The Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun just made history as the first Asian American actor to receive a nomination for Best Actor at the 2021 Academy Awards. He played the fan-favorite zombie apocalypse survivor, Glenn Rhee for the first six seasons of The Walking Dead before meeting his demise with Negan, which was straight out of the pages of the TWD comic book. This morning, The Walking Dead cast congratulated him on social media.
Steven Yeun in The Walking Dead
Yeun is nominated for his role as a Korean American father Jacob Yi in director Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari. The oscar nod comes after being nominated for Best Actor at the Critics Choice Movie Awards and the Screen Actors Guild Awards. The 37-year-old actor is an immigrant, born in South Korea and raised in Michigan. It’s a very historic moment in cinema.
Minari has five other Oscar nominations including including Best Supporting Actress (Youn Yuh-jung), Best Director and Best Original Screenplay (Chung), Best Picture (producer Christina Oh), and Best Original Score (Emile Mosseri).
Steven Yeun in Minari
Talking with CBS Sunday Morning, Yeun said he was “blown away” by Chung’s script about a Korean American family that moves to Arkansas and live on a farm trying to pursue that America dream.
“I was in tears. Seeing the words of how a life similar to mine could be put on a page was very liberating,” said Yeun, a South Korea-born actor who grew up in Michigan. “This thing continues to leave me in many, many tears. I’ve been crying throughout this whole process.”
Steven Yeun’s Jacob character is an “interesting man,” Chung told CBS Sunday Morning. “He decided once he got to America that he doesn’t want to be around other Korean Americans. And he wants to strike out on his own into the wild west in a way, to Arkansas. For me, this film is about a family, first and foremost, that moves to a brand-new place in a whole new situation that they’ve never been in, and they only have each other.”
Below are some of Steven Yeun’s former co-stars from The Walking Dead along with executive producer and showrunner Angela Kang — also an Asian America. Check them out:
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Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead Creator
— Robert Kirkman (@RobertKirkman) March 15, 2021
Norman Reedus -“Darly Dixon”
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Emily Kinney – “Beth Greene”
!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙌💫❤️ https://t.co/n11OPuwsEy
— Emily Kinney (@emmykinney) March 15, 2021
Scott Gimple, Walking Dead Universe Chief Content Officer
Damn wonderful thing to wake up to: https://t.co/CSRh6s6Jto
— Scott M. Gimple (@ScottMGimple) March 15, 2021
Jeffrey Dean Morgan – “Negan”
WHOA! @steveyeun a big huge massive congratulations!!
— Jeffrey Dean Morgan (@JDMorgan) March 15, 2021
Tyler James Williams – “Noah”
— Tyler James Williams (@TylerJamesWill) March 15, 2021
Khary Payton, – “King Ezekial”
— Khary Payton (@kharypayton) March 15, 2021