Actor Steven Yeun: Walking Dead, Burning and more

9th February 2021

Actor Steven Yeun played fan-favorite Glenn Rhee for 6 years on AMC’s wildly popular series “The Walking Dead.” He’s also appeared in critically-acclaimed films “Okja,” “Sorry to Bother You” and 2020’s “Minari.” He joined Bullseye in 2018 to talk about his work in “Burning”— a film that earned him a Best Supporting Actor award from the National Society of Film Critics. Steven chats with Jesse about TWD fan culture, growing up in Detroit and how unpacking the minefields of assimilation impacted his adult life. Plus, he’ll share with us the second-best hockey comeback story of the 90s. All that and more on the next Bullseye!

Episode notes

Photo Credit: JB Lacroix/Getty Images

Steven Yeun on The Walking Dead, Burning and more

Growing up in Detroit, Steven Yeun found himself attempting to assimilate into a culture that at times preferred covert bigotry versus genuine acceptance. Born in Seoul, his family immigrated to the states when he was only a few years old. He was raised in a Christian household and found solidarity and fellowship with Youth Christian groups. 

During college he became interested in improv and, following a stint in Chicago’s Second City, decided to head out to Los Angeles and try his hand at acting. 

His big break came only one year later when he was cast as Glenn Rhee, a kind former pizza delivery guy navigating a post apocalyptic Atlanta with a group of survivors, in the AMC series The Walking Dead. The show became an overnight success and his life was forever changed. 

Since appearing in the zombie world of TWD, he’s appeared in the critically-acclaimed films  Okja, Sorry to Bother You and 2020’s Minari.

In Minari, a film he both stars in and executive produced, he plays the patriarch of a family who move from California to rural Arkansas in the hopes of growing produce for profit and capturing their own version of the American Dream.

The A24 film has been receiving praise for its stirring performances, heart-wrenching story and beautiful cinematography with a recent Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Language Film and an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Male Lead for Yeun. 

Steven joined Bullseye in 2018 to talk about his work in Burning— a film that earned him a Best Supporting Actor award from the National Society of Film Critics. He chats with Jesse about TWD fan culture, growing up in Detroit and how unpacking the minefields of assimilation impacted his adult life. Plus, he’ll share with us the second-best hockey comeback story of the 90s. All that and more on the next Bullseye!

Minari will be available via premium video on demand on February 26th. 

This interview originally aired in 2018.

In this episode...

Producer
Associate Producer
Maximum Fun Production Fellow
Maximum Fun Production Fellow

Guests

  • Steven Yeun

About the show

Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.

Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.

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Producer

Associate Producer

Maximum Fun Production Fellow

Maximum Fun Production Fellow

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