Minari, the film which broke ground on its portrayal of a Korean immigrant family in America, has just bagged six Oscar nominations. Among them is Steven Yeun, who makes history as the first Asian American actor to be nominated in the Best Actor category. The film is also being considered for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Youn Yuh-jung), Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Original Score. Get to know some of the faces and histories of the actors themselves.
1. Steven Yeun as Jacob Yi
Steven Yeun, the first Asian American actor to be nominated for Best Actor in the Oscar's 93-year history, portrays Jacob Yi, the patriarch of the family. In an interview with Variety, Yeun shares the main parallel between his character, Jacob, and his own father: both were drawn to a promise of a better life. Born in Seoul, and having moved to the United States himself, Yeun understands the complex duality of living within multiple cultures, adding depth and experience to his portrayal of Jacob in Minari.
As for his repertoire, Yeun can boast of many experiences. Having first gained his claim to fame in The Walking Dead, Yeun had reportedly strayed away from commercial projects that otherwise would have typecast him as an Asian actor. Instead, he's veered towards more independent films, where fans could see him boldly portray the gamut of human (and fantastic) experience in Mayhem, Okja, Sorry to Bother You, and Burning.