Steven Yeun may be best known for his role as Glenn Rhee on The Walking Dead, but since the tragic death of his character (if you read the comics, you knew it was coming), he has been leaning into very genre-driven projects that have shown his range. From voice acting to the environmental drama Okja to Boots Riley’s mind-bending comedy Sorry to Bother You (by the way, he has experience in improv) to his most recent role in the high-profile Lee Chang-dong South Korean drama Burning, Yeun’s post-Walking Dead career is diverse and forward-thinking with auteur-centric stories that continue to pave his path as a thoughtful performer that breaks the mold when it comes to Asian American actors…or actors in general.
Yeun stopped by the New Hollywood Podcast to talk about Burning, which marks the first Korean-speaking role for the actor. Based on a short story Haruki Murakami, the film premiered earlier this year at Cannes and is the South Korean entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards.
Born in Seoul, Yeun moved to Canada and then the United States, Yeun also shared his thoughts about the difference of being Korean-American in America versus Korean-American in South Korea, how his time at Second City helped his craft, and an awkward encounter with a Walking Dead fan.
Listen to the episode below.