"It did a wonderful job"
Burning star Steven Yeun has described Crazy Rich Asians as an “anomaly”.
In a Vox interview, Burning star Steven Yeun discussed Asian American representation following the success of Crazy Rich Asians.
Yeun revealed that his approach to his career has not changed in a post-Crazy Rich Asians world, but has confirmed his prior realistion.
“I don’t think how I view this career and how to approach it has actually changed,” he said. “If anything, all of this stuff has made me realize that what I was doing actually makes more sense to me than I thought before.”
“Before, it was kind of a gray area — “Do I do something for Asian-Americans, or do I do something that’s more me?” I was pulled and pushed and pulled,” Yeun explained. “But I always ended up realizing that my face will do the work, because I can’t change that I’m Asian.”
“All I can do is just try to be as human as possible; my face will decide this other layer.”
The former Walking Dead actor said he does not need to concentrate on portraying the Asian perspective because he is already Asian.
“The inherent nature of my face will do a lot of the heavy lifting, because it’s not like I’m gonna approach a character and be not thinking what an Asian person would be going through in this scenario,” he said. “Every part of me is Asian. For me to play truthfully is inherently just an Asian performance.”
Nonetheless, Yeun sympathises with those who have identity complexes.
“There are a lot of people on this planet for whom their biggest hurdle is their ethnicity,” Yeun said. “I know a lot of Asian-Americans who really still feel shameful about being Asian-American. And I know that feeling, because when I was younger I felt that way too.”
Reflecting on Crazy Rich Asians, Yeun said the film was an “anomaly”.
“There definitely is that fear of being like, “Do I have to support everything just because my face looks like this?”” The 34-year-old actor said. “But there’s also things to be said — like when you’re talking about Crazy Rich Asians, that’s a whole anomaly in and of itself.”
He praised the film for eliminating the film industry’s excuses.
“[Crazy Rich Asians] did a wonderful job of showing the marketplace that if you want to disparage us by questioning whether we can support a film like this monetarily, that excuse is now out the window,” Yeun said.
In other news, Yeun recently said it was “sad” that he is not mistaken for other Asian actors in America.