Lee Yoo-mi says she still can’t believe her popularity after “Squid Game” and “All Of Us Are Dead”

Lee Yoo-mi wonders, “What’s going on now?””

In just five months, everything changed for this actress. With “Squid Game” and “All Of Us Are Dead,” she has become an actress that the world is paying attention to. The number of her Instagram followers also increased sharply from 40,000 to 7.87 million.

She also became a global “meme.” The actress can make viewers shed tears watching Ji-young (Squid Game) and curse at Nayeon (All Of Us Are Dead). It is a compliment for her 180-degree acting transformation.

Lee Yoo-mi

Lee Yoo-mi, however, reveals that all of this is awkward for her.

“Of course I’m happy. But I can’t believe it. Everything that has happened now is new. I’m going to continue to work hard like I do now.”

Dispatch conducted a video interview with Lee Yoo-mi to hear about the behind-the-scenes of “Squid Game” and “All Of Us Are Dead“. Lee Yoo-mi talked about what she gained through these two works and her future goals.

◆ “It was like a gift suddenly came to me one day”

In fact, Lee Yoo-mi is a 12-year veteran actor. Since 2009, she has worked hard regardless of minor roles, supporting roles, and leading roles. The actress has appeared in about 60 productions, including the movies “The Yellow Sea,” “Park Hwa-young,” and “Hostage: Missing Celebrity.”

However, she was not in the spotlight (as she is now). The time she stayed home was more than the time she was on set. It was widely known that she heard of her getting casted for “Squid Game” while working as a part-time food delivery girl at “Coupang Eats.”

Lee Yoo-mi

Lee Yoo-mi made an even stronger impression in “All Of Us Are Dead.” She played the role of a villain in a pink cardigan perfectly. In “Squid Game,” she made everyone cry while in “All Of Us Are Dead,” she caused anger.

“I filmed the two works around the same time,” she said. “During “Squid Game,” I went to the set shaking everything off. “When I was filming ‘All Of Us Are Dead’, I filled each and every one of the scenes.”

“Would you have expected this popularity?”

Lee Yoo-mi

“I didn’t expect it at all,” she said. “Life seems unpredictable,” adding, “It’s so nice, but on the other hand, it’s (popularity) scary.”

“I once told my friends that I was scared of the sudden popularity. Hmm… Shouldn’t we work as hard as we’re scared? Just like what I’ve been doing so far.”

◆ “‘All of Us Are Dead’ Na-yeon, what’s wrong with her?”

Na-yeon of “All of Us Are Dead” is hateful. She screams, gets annoyed and tries to hide herself. She hates Gyeong-su (Ham Sung-min), a classmate who lives in a rental apartment, and intentionally infects him.

Lee Yoo-mi pondered to understand such Na-yeon. The actress explained, “Na-yeon does things that others can’t understand. I imagined what kind of environment she grew up in and what kind of parents she would have listened to.”

Lee Yoo-mi

“Deep inside, she must have been envious of Gyeong-su. Because Gyeong-su gets along well with all his friends. Na-yeon was always with her friends, but they didn’t understand her feelings. So I think that’s why she wanted to restore the relationship to its original state as quickly as possible.”

Lee Yoo-mi analyzed, “I think Na-yeon is a character that shows the extreme nature of human beings. She wanted to confirm that her opinion was correct and wanted to gain a sense of belonging even by committing an evil act.”

Thanks to the meticulous setting, the ad-lib came out naturally. Lee Yoo-mi said, “There were more actions than lines. Na-yeon was running first, and as soon as she saw the zombies, she fell on her backside. She backed down because it was scary.” 

Lee Yoo-mi

Na-yeon‘s ending had a twist. She changed her mind after being isolated from her friends. She reflected on her bad behaviors and risked her death to bring food to her friends.

“Na-yeon was for her friends at the end. Isn’t that the message that there may not be a truly perfect ‘evil’? So I think the (hidden) meaning behind ‘All of Us Are Dead’ is ‘hope’.”

◆ “Been an actress for 12 years? Acting is still interesting”

Lee Yoo-mi is now one of the most famous ones among rising actors. This is due to the fact that she starred in two consecutive hit dramas. However, she still feels puzzled about many things. The actress confessed, “I’m not used to everything. It’s such chaos that I don’t know if I’m realizing it or adapting to it”.

However, she is enjoying the popularity of herself together with the dramas. She said, “The ‘memes’ made by foreign viewers are especially funny. I laughed so hard to the point that I felt hilarious and sad at the same time”, adding, “Luckily, I could show completely different images in ‘Squid Game’ and ‘All of Us Are Dead’ at the same time”.

Lee Yoo-mi

When asked what “All of Us Are Dead” meant to her, Lee Yoo-mi shared, “If I have to put everything in one word, it would be ‘Friends’”, adding, “Just like how Nayeon longed for having friends, I met many good friends through ‘All of Us Are Dead’.”

Lastly, Lee Yoo-mi was asked about the driving force behind her hard work. The actress answered, “Is this answer sounds a little not sincere? But it’s true though. I was able to continue to be an actress was because it was so interesting. There is no end to acting even if you try to study more. There are still so many things that I don’t know”.

Lee Yoo-mi

Lee Yoo-mi is still an actress who wants to show more. She laughed and said, “I want to try playing a character who doesn’t die and will live for a long time. I want to play a cute and new role. I also want to perform cool characters. There are so many things that I want to do”.

“I used to be impatient because I wanted to make my name be known quickly. However, I didn’t hate it. Thanks to that, I was able to work harder. I’m filming tvN’s drama ‘Mental Coach Je Gal-gil’. I will appear as a short-track speed skater who is suffering a slump. Please watch the drama”.

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