Steven Yeun (//; Korean: 연상엽; born Yeun Sang-yeop; December 21, 1983) is a South Korean-American actor. He is best known for his roles as Glenn Rhee in the television series The Walking Dead (2010–2016) and Ben in the film Burning (2018). The latter earned him critical acclaim and several accolades, including the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor. He has been nominated for two Saturn Awards.
Yeun at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con
December 21, 1983
|Revised Romanization||Yeon Sang-yeop|
Yeun has also appeared in the films I Origins (2014), Okja (2017), Mayhem (2017), Sorry to Bother You (2018), and Minari (2020) and voiced main characters in television series such as Voltron: Legendary Defender (2016–2018), Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters (2017–2018), Final Space (2018–present), 3Below: Tales of Arcadia (2018–2019), Tuca & Bertie (2019), and Wizards: Tales of Arcadia (2020).
Yeun was born in Seoul, South Korea, to Je and Jun Yeun. His father was an architect in South Korea before moving his family in 1988 to Regina, Saskatchewan, and later to Troy, Michigan. Yeun was raised in a Christian household and graduated from Troy High School in 2001. Yeun's parents began calling him "Steven" after meeting a doctor by that name. His parents owned beauty-supply stores in Detroit.
Yeun received a bachelor's degree in psychology with a concentration in neuroscience from Kalamazoo College in 2005. At Kalamazoo, he met Jordan Klepper through Klepper's sister and later followed him to Chicago to join The Second City.
Yeun's interest in acting and improv came during his freshman year at Kalamazoo, when he watched the college's improv group, Monkapult. He auditioned for Monkapult, but was initially rejected before successfully joining the group during his sophomore year. Yeun revealed to his parents that he planned to pursue an improv career in Chicago instead of enrolling in law school or medical school. His parents, while unhappy with the decision, were supportive, according to Yeun, and gave him two years to pursue acting.
Yeun moved to Chicago in 2005, living in the city's Lincoln Square with his brother. Shortly after graduation, he joined Stir Friday Night, a sketch comedy group composed of Asian-American members. Other alumni of the group include Danny Pudi from Community. He joined The Second City in Chicago before moving to Los Angeles in October 2009.
The Walking DeadEdit
Yeun's biggest role to date was Glenn Rhee on The Walking Dead, an AMC television horror drama based on the comic book series of the same name. The series began in 2010 with Glenn as one of the original main characters who fights to survive in a violent apocalyptic world infested with flesh-eating walkers as well as other humans, some of whom are more dangerous than the walkers. The drama is the highest rated series in cable television history, with its third through sixth season garnering the most 18 to 49-year-old viewers of any cable or broadcast television series. The series has received mostly positive reviews from professional television critics. Yeun left the show in 2016 after his character Glenn was killed off in the season 7 premiere.
In March 2016, Yeun was cast in Joe Lynch's action horror film Mayhem. The film was released in theaters on November 10, 2017. In April 2016, Yeun was cast in Bong Joon-ho's action-adventure film Okja. The film competed for the Palme d'Or in the main competition section at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. It was released on Netflix on June 28, 2017. Yeun also provided the voice of Bo in 2017's The Star.
Yeun then co-starred in Boots Riley's dark comedy Sorry to Bother You alongside Lakeith Stanfield, Armie Hammer, and Tessa Thompson, which was released in theaters on July 6, 2018. The film had its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2018. The film won The 2019 National Board of Review's Top Ten Independent Films award. It also won Best Screenplay and Best First Feature at the 2019 Independent Spirit Awards.
In late 2018, Yeun played as a mysterious character Ben in the South Korean mystery drama film Burning, directed by Lee Chang-dong. The film was first unveiled at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. His performance in the film was acclaimed. Yeun won Best Supporting Actor at the 2018 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, Toronto Film Critics Association Awards 2018, Florida Film Critics Circle Awards 2018, and 2018 National Society of Film Critics Awards.
In 2020, Yeun starred in and served as an executive producer for Lee Isaac Chung's A24 immigrant drama Minari, which also includes Will Patton and Scott Haze among the cast. The film had its world premiere and won two top awards at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2020. He next will co-star alongside Jayne Houdyshell, Richard Jenkins and Amy Schumer, in Stephen Karam's award winning one-act play adaptation The Humans.
Other television workEdit
Yeun has also voice acted in both animated series and films. Some of these roles include Avatar Wan in season 2 of The Legend of Korra, Steve Palchuk in Trollhunters and 3Below, Keith in Voltron: Legendary Defender, Nathan Park/Wingspan in Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters, Little Cato in Final Space, and Speckle in Tuca & Bertie.
It was later revealed that Yeun's role as Steve Palchuk would continue into Wizards, the third series of the Tales of Arcadia trilogy. The first season of 3Below was released on Netflix on December 21, 2018, and the second and final season was released on July 12, 2019.
In late 2018, Yeun landed a main role in an episode of Jordan Peele's revival of The Twilight Zone. He next will voice act in eight-episode animated series Invincible adapting Robert Kirkman's comic book series. The series will release on Amazon Prime in 2021.
Yeun is an investor of The Bun Shop, a Korean-Mediterranean fusion restaurant in Koreatown, Los Angeles, owned by his younger brother Brian Yeun and business partner James Seok. Yeun married photographer Joana Pak on December 3, 2016. They have two children together. Having grown up in Michigan, Yeun is a longtime Detroit Pistons and Detroit Red Wings fan.
|2009||The Kari Files||Chip||Greg Grabianski||Short film|
|My Name Is Jerry||Chaz||Morgan Mead|
|2010||Carpe Millennium||Kevin||Eric McCoy||Short film|
|Blowout Sale||Customer||Timothy Kendall|
|2014||I Origins||Kenny||Mike Cahill|
|2015||Like a French Film||Steve||Shin Yeon-shick|
|Mayhem||Derek Cho||Joe Lynch|
|The Star||Bo (voice)||Timothy Reckart|
|2018||Sorry to Bother You||Squeeze||Boots Riley|
|2020||Minari||Jacob Yi||Lee Isaac Chung||Also executive producer|
|2021||The Humans||Richard||Stephen Karam||Post-production|
|2010||The Big Bang Theory||Sebastian||Episode: "The Staircase Implementation"|
|2010–2016||The Walking Dead||Glenn Rhee||66 episodes|
Satellite Award for Best Cast – Television Series (2012)
Saturn Award for Best Television Ensemble (2012)
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor on Television (2011)
|2011||Law & Order: LA||Ken Hasui||Episode: "Hayden Tract"|
|Warehouse 13||Gibson Rice||Episode: "Don't Hate the Player"|
|2012||NTSF:SD:SUV::||Ricky Meeker||Episode: "16 Hop Street"|
|Harder Than it Looks||Steven||Episode: "Lockdown"|
|2013||The Legend of Korra||Avatar Wan (voice)||3 episodes|
|Filthy Preppy Teen$||Martin||Pilot|
|2014||Drunk History||Daniel Inouye||Episode: "Hawaii"|
|American Dad!||Charles (voice)||Episode: "Blagsnarst, a Love Story"|
|Comedy Bang! Bang!||Himself||Episode: "Steven Yeun Wears Rolled Up Black Jeans & No Socks"|
|2016–2018||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Keith (voice)||64 episodes|
|Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia||Steve Palchuk (voice)||28 episodes|
|2017–2018||Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters||Nathan Park / Wingspan (voice)||24 episodes|
|2017–2019||The Warrior of the Quest||Alan Mitzti, Charles Pilarged (voice)||49 episodes|
|2017||Bajillion Dollar Propertie$||Eric||Episode: "Disaster Drills"|
|Robot Chicken||Glenn Rhee / Glenn and Maggie's baby (voices)||Episode: "The Robot Chicken Walking Dead Special: Look Who's Walking"|
|2018–present||Final Space||Little Cato (voice), additional voices||22 episodes|
|2018–2019||3Below: Tales of Arcadia||Steve Palchuk (voice)||19 episodes|
|2019||Weird City||Barsley||Episode: "Chonathan & Mulia & Barsley & Phephanie"|
|The Twilight Zone||A. Traveler||Episode: "A Traveler"|
|I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson||Jacob||Episode: "Has This Ever Happened To You?"|
|Ride with Norman Reedus||Himself||Episode: "Bay Area with Steven Yeun"|
|2019–present||Tuca & Bertie||Speckle (voice)||10 episodes|
|2020||Wizards: Tales of Arcadia||Steve Palchuk (voice)||10 episodes|
|2016||"Fire"||Park Jin-young (feat. Conan O'Brien & Jimin Park)|
|2007||Crysis||North Korean soldier 2||Voice|
|2017||DreamWorks Voltron VR Chronicles||Keith||Voice|
Awards and nominationsEdit
- Yeun, Steven (May 13, 2011). "On the Road With Steven Yeun". Interview Magazine (Interview). Interviewed by Oliver Singer. Retrieved September 29, 2014.
- "'Walking Dead': Steven Yeun's Glenn is beating heart of AMC series". Los Angeles Times. February 8, 2013. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- Yeun, Steven (October 6, 2014). "Steven Yeun on his Parents". YouTube.com (Interview). Interviewed by Ellen DeGeneres. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- Hinds, Julie (February 13, 2016). "Michigan's 'Walking Dead' star on life before, after Glenn". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
- Arroyve, Luis (November 21, 2010). "Steven Yeun makes jump from Second City to AMC's 'Walking Dead'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 27, 2011.
- Liberty, John (October 30, 2010). "College grad vs. zombies: Michigan native stars in new AMC series 'The Walking Dead'". Kalamazoo Gazette. Retrieved February 27, 2011.
- Murphy, Kate (October 27, 2012). "Steven Yeun". The New York Times. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- Hinds, Julie. "Michigan's 'Walking Dead' star on life before, after Glenn". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
- Peters, Megan (October 28, 2016). "Steven Yeun Says Conan Has Been Mispronouncing His Name For Years". ComicBook.com. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
- "The Walking Dead Is First Cable Series to Beat Every Show of Fall Broadcast Season In Adult 18-49 Rating". AMC. December 2012. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
- Kissell, Rick (February 17, 2016). "Ratings: 'The Walking Dead' Down, Still Huge in Return; Small Tune-In for HBO's 'Vinyl'". Variety. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
- Bibel, Sara (March 30, 2015). "'The Walking Dead' Season 5 Finale is Highest Rated Finale in Series History, Garnering 15.8 Million Viewers". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on April 1, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "The Walking Dead". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
- "The Walking Dead : Season 5". Metacritic. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
- Kroll, Justin (March 16, 2016). "'Walking Dead' Actor Steven Yeun to Star in Action Movie 'Mayhem'". Variety. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
- Squires, John (August 8, 2017). "Here's When You'll Be Able to Watch Joe Lynch's 'Mayhem'". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
- Kit, Borys (April 22, 2016). "'Walking Dead' Star Steven Yeun Joins Bong Joon-Ho's Sci-Fi 'Okja'". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
- "The 2017 Official Selection". Cannes. April 13, 2017.
- "2017 Cannes Film Festival Announces Lineup: Todd Haynes, Sofia Coppola, 'Twin Peaks' and More". IndieWire. April 13, 2017.
- Romano, Nick (May 25, 2017). "Okja cast on film's political parallels, 'wars' against nature and women". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
- Busch, Anita (June 15, 2017). "Tessa Thompson, Lakeith Stanfield, Steven Yeun To Star In 'Sorry To Bother You'". Deadline. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
- Blistein, Jon (May 17, 2018). "Watch Lakeith Stanfield Make Millions With 'White Voice' in Wild 'Sorry to Bother You' Trailer". Rollingstone. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
- "2018 Sundance Film Festival: Feature Films Announced". Sundance Film Festival. The Sundance Institute. November 29, 2017.
- Lewis, Hilary (November 27, 2018). "'Green Book' Named Best Film by National Board of Review". The Hollywood Reporter.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 16, 2018). "2019 Spirit Award Nominations: 'We The Animals' Tops With Five, A24 Leads All Distributors, Studio Classic Labels Come Up Short". Deadline Hollywood.
- "Cannes Lineup Includes New Films From Spike Lee, Jean-Luc Godard". Variety. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- Sun, Rebecca (July 11, 2019). "Steven Yeun to Star in and Exec Produce A24 Immigrant Drama (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
- Debruge, Peter (February 1, 2020). "Sundance Winners: 'Minari' and 'Boys State' Take Top Honors". Variety. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
- Fleming Jr, Mike (March 13, 2019). "Film Adaptation Of 'The Humans' Play In Works By A24, IAC, Scott Rudin & Eli Bush". Deadline.
- "'Trollhunters': Marc Guggenheim on Season 2 Surprises & the Future of 'Tales of Arcadia'". Collider.com. December 15, 2017. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
- "TROLLHUNTERS Interview: Marc Guggenheim, From Epic to Epic más grande". Animation Scoop. May 18, 2018. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
- Trigg, Eric (December 12, 2018). "Twilight Zone Revival Casts Walking Dead's Steven Yeun". Screen Rant. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
- Petski, Denise (January 31, 2019). "'Invincible': Steven Yeun & J.K. Simmons Top Loaded Voice Cast For Robert Kirkman's Animated Amazon Series". Deadline. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
- "Steven Yeun". The New Potato. February 7, 2014. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- "Photos: Steven Yeun Of 'The Walking Dead' Brings Flavor Of Detroit To K-Town". laist. February 26, 2014. Archived from the original on October 8, 2014. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- "Busting Out the Big Buns: Hanging with Brian Yeun and James Seok of the Bun Shop". iamkoream. May 14, 2014. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- "The Walking Dead's Steven Yeun Marries Girlfriend Joana Pak". People.com. December 4, 2016. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
- Quinn, D. "Walking Dead Alum Steven Yeun and Wife Joana Pak Welcome First Child — a Boy!". People. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
- Durkan, Deirdre; Merrett, Robyn (April 30, 2019). "The Walking Dead Alum Steven Yeun and Wife Joana Pak Welcome a Daughter". People. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
- Lapin, Andrew (February 6, 2019). "Detroit Actor Steven Yeun Is On Fire in Latest Film 'Burning'". SEEN. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
- Gayomali, Chris (October 18, 2018). "Steven Yeun Is Lighting Up the Screen". GQ. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
- Huang, Michael (November 8, 2012). "Steven Yeun talks 'Walking Dead' and Lin". ESPN. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
- Petski, Denise (December 12, 2018). "Steven Yeun Joins 'The Twilight Zone'; Miley Cyrus In 'Black Mirror'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
- Han, Karen (April 24, 2019). "The best way to spend 15 minutes on Netflix: this SNL's alum new sketch show". Polygon. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
- "Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor on Television". koreAM. July 28, 2014. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
- "2014 EWwy Awards (Entertainment Weekly)". Goldderby. August 11, 2014. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
- "'Silver Linings Playbook' Wins Five Satellite Awards, Including Best Picture". Hollywood Reporter. December 16, 2012. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
- "IMDB: Voltron: Legendary Defender Awards". Internet Movie Database. May 13, 2018. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
- "Joe Lynch Instagram". Instagram. October 19, 2018. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
- "[23회 부산국제영화제] 부일영화상". Busan.com (in Korean). September 20, 2018.
- "제55회 대종상, 각 부문 후보 공개…'공작' 12개 최다부문 노미네이트". Sports Seoul (in Korean). September 21, 2018.
- "청룡영화상 후보 발표, '1987' 최다·'공작'도 9개부문 후보". Newsen (in Korean). November 1, 2018.
- "'Roma,' 'The Favourite' and 'A Star is Born' lead 2018 CFCA nominations" (Press release). Chicago Film Critics Association. December 7, 2018. Archived from the original on December 9, 2018. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
- TFCA (December 9, 2018). "Best Supporting Actor: Steven Yeun, BURNING.pic.twitter.com/qNtx5oByoO". @TFCA. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
- Sheehan, Paul (December 9, 2018). "Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards 2018: Full list of winners at LAFCA". GoldDerby. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
- "'The Favourite' Leads the 2018 Seattle Film Critics Society Nominations". Seattle Film Critics Society. December 10, 2018. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
- "'The Favourite' Leads Vancouver Film Critics Circle Awards Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
- Blauvelt, Christian; Kohn, Eric (December 17, 2018). "2018 Critics Poll: The Best Films and Performances According to Over 200 Critics From Around the World". IndieWire. pp. 1–3. Archived from the original on December 18, 2018. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
- "The 2018 Greater Western New York Film Critics Association (GWNYFCA) Nominations" (Press release). December 19, 2018.
- "'The Favourite' Leads 2018 Florida Film Critics Awards Nominations" (Press release). Miami, FL: Florida Film Critics Circle. December 19, 2017. Archived from the original on December 20, 2018. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
- ""The Rider" is voted Best Picture of 2018" (Press release). National Society of Film Critics. January 5, 2018. Retrieved January 6, 2018.
- "2019 ICS Award Nominess". International Cinephile Society. January 20, 2019.
- "'The Favourite' tops 17th International Online Cinema Awards (INOCA)" (Press release). February 23, 2019.
- Navío, Javier (March 19, 2019). "Lista completa de ganadores de los Chlotrudis Awards". Premios Oscar (in Spanish).
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- Mancuso, Vinnie (July 16, 2019). "'Avengers: Endgame', 'Game of Thrones' Lead the 2019 Saturn Awards Nominations". Collider. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
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