killing Eve actress Sandra Oh recently came together to discuss what it’s like being at the forefront of Korean-American representation.

In a new instalment of Variety’s Actors on Actors conversation series, the two actresses sat down to chat about the growing amount of Korean-American and Asian-American representation in the media during the past few years.

“I think that we both feel like being here together, having this conversation and being shot together is very special – and I’m curious about your point of view,” said Oh, who was born to Korean immigrants in Canada. “This is a real change for us as Korean-Americans, and I’ve been always interested in the native Korean perspective.”


The South Korean model-turned-actress the shared her view on what it’s like being a native Korean in media, especially following the success of Squid Game. “When I came to the US for campaigning for Squid Game, I met a lot of Asian-American people who said to me that ‘Oh, thank you for representing us. Oh, we are so proud of you’,” Jung shared.

“At the beginning, it was just [a happy feeling],” she added, but also wondered whether as an outsider, if she was “allowed” to represent the Korean-American population. “But I also think about ‘I came from Korea, I lived in Korea almost my whole life – am I allowed to represent them?’”

“I thought a lot about that, too, for you, and I just want to take that off of you. Because it is a large responsibility that feels familiar to me,” shared Oh, who went on to add that she had only started to feel the change in Asian-American representation in 2019.

“You are, in the image-making, a very important part for Asian-Americans,” Oh reassured Jung. “I do think the change and the opening and the growth is coming. So while I want to thank you for that, because I do, I also want to relieve you of any kind of – it’s impossible to relieve you of the pressure – but I want to somehow relieve you of the pressure for that.”

“I’m trying, but all I can do is just keep trying not to overthink this responsibility, but also care about this responsibility,” answered Jung, adding that things had happened “so quick” for her. However, she shared that she had been learning to keep balanced through having conversations with her more experienced co-stars.