Tag Archives: steven yeun

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TBT: Steven Yeun on ‘The Big Bang Theory’

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

Before Steven Yeun skyrocketed to fame for his portrayal of Glenn Rhee in AMC’s The Walking Dead, he played a supporting role in the sitcom The Big Bang Theory. 

In an episode titled, “The Staircase Implementation,” Yeun plays Sheldon Cooper’s former roommate, Sebastian. He is seen leaving the elevator and advising Leonard, Sheldon’s new prospective roommate, to “run fast and far.”

You can watch the clip below:

Although the scene is brief, Yeun showcases his comedic chops and solid acting. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been almost five years since he joined the The Walking Dead cast.

Since the horror drama’s first season, Yeun’s acting career has flourished by tackling new projects, such as voicing the character Wan for the animated series Legend of Korra, executive producing and starring in the forthcoming film The Aquariums of Pyongyang and acting in a comedy web series with 2NE1’s Dara.


2NE1’s Dara and Steven Yeun Collaborate in Comedy Skit


2NE1’s Dara becomes Walking Dead‘s Steven Yeun’s girlfriend in a hilarious a comedy mini-series titled, “What’s Eating Steven Yeun?”

Produced by Be FUNNY Studios, the mini-series follows a fictionalized version of Yeun, who leaves his girlfriend Dara behind in L.A. and travels to South Korea in an attempt to break into the country’s acting industry. However, upon arrival, Yeun is coerced by his new manager to start his career in Korea’s most recent viral craze, Mokbang aka “broadcast eating.”

The skit series celebrates the launch of Be FUNNY Studios, a digital studio based in Seoul and L.A. The studio was created in a partnership with Funny or Die, CAA (Creative Artists Agency) and Korea’s largest PR firm PRAIN. According to Koreaboo, the studio will feature more collaborations between Hollywood and Hallyu celebrities, and all content will be available in English and various Asian languages.

This is not the first time Be FUNNY Studios has produced a Hollywood-Asia collaboration, Soompi reports. The studio had previously teamed up with Funny or Die to create a video featuring Anna Kendrick joining SM Entertainment’s girl group f(x) as well as a walk-off between singer Rita Ora and K-pop star HyunA.

You can watch all three episodes of “What’s Eating Steven Yeun?” here. To learn more about Be FUNNY Studios, follow them on Facebook and twitter.


Photo courtesy of Soompi


LINK ATTACK: Steven Yeun, Marvel’s Silk, the Kim Sisters

Steven Yeun of The Walking Dead Thinks You’re Watching the Show Wrong
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Steven Yeun says the body count of characters is not the point of the post-apocalyptic show The Walking Dead.

steven yeun(Photo credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC)

An Island Marred by a Ferry Disaster and Sustained by Dogs
“Before a deadly ferry sinking in April, the South Korean island of Jindo was known largely for one thing: its dogs, famous for their loyalty and homing instinct.”

Mr. Sulu Wants to be Batman: The Rise of the Asian American Superhero
Paula Lee discusses possibilities of mainstream Asian American actors being casted as superheroes in blockbuster films.

K-pop Pioneers: Rare Photos of The Kim Sisters
Fifty years ago, before K-pop became a global sensation, three young Korean women formed an ensemble that shook America’s music scene.

kim sisters(Photo credit: Robert W. Kelley via The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

22 Asian Actors Who Deserve to be the Romantic Lead

Buzzfeed compiled a list of Asian American actors who have the acting chops and charm to be a romantic leading man in film/TV.

Korean Drama Tackles Taboo Subject of Mental Illness
South Korea has one of the world’s highest suicide rates and very few Koreans talk openly about mental heath. However, a recent TV drama titled “It’s Ok, That’s Love” may open a dialogue on the taboo subject. Taking place in a mental health ward of a hospital, the drama follows the story of a psychiatrist who bonds with a successful novelist with schizophrenia and OCD.

Tong Yang Chief Gets 12-year Jail Term for Fraudulent Debt Sale

Hyun Jae-hyun, Tong Yang Group’s chairman, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for fraudulently selling debt products and inflicting huge losses on thousands of investors.

Michelle Wie Says Long Injury Layoff Was a Blessing in Disguise
Despite missing most of the LGPA season, Michelle Wie states that her time off has helped her regain focus for her upcoming tournaments.

DramaFever Bought by Japan’s SoftBank Corp.
DramaFever, an online distributor of Korean dramas and other international shows, was recently bought by SoftBank, a Japanese telecommunications and Internet corporation, for an undisclosed amount.

Lisa Ling: What I Learned as an Average Student
In the latest episode of Lisa Ling’s series This is Life, she explores the results of Robert Graham’s controversial project from the 80s, in which he tried to improve the intellectual capacity of the human gene pool by creating a sperm bank that recruited from some of the most intelligent men in the world. After meeting a couple of the offsprings from Graham’s experiment, Ling reflects on her own childhood as an average student.

president and pope(Photo credit: Yonhap)

Park Meets Pope, Wraps Up Visit to Italy
South Korean president Park Geun-hye met Pope Francis in Vatican City on Friday, reciprocating his memorable visit to South Korea (he arrived in a Kia Soul) in August.

U.S. Army Generals and South Korean Army Representatives Lay Wreath at Memorial
“U.S. Army generals and representatives of the Republic of Korea and its Army, laid wreaths at the Korean War Memorial here, today, to commemorate those who fought in the three-year-long conflict in that country.”

Marvel Reveals Asian American Female Superhero Silk
At New York Comic Con, Marvel introduced a female Asian American superhero with spider powers named Silk, aka Cindy Moon.

silk03(Photo credit: Marvel)

Steven Yeun on Ellen

[VIDEO] Steven Yeun Talks About His Parents on ‘Ellen’


Steven Yeun recently went on Ellen as a first-time guest to promote the return of The Walking Dead. During his interview, he talked about his parents as well as the blood poisoning injury he received on set.

After Yeun admitted that The Walking Dead was his second audition ever in L.A., Ellen asked the Korean American actor if his parents approved of his decision to pursue acting as a career.

“No, my parents are Korean, and traditionally, that first generation of Korean Americans aren’t too happy with the little curveball that you throw them when you’re a kid,” said Yeun. Although his parents weren’t happy with his decision at first, Yeun told Ellen that they were now proud of him as an actor and would even give him advice about the entertainment industry.

“My dad wanted me to wear a suit everywhere I went,” Yeun said, adding that his father would tell him to wear a suit even when shopping for oranges. “He’s like, ‘You should get a suit … what if they get you and then you’re not in a suit? Then you look stupid.'”

Later in the interview, Yeun talked about how he got blood poisoning after performing a stunt where he falls and lands on his arm. When his arm started to bleed, he wiped off the blood and thought nothing of it until his arm swelled the next morning. As a result, he had to get a steroid shot and an antibiotic shot in the buttocks.

“And the nurse, she said I had a very taut tushy. I’ve been doing squats,” Yeun said.

“What a wonderful compliment,” Ellen responded. “I love when they compliment your butt right before they put a shot inside of you.”

The Walking Dead‘s fifth season will premiere October 12 on AMC.


Steven Yeun To Adapt And Star In ‘The Aquariums of Pyongyang’


In addition to killing off zombies in the post-apocalyptic world of The Walking Dead, actor Steven Yeun will take on a new role as North Korea defector Kang Chol-Hwan in a film adaptation of The Aquariums of Pyongyang.

Teaming up with Radar Pictures, Yeun will also executive produce the film, collaborating with producers Ted Field, Mike Weber, and Michael Napoliello, in partnership with Sean Lee, according to The Hollywood Reporter.


Based on true events, The Aquariums of Pyongyang is Kang Chol-Hwan’s memoir. It was originally published in French in 2000, and later translated to English and Korean. Set in North Korea during the Korean War, Aquariums illustrates the stark contrast between the right-wing government of the South and the extreme communist stronghold of the North Korean powers. The story details the lives of Kang and his family members, suspected to be dissidents during their imprisonment at the Yodok concentration camp #2915. Over a period of 10 years, they suffered through starvation, torture, disease and public execution.

Kang’s memoir is one of the first published accounts that reveal the harsh reality of the North Korean prison system. Blending elements of horror, history, narrative, and politics, Aquariums reveals mankind’s resolve to triumph over unimaginable hardships.

Aside from Aquariums, Yeun has other projects in the works, including a role in I Origins and working as the lead voice over in the animated adaptation of Chew by John Layman and Rob Guillory.

Photo via The Hollywood Reporter


Steven Yeun to Voice Lead Character in ‘Chew’ Comic Adaptation


Steven Yeun can’t seem to get enough of comic books that make their way onto television. We don’t mind, though. After all, we can’t seem to get enough of Steven Yeun.

The 30-year-old Korean American actor is most known for his role as Glenn on AMC’s The Walking Dead. Through the show, Yeun has gained quite a large fanbase (just check out the 10 reasons Glenn would make a great boyfriend) and it looks like he’s ready to grow that base even more with yet another comic book-turned-television series.


If you thought Yeun was done with shows that focused on eating humans, you’re wrong. The comicbook ”Chew” is written by John Layman with art by Rob Guillory, and stars a character named Tony Chu. Chu is a detective and a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agent. He also happens to be a ”cibopath.” According to the comic, a “cibopath” can take a bite from anything (except beets) and get apsychic sensation of what has happened to that object.

So if Chu takes a bite out of a vegetable, he can see where it came from and everything the vegetable has been through. If he takes a bite out of bacon, he can see the life of the pig it came from. And if he takes a bite out of a corpse, he can figure out any murder mystery thrown at him.

Gross cannibalism aside, there’s definitely a plus to this—the main character is Chinese American! If you didn’t already know, we get quite excited about Asians in comics and rarely do we get to see an Asian lead character.

For the upcoming animated adaptation of Chew, Yeun will voice the main character Tony, and Felicia Day will play Tony’s love interest, Amelia Mintz.

This story was originally published on AudreyMagazine.com.



Steven Yeun Rocks Tie-Less Suits for GQ


He was just featured alongside costar Lauren Cohan in a romantic photo shoot for Los Angeles magazine last month, and now, Steven Yeun suits up again for a feature on suits in this month’s issue of GQ.

Our favorite zombie-slayer dons a slick comb-over and dressy shirts and blazers for March’s stylefeature titled “Back from the Dead: The Air Tie,” as if we needed another reason to remember the man is one of People‘s Sexiest Men of 2013.


The photos provide a stark contrast from the dirty, tired, blood-stained Glenn Rhee we see running around every Sunday night on AMC’s The Walking Dead, but we love Steve either way.

This article was originally published by Audrey.




Steven Yeun Chats With Two ‘Walking Dead’ Staffers

Talking Shop

Over lunch at an L.A. haunt, actor Steven Yeun leads a lively conversation with The Walking Dead writers/producers Angela Kang and Sang Kyu Kim.

Edited by JULIE HA

Who can forget the zinger of a line: “Everything is food for something else”? Or the wrenching scene when protagonist Rick falls to the ground in shock and grief after learning his wife Lori has perished?  Fans of AMC’s hit post-apocalyptic zombie series, The Walking Dead, can thank Angela Kang and Sang Kyu Kim, respectively, for scripting that line and that scene.

Actor Steven Yeun, who plays Glenn, may be the most prominent Korean American identified with the show, but viewers who carefully study the opening credits may have caught Kang and Kim’s names flash across their screens as producers and writers for the acclaimed series, which just wrapped its third season.

Kang, who previously worked on the unaired NBC series Day One and the former FX show Terriers, has been with The Walking Dead’s writing staff since 2011. Kim worked on the TNT drama Hawthorne and the Starz network’s Crash before joining The Walking Dead in 2012.  (Kim, incidentally, left the show after the third season, and is working on other TV and feature projects.)

Yeun has called the two writers “brilliant.” Glenn is often described as the most humanizing portrait of an Asian American male on TV today, and KoreAm thought who better to interview Kang and Kim than the actor who brought life to some of their words? The writers met up with Yeun at the Hungry Cat in Los Angeles and chatted over lunch about their craft, the industry, and why the character of Glenn portends a promising future for Asian American portrayals on the tube.

Steven: Angela, how did you get into writing?

Angela: I always was into writing stories since the time I was a little kid. I kept a binder of stories that I’d written from the time I was in first grade. Then I started writing plays in high school … and when I went to college, I had some plays produced through the theater program I was in. Coming out [of college], I started doing some plays, and actually, a decade ago, I was in KoreAm magazine because I had written a play that was in Los Angeles, and it did fairly well. So that was my main writing for a long time. And then, I guess I just always loved TV. I thought, I want to learn how to write for TV. I ended up going to grad school at USC and did an MFA in the film program and learned to do screenwriting and TV writing.

Steven: That’s amazing that it doesn’t seem like there was a hitch in a step ever with your parents saying, “What are you doing?”

Angela: Oh, they definitely were like, “What are you doing?”



Angela: I mean, we’re Korean, so, they were like, “What are you doing?  You should be a lawyer!”

Steven: But how proud were they when you came out in KoreAm?

Angela: Super proud. You know what would make them more proud? If I was in the Korean-language newspaper.

Steven: Yeah!

Angela: That’s legit!

Sang: Yeah, that’s the holy grail.

Steven: I remember when I came out in the Michigan Korean Daily, [my parents] were like, “Yeah!” But I was like, “Appa, you know those guys!”


Steven: So, Sang, how did you get into writing?

Sang: Like Angela, I loved writing as a kid, but I grew up loving film. My dad, he would have gone to film school in Korea if they had one. He would sneak into movie theaters in Korea and watch American films. When he came to America, he would just sit me down and make me watch all the classics: The Third ManCitizen Kane, every David Lean film, at the age of 5. I remember we were in Chicago, and he took me to see Raiders of the Lost Ark, and I was just so blown away by this movie, and my dad was as well. I loved it so much that I didn’t want the story to end. So I continued it. I had the Nazis coming back and stealing the Ark and everything.

[So] I wrote always as a kid, but I had a hitch. I went to school out in Chicago, and I was pre-med all four years, took the MCATs twice, and I was ready to apply—had a stack of applications.  At that time I was working as an assistant for a law school professor at my university and taking some biology classes. So I’m at a computer all day and had a lot of down time, so I started writing out the stories I always had in my head. And I just started looking up screenplay formatting books, and once I started doing that, I called my parents and said I decided not to apply to med school and I’m going to go for this.  And there was that shocked silence—like, “You just spent four-plus years preparing for med school!” But luckily my parents are very creative.

Steven: What did your folks do?

Sang: My dad was a reporter for a Korean newspaper and a producer. And my mom played cello in an orchestra. … Once they saw that I was serious and I stuck with it, they were like, “We support you.” So, I was writing in Chicago for a few years, then eventually came out to L.A. for film school at [the American Film Institute]. And then after that, the CBS [Writers Mentoring] Program, which Angela is also a part of, and that’s where I met Glen Mazzara (former showrunner for The Walking Dead).

Steven: That’s awesome. I mean, it’s crazy to think that, with the upbringing that we’ve had in terms of a very immigrant-style upbringing, you really have to lead the charge on determining your own destiny. You to have to say: I’m not going to go that conventional route. Was there ever a moment for you guys where it seemed like, there’s no turning back?

Sang: I think, for me, it was when I moved out to L.A., because I love Chicago. I’ve lived all over the country, but Chicago is like my hometown … and I decided to pick up and start all over and go to L.A. So for me, that was like I’m going for this 100 percent. I’m not going back. For me that was a big move, and it wasn’t easy.

Steven (to Angela): Your folks, in their opposition, were they OK [with your writing career] as long as you kept bringing back rewards or a finished product?

Angela: I think they just worried that I would not live a comfortable life.  They were immigrants, and we didn’t have the most easy life, like my dad always worked two or three jobs, you know. My mom died. There was a certain amount of hardship, and it’s always hard for anybody to move to a whole new country and start over. My grandpa in Korea had started the first insurance company in Korea … is super-educated, spoke three languages, [but] he came to the U.S. and worked at a motel. So it’s that immigrant story.  You want the kids or the grandkids to have a more comfortable life. It was always that worry … [that I] be set up in something stable, and entertainment seems scary.


Sang: That’s the other thing. [Our parents] didn’t have examples that they could be, “Oh, so-and-so did it—he’s Korean or Asian.” I think today, ’cause there are so many more examples of people on screen and behind the camera, it’s maybe a little bit easier for a child to convince [their parents and say,] “Look, Steven’s doing it. Angela’s doing it. So I can do it, too.” But back then we had nobody.

Steven: At this point, do you think it’s just a matter of numbers, or is there another factor as to why we don’t have more Asian Americans on screen? Is it only because Hollywood’s not ready for us, or is it also we have a talent deficit?

Angela: Well, I think, it’s kind of everything. I mean, listen, … you have kids, like Caucasian kids, who are starting artistic training really young, and they kind of are primed with the mindset of “this might be what I do when I grow up.” So you just have larger numbers of people doing the preparatory steps for a creative career, whereas I feel like, a lot of times, Asian Americans start really late. Which is totally fine, but you just have fewer people who are ready to go, ready to hit primetime, in a way.

Sang: And fewer opportunities for them to develop their craft, I think. I mean, when there’s a role that says “open ethnicity,” you know that it’s kind of not. It’s like, we’ll see everybody, but you know in reality it’s not.  … I think it’s numbers, but I [also] think people need to be more vocal.

Steven: Now, have you run into a situation where you did write something and you made it “open ethnicity,” and you just cannot find the talent there? Like, you’ll audition Asian American actors, and you won’t find what you’re looking for? I think that’s a dark reality we have to face.

Angela: I do think that’s a reality sometimes. I think it’s sometimes hard even if you’re looking for a white actor to find the right fit, you know? [You can audition] dozens of people, but it’s hard to find exactly the right person.  And then, just because there’s such a smaller pool that you’re dealing with whenever you’re dealing with minorities, then that sometimes works against you. And you always hope that you’re going to find that break-out person, give them a chance. Sometimes it’s hard to find that person, and sometimes that person may not have that access to get in front of the right people.

Steven: Or he’s a doctor right now. I get asked the question, “What advice can you give me on how to make it in this industry?” And God if I know. I don’t know sh-t. But one thing I was fortunate enough to do—and I’m hoping other Asian actors will do and anyone in the creative field does—is put themselves up against everyone.  Put yourselves in a situation where you’re [up] against every single person just off the basis of your skill.

Sang: I think if you’re a minority, you have to be even that much better.  You have to be so much better to push through that wall and inertia. So if you just show your stuff to your friends or within a community who’s going to be supportive, anyway—again, I’m not knocking it—it’s great to have that kind of support. But once you do that, push beyond that and say, well, let’s put this to Sundance. If it’s good enough for these guys, let it win Sundance, and that’s when you’ll start breaking down barriers.

Steven: Do you think the way America sees Asian Americans begets the way that we’re portrayed on the screen, or is it the way that we’re portrayed on the screen begets the way we’re perceived in the United States?

Angela: It’s sort of a chicken and egg problem. I know that, certainly a lot of Asian males I know, and you guys can tell me if you feel the same way, but there’s a feeling like, “Why are Asian guys always portrayed as kind of like weak and effeminate and cowardly?  Why does that stereotype exist?”

Steven: I remember growing up … like we [Asian Americans] were cool to be friends with, but a girl—especially at that age of high school—to take a huge risk and start dating an Asian guy? [Shakes his head.] It had nothing to do with whether she liked him or not.

Sang: I think, as we portray more Asians on the screen, we have a responsibility, the more and more they’re on there, to be aware of the stereotypes and what the prior image is, and, sometimes, do the opposite. I remember, on one show, we had a Korean American character, and we were going to introduce the wife, and everyone was like, “OK, let’s find some good Asian actresses.” I was like, “Well, let’s not make her Asian.” There are a lot of Asian dudes marrying and dating non-Asian people, but you just don’t see it [on-screen], so they don’t see it. So even small things like that, where it’s like, let’s just switch it up. The wife was [cast] Caucasian, and even the actor was like, “Thank you for doing that.” You know, because it’s like a small thing, but when people see that, it’s like, “Oh, OK, so [Asians] can date people outside of their [race].”

The Walking Dead (Season 2)

Steven: Have you guys faced opposition in the face of coming up because of your race?

Angela: I don’t know if I’d say opposition necessarily. But what I would say, going back to a point Sang made earlier, you feel like you need to be better because there is a perception, a lot of times, if you are any sort of minority, whether it’s ethnic or female or different sexual orientation, there’s the perception, “Oh, you’re the beneficiary of some sort of affirmative action,” whether through a diversity program or staffing or liberal guilt. So I feel like I have to prove I am better than other people who would be at my level.

Steven: That’s something I battled with even on the course of the [The Walking Dead]. When I first got hired on the show, I thought, “God be damned if I looked like the guy hired just because I looked the part!” For me, it was like trying to disprove that the entire time. Thank God for you guys writing Glenn to be such an awesome character: to have the chair moment [in Episode 307], to have good moments of growth … you know, a lot of other Asian Americans tell me, like, “Dude, you’re holding it down for the Asians, like, you’re having sex with a white girl!”

Angela and Sang: [Laughs]

Steven: And for me, actually, [I’m thinking] you guys should be more happy for the fact that I’m having sex, period—and it’s not a joke. And that it’s not exotic, or it’s not some kind of one-time thing. It’s like a true love.  That’s where the pride comes from. It’s just being humanized.

I was actually talking about this with somebody recently. Which is, I wonder if the Asian American identity is best served, within the whole context of The Walking Dead, through Glenn than [with] any other character? I was thinking: would it be cool if Glenn were a Daryl? Would it be cool if Glenn was a Shane? Would it be cool if Glenn was a Rick? I think all of them have their benefits in their own ways, but Glenn gets to tell the everyman story from beginning to finish.

Sang: Yeah, you’re the most relatable character.

Angela: I think Glenn is, absolutely.

Steven: And that’s so cool that we get to do that, and I get to be part of that. The first season that I got on the show, I was checking Twitter, and I would check and search for “Walking Dead chink,” and “Walking Dead Asian.” First season, “Walking Dead Asian”—all over the place. “Walking Dead Chinese”—all over the place.  And then “Walking Dead chink”—a ton. It would be: “Whoa, this chink on The Walking Dead is pretty cool!” Then second season, that number drastically fell, but it was still there. Now they just call me Glenn.

Sang: That’s great.

Angela: I’ve always felt that Glenn’s character, for most of our audience, is the person you think, yeah, I might be that guy in the apocalypse.  He’s just a normal dude, wants to go about his life, be loyal, trying to figure sh-t out, find the cute girl and fall in love. You’re just trying to be a human being. I think Daryl is great, and he’s a fan favorite because he’s the kind of guy you kind of wish you could be, but you’re kind of not. Like, who is Daryl?

Steven: Nobody’s Daryl. That’s Jesus!

Angela: You’re, like, I wish I could be a crossbow-toting badass. But Glenn is the guy…

Sang: He’s the most balanced character. And, he’s the only one gettin’ any. That’s pretty impressive. I mean, in the whole show.

Steven: [Laughs]

Sang: That’s solid. That’s solid work.

Steven: Well, thanks to you, guys.

Angela: It’s the comic, too. Glenn is always gettin’ it in the [The Walking Dead] comic.


Steven: Thanks to [The Walking Dead comic and TV show creator-Robert] Kirkman.

Do you think that this is going to beget more … do you think Hollywood sees this character as like, “Hey, this is possible, people can relate to an Asian American male”? Do you think this next row of pilots is going to have a semblance of that, or is going to be Two Broke Girls all over again?

Sang: I think [a character like Glenn is] only going to have a positive effect.

Angela: I hope so.

Sang: Because like I said … if I was growing up [now, with] more Asians on TV, I could at least go to my parents and say, “Look.” They couldn’t say no one else is doing it. Now there are so many faces out there, and Glenn’s a great character, and you play it really well. And to show that example that it can be done, and people love this character, it just gives more ammunition and more inspiration for kids to say, “I can do it, too.”

This article was published in the May 2013 issue of KoreAmSubscribe today! To purchase a single issue copy of the May issue, click the “Buy Now” button below. (U.S. customers only. Expect delivery in 5-7 business days).