Lee You-mi (‘Squid Game’) Wins Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama

At the 2022 Creative Arts Emmys, Lee You-mi (“Squid Game”) scored an upset victory over harry walter (“Succession”) in the category of Best Guest Actress in a Drama. The 28-year-old first-time contender, who was second in the Gold Derby odds, is now the youngest person ever to receive a guest-starring Emmy Award. She takes up the mantle Justin Timberlakewho was 176 days older than her now when he earned his first win for Best Guest Actor in a Comedy for “Saturday Night Live” in 2009. The previous record holder in the Lee category was samira wley (31, “The Handmaid’s Tale”, 2018).

In addition to Walter (who was first recognized here for “Succession” in 2020), Lee’s competitors were hope davis (“Succession”), gay marcia get hard (“The morning show”), Martha Kelly (“Euphoria”) and Sana Lathan (“Succession”). This was Harden’s second nomination in this category after “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” in 2007. As a guest star on “Ted Lasso,” Walter was also nominated for Best Comedy Guest Actress this year, but he lost that race to Laurie Metcalf (“Hacks”).

In the first season of Netflix’s “Squid Game,” Lee plays the recurring role of Ji-yeong, one of 456 desperate people who take on a series of deadly challenges in hopes of winning a big cash prize. In her featured episode “Gganbu,” Ji-yeong is paired with her fellow contestant Sae-byeok (Jung Ho Yeon) for a one-on-one game of marbles. After the two young women learn that only the one who wins the other’s full set of 10 marbles will advance to the next round, they run out the half-hour clock by sharing details about their personal lives. Before sacrificing himself to ensure the advancement of her partner, Ji-yeong reveals that she recently served a prison sentence for killing her abusive stepfather.

Lee is the 10th youngest woman to compete for the Emmy for Best Guest Actress in a Drama. The current low-end record among the category’s nominees was set last year by a 15-year-old. Grace McKenna (“The Handmaid’s Tale”), who is the only non-adult guest star nominee in Emmy history.

This win makes Lee the first actor to be honored by the television academy for a performance in a language entirely other than English. Next Monday, any of the four nominated regulars from the Korean show (Jung, Lee Jung Jae, Oh Young Soo either Park Hae Soo). “Squid Game” earned a total of 14 nominations this year and has already picked up three other wins for Best Contemporary Production Design, Best Stunt Performance and Best Special Visual Effects (Single Episode).

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