Hwang Dong-hyuk Age, Wife, Family, Biography & More

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Hometown: Seoul
Education: Master Of Fine Arts
Age: 52 Years

Hwang Dong-hyuk

Profession(s)• Director
• Writer
• Producer
Famous forCreating the South Korean TV series 'Squid Game' (2021)
Poster of the 2021 TV series 'Squid Game'
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)in centimeters- 175 cm
in meters- 1.75 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 9”
Weight (approx.)in kilograms- 70 kg
in pounds- 154 lbs
Eye ColourBlack
Hair ColourBlack
DebutShort Film (director & writer): 'Our Sad Life' (2000)
Short Film (producer): Desperation (2000)
Poster of the short film 'Desperation' released in 2000
Film (director & writer): 'My Father' (2007)
Poster of the 2007 South Korean film 'My Father'
Film (producer): Collectors (2020)
Poster of the 2020 South Korean film 'Collectors'
TV Series (director & writer): 'Squid Game' (2021)
Hwang Dong-hyuk while directing 'Squid Game'
Awards, Honours, Achievements Awards

2012: Audience Award for the 2011 South Korean film ‘Silenced’ at the Udine Far East Film Festival
2012: Black Dragon Audience Award for the film ‘Silenced’ at the Udine Far East Film Festival
2017: Best Screenplay Award for the South Korean film ‘The Fortress’ at the Blue Dragon Awards
2017: Best Director Award for the film ‘The Fortress’ at the Korean Association of Film Critics Awards
2018: Best Director Award for the film ‘The Fortress’ at the Chunsa Film Art Awards
2021: Film Artist Award at the Beautiful Artist Awards by Shin Young-kyun Arts and Culture Foundation
2021: Breakthrough Series – Long Form Award at the Gotham Awards
Hwang Dong-hyuk after receiving the Gotham Award with the producer of 'Squid Game'
2021: Received Visionary Award
2022: Best Director Award for the South Korean TV series ‘Squid Game’ at the Baeksang Arts Awards
2022: Director Award for the TV series ‘Squid Game’ at the Critics Choice Awards (Asian Pacific Cinema & Television)
2022: Best Director in series for ‘Squid Game’ at the Director’s Cut Awards
2022: Best Screenplay in series for ‘Squid Game’ at the Director’s Cut Awards
2022: Stepping Stone Award at the Korea Image Awards
2022: Pony Chung Innovation Award at the Pony Chung Foundation Innovation Awards
2022: Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for the episode ‘Red Light, Green Light’ from the TV series ‘Squid Game’ at the Primetime Emmy Awards
Hwang Dong-hyuk with Primetime Emmy Award


2022: Geumgwan Order of Cultural Merit in South Korea for his contribution to culture and arts
Hwang Dong-hyuk after being honoured with Geumgwan Order of Cultural Merit


2021: Listed on ’50 People of the Year’ list by Bloomberg Businessweek
2022: ‘The Straits Times Asian of the Year’ by The Straits Times (Singapore)
2022: Listed on ‘The 100 Most Influential People of 2022’ list by Time 100
Personal Life
Date of Birth26 May 1971 (Wednesday)
Age (as of 2022)52 Years
BirthplaceSeoul, South Korea
Zodiac signGemini
SignatureHwang Dong-hyuk's autograph on the poster of 'Squid Game'
NationalitySouth Korean
College/University• Seoul National University, Seoul
• University of Southern California, Los Angeles
Educational Qualification• B.A. in communications at the Seoul National University
• Master of Fine Arts in film production at the University of Southern California [1]IFFR
HobbyReading Comic Books
Relationships & More
Marital StatusNot Known

Hwang Dong-hyuk with the lead actor of 'Squid Game' Lee Jung-jae

Hwang Dong-hyuk with the lead actor of ‘Squid Game’ Lee Jung-jae

Some Lesser Known Facts About Hwang Dong-hyuk

  • Hwang Dong-hyuk is a South Korean film director, producer, and screenwriter, who is famous for directing and writing the popular Netflix South Korean survival drama series ‘Squid Game.’
  • He lost his father in childhood and lived with his mother and grandmother.
  • During his time in school and college, Hwang would spend hours at comic book cafes engrossed in reading manhwa and manga comic books. In an interview, he said that he sought comfort at comic book cafes in Seoul, and how he drew inspiration from those comic books to write the script for ‘Squid Game,’ he said,

    I read Battle Royal and Liar Game and other survival game comics. I related to the people in them, who were desperate for money and success. That was a low point in my life. If there was a survival game like this in reality, I wondered, would I join it to make money for my family? I realised that, since I was a filmmaker, I could put my own touch to these kinds of stories so I started on the script.”

  • He directed and wrote many short films while he was studying at college including ‘A Puff of Smoke’ (2000), ‘Desperation’ (2000) and ‘Heaven & Hell’ (2000).
  • When he was studying at the University of Southern California, he wrote and directed a South Korean short film titled ‘Miracle Mile’ (2004) as his graduation thesis. The film was screened at over 40 international film festivals and received several awards including the DGA Student Film Award and Student Emmy Award.

    A still from the 2004 short film 'Miracle Mile'

    A still from the 2004 short film ‘Miracle Mile’

  • In an interview, he revealed that he is not into romantic TV shows because it had been many years since he dated anyone. [2]The Guardian
  • In 2011, he gained popularity after he wrote and directed the South Korean film ‘Silenced,’ starring Gong Yoo, which was based on the novel ‘The Crucible’ by Gong Ji-young. The film portrays the real-life events that took place at the Gwangju Inhwa School for hearing-impaired children from 2000 to 2004, where teachers and administrators of the school sexually harassed and treated the students with cruelty. In an interview, he revealed that it took him one month to decide whether to direct the film or not; however, he ended up directing it and also shared the reason why decided to direct the film. He said,

    I hesitated because it was based on a true story. Ironically, though, I decided to go through with it because it dealt with a true incident. It had to be told. I thought about two things when making this film. First, I wanted to let the world know about this horrific incident. Secondly, I wanted to expose the structural problems of society as revealed during the process of how the case was buried. The scenes of sexual violence and the morbid, unhappy ending were therefore inevitable. I was greatly interested in social issues as an undergraduate so I would often take part in demonstrations. I took up filmmaking because I was so frustrated by all these unresolved social issues I saw.” [3]The Chosunilbo

    Poster of the 2011 South Korean film 'Silenced'

    Poster of the 2011 South Korean film ‘Silenced’

  • He is also known for writing and directing the famous 2017 South Korean historical drama film titled ‘The Fortress,’ which was based on a novel titled ‘Namhansanseong’ by Kim Hoon.
  • In 2021, he directed one of the most celebrated Netflix original series titled ‘Squid Game,’ which was released on 17 September 2021 and turned out to be the most-watched series launch in the history of Netflix. [4]CNN

  • In 2021, MrBeast, one of the most famous YouTubers, created ‘$456,000 Squid Game In Real Life!’ after taking inspiration from ‘Squid Game.’

    '$456,000 Squid Game In Real Life!' by the YouTuber MrBeast

    ‘$456,000 Squid Game In Real Life!’ by the YouTuber MrBeast

  • He wrote the script of the TV series ‘Squid Game’ in 2009; however, it took him more than a decade to find a production house to support his project as he was rejected by many producers. In 2019, Netflix showed interest in Hwang’s project as Netflix was looking for an opportunity to expand its global reach by investing in foreign projects. During an interview, he revealed that he drew inspiration for ‘Squid Game’ from his personal life experiences as he faced the global financial crisis prevalent in South Korea at that time. He said,

    I was very financially straitened because my mother retired from the company she was working for. There was a film I was working on but we failed to get finance. So I couldn’t work for about a year. We had to take out loans – my mother, myself and my grandmother.” [5]The Guardian

  • In 2022, after he won a Primetime Emmy Award, he became the first Asian and first South Korean to win an Emmy in the ‘Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series’ category.

  • When Hwang was directing ‘Squid Game,’ he had a specific goal of making the series reach the number one spot on the Netflix US chart for at least one day. [6]The Guardian
  • During the creation, writing, and directing process of the widely acclaimed TV series ‘Squid Game,’ Hwang experienced immense stress to the point where he lost six of his teeth. Sharing this experience during an interview, he mentioned that the process drained him physically, mentally, and emotionally. He continuously generated new ideas and made revisions to the episodes as he was filming, which significantly increased his workload. [7]The Guardian
  • The success of ‘Squid Game’ series brought tremendous financial success to Netflix, reportedly generating £650 million in revenue; however, Hwang alleged that he did not gain personal benefit from the show’s success. In an interview, he discussed the terms of his contract with Netflix and said,

    I’m not that rich. But I do have enough. I have enough to put food on the table. And it’s not like Netflix is paying me a bonus. Netflix paid me according to the original contract.” [8]The Guardian

  • Following the success of ‘Squid Game,’ Netflix released Hwang’s previous films, such as ‘Silenced,’ ‘Miss Granny,’ and ‘The Fortress,’ on its platform to make these films accessible to viewers in the United States and other countries.

    Poster of the 2017 South Korean film 'The Fortress'

    Poster of the 2017 South Korean film ‘The Fortress’