‘Squid Game’ actor Lee Jung-jae makes directorial debut with ‘Hunt’


South Korean actor Lee Jung-jae, who starred in the massively popular Netflix series “Squid Game,” salutes viewers in the director’s chair with his spy thriller “Hunt.”

Lee’s directorial and screenwriting debut received its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, where it is screening out of competition.

The fast-paced, action-packed movie centers around two South Korean spies who are tasked with uncovering a North Korean mole, and wind up investigating each other in the process.

Lee, 49, stars as one of the spies opposite his longtime friend and business partner Jung Woo-sung.

Lee Jung-jae poses for photographers at the photocall for the film “Hunt” at the 75th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, May 19, 2022. (AP Photo)

He said his nearly three-decadelong career was a big help when stepping behind the lens.

“I have acted in many different genres and I could remember scenes I’d shot as an actor that were difficult to film or that didn’t come out as I expected,” he told Reuters in Cannes.

“I tried to remember those scenes when I was writing the script to ensure I could be as effective as possible when directing,” he explained.

Lee makes his debut riding on the high of the success of his Netflix series, which became the streaming giant’s most popular show globally, and the triumphs of other Korean TV shows, films and music around the world.

Lee Jung-jae poses for portrait photographs for the film

Lee Jung-jae poses for portrait photographs for the film “Hunt,” at the 75th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, May 19, 2022. (AP Photo)

“I am so thankful that I am making my directorial debut during this renaissance of Korean culture,” Lee said.

“I hope to get to meet international audiences and fans more often with other movies and content as well,” he added.

Asked which of the many hats he wore on the project he enjoyed the most, Lee did not hesitate.

“Of course acting. I’m an actor. It’s my identity. So, I just loved acting the most.”

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