"Sometimes a narrative around identity places you in a weird box"
Minari star Steven Yeun has revealed he is wary about being only viewed as an “Asian American” actor.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, the Korean American actor expressed apathy about being the first Asian American Oscar nominee.
“If I step out of myself and see what that moment might mean beyond just me,” said, “it’s cool that we get to establish new ground and that young Asian American kids can feel like this is possible for them, too.”
Minari also won the Best Picture Foreign Language award at the Golden Globes.
Lee Isaac Chung’s film is a semi-autobiographical movie, which tells the tale of a Korean American family moving to rural Arkansas. Yeun plays the father of the household, Jacob.
“I’m just not reactive to it in any direction,” he continued. THR added that “he’s leery that such a high-profile achievement might end up a kind of burden, in which people view him as an “Asian American actor” first and “actor” second.”
Expanding more on it, Yeun said, “sometimes a narrative around [identity] ensnares [you] and places [you] in a weird box that we have to then crawl back out of.”
Reflecting on Minari, Yeun said the film was”one facet of Asian America.”
“It doesn’t speak for all of it,” he says. “It might even just speak for this one family, you know?”
In related news, Yeun is set to star alongside Ali Wong in upcoming Netflix TV series titled Beef.