‘Squid Game’ sees Emmy success, taking awards for best directing, outstanding lead actor

Actor Lee Jung-jae, right, and director Hwang Dong-hyuk speaks during their respective acceptance speech for their Emmy Awards at the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards on Monday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. [AP/YONHAP]

Hwang Dong-hyuk won Outstanding Directing and Lee Jung-jae won Outstanding Lead Actor in the drama category for their roles in “Squid Game” at this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards.

Hwang won the award for his directing of Netflix Korea series "Squid Game" (2021), which revolves around main protagonist Seong Gi-hun, portrayed by Lee, and 455 other players who take on a series of deadly children’s games to become the sole survivor to win prize money of 45.6 billion won ($34.8 million).

Other nominees in the category were Jesse Armtrong for “Succession,” Dan Erickson for “Severance,” Ashley Lyle, Bart Nickerson and Jonathan Lisco for “Yellowjackets” and Chris Mundy for “Ozark.”

Lee won Outstanding Lead Actor for his portrayal of Gi-hun. Lee beat Jason Bateman for Netflix’s “Ozark,” Brian Cox, Jeremy Strong for HBO’s “Succession,” and Bob Odenkirk for AMC’s “Better Call Saul.”

The Emmy Awards, hosted by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, is one of four major American awards. The Emmys recognizes excellence in performing arts and entertainment in television and streaming content, the Grammys for music, the Oscars for film and the Tonys for theatre.

“Squid Game” is Netflix’s most-watched series, surpassing 1 billion views just 28 days after its release last September.