Steven Yeun

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Steven Yeun
Steven Yeun 2016.jpg
Yeun at the San Diego Comic-Con in 2016
Born Yeun Sang-yeop[1]
(1983-12-21) December 21, 1983 (age 34)
Seoul, South Korea
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Nationality American
South Korean (expatriate)
Alma mater Kalamazoo College (2005)
Occupation Actor, singer
Years active 2005–present
Spouse(s)
Joana Pak (m. 2016)
Children 1
Korean name
Hangul
Revised Romanization Yeon Sang-yeop
McCune–Reischauer Yǒn Sangyǒp

Steven Yeun (/jʌn/; Korean: 연상엽; born Yeun Sang-yeop, December 21, 1983) is a Korean-American actor and voice actor. He is known for his role as Glenn Rhee on AMC's horror drama television series The Walking Dead. Yeun has also appeared in many short and feature films, and has done video game and cartoon voiceovers.

Early life[edit]

Yeun was born in Seoul, South Korea, to South Korean parents Je and Jun Yeun.[2] His father was an architect in South Korea[3] before moving his family to Regina, Saskatchewan, and later to Michigan.[4] Yeun was raised in Troy, Michigan in a Christian household.[5][6][7] Yeun's parents began calling him "Steven" after meeting a doctor by that name.[8] His parents owned beauty-supply stores in Detroit.[2]

Yeun received a bachelor's degree in psychology with a concentration in neuroscience[2] from Kalamazoo College in 2005.[6] At Kalamazoo, he met Jordan Klepper through Klepper's sister and later followed him to Chicago to join Second City.[2]

Career[edit]

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.[6] 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.[6]

Yeun moved to Chicago in 2005, living in the city's Lincoln Square with his brother.[5] Shortly after graduation, he joined Stir Friday Night, a sketch comedy group composed of Asian-American members. [6] 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.[6]

The Walking Dead[edit]

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.[9][10][11] The series has received mostly positive reviews from professional television critics.[12][13] Yeun left the show in 2016 after his character Glenn was killed off in the season 7 premiere.

Films[edit]

In March 2016, Yeun was cast in Joe Lynch's action horror film Mayhem.[14] The film was released in theaters on November 10, 2017.[15]

In April 2016, Yeun was cast in Bong Joon-ho's action-adventure film Okja.[16] The film was released on Netflix on June 28, 2017.[17]

Yeun co-starred in the sci fi comedy film Sorry to Bother You,[18] which was released in theaters on July 6, 2018.[19]

In 2018, Yeun starred in the South Korean mystery drama film Burning, directed by Lee Chang-dong. The film was first revealed at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. [20]

Voice work[edit]

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, Keith in Voltron: Legendary Defender, Nathan Park / Wingspan in Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters, and Little Cato in Final Space, the latter three of which are still active roles. Yeun also provided the voice of Bo in The Star.

It was later revealed that Yeun's role as Steve Palchuk will be extended into 3 Below and Wizards, the second and third series of the Tales of Arcadia trilogy.[21][22]

Personal life[edit]

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.[23][24][25]

He married photographer Joana Pak on December 3, 2016;[26] they have a son together.[27][28][29]

Having grown up in Michigan, Yeun is a longtime Detroit Pistons fan.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2009 The Kari Files Chip Short film
My Name Is Jerry Chaz
2010 Carpe Millennium Kevin Short film
Blowout Sale Customer
2014 I Origins Kenny
2015 Like a French Film Steve
2017 Okja K
Mayhem Derek Cho Brooklyn Horror Film Festival Award for Best Actor
The Star Bo (voice)
2018 Sorry to Bother You Squeeze
Burning Ben
2019 Chew Tony Chu (voice) In production

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
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"
2011 Warehouse 13 Gibson Rice Episode: "Don't Hate the Player"
2012 NTSF:SD:SUV:: Ricky Meeker Episode: "16 Hop Street"
2012 Harder Than it Looks Steven Episode: "Lockdown"
2013 The Legend of Korra Avatar Wan (voice) 3 episodes
2013 Filthy Preppy Teen$ Martin Pilot
2014 Drunk History Daniel Inouye Episode: "Hawaii"
2014 American Dad! Charles (voice) Episode: "Blagsnarst, a Love Story"
2014 Comedy Bang! Bang! Himself Episode: "Steven Yeun Wears Rolled Up Black Jeans & No Socks"
2016 Conan Himself Episode: "Conan Does Korea"
2016–present Voltron: Legendary Defender Keith (voice) 39 episodes
2016–2018 Trollhunters Steve Palchuk (voice) 24 episodes
2017–present Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters Nathan Park / Wingspan (voice) 14 episodes
2017 Bajillion Dollar Propertie$ Eric Episode: "Disaster Drills"
2017 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) 9 episodes
2018 3 Below Steve Palchuk (voice)
2019 Wizards Steve Palchuk (voice)

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Artist
2016 "Fire" Park Jin-young (feat. Conan O'Brien & Jimin Park)

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2007 Crysis North Korean soldier 2 Voice
2008 Crysis Warhead North Korean soldier 2 Voice
2017 DreamWorks Voltron VR Chronicles Keith Voice

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2011 Saturn Award Best Supporting Actor on Television [30] The Walking Dead Nominated
2012 Saturn Award Best Television Ensemble (shared with cast) [31] Won
Satellite Awards Best Cast – Television Series (shared with cast) [32] Won
2017 BTVA People's Choice Voice Acting Award Best Vocal Ensemble in a New Television Series (shared with cast) [33] Voltron: Legendary Defender Won
BTVA Television Voice Acting Award Best Vocal Ensemble in a New Television Series (shared with cast) [34] Nominated
Brooklyn Horror Film Festival Best Actor [35] Mayhem Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ Steven Yeun: 6 Things You Didn’t Know About the Walking Dead Star Retrieved May 11, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d Yuen, Steven (May 13, 2011). "On the Road With Steven Yeun". Interview Magazine (Interview). Interviewed by Oliver Singer. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  3. ^ "'Walking Dead': Steven Yeun's Glenn is beating heart of AMC series". Los Angeles Times. February 8, 2013. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  4. ^ Yeun, Steven (October 6, 2014). "Steven Yeun on his Parents". YouTube.com (Interview). Interviewed by Ellen DeGeneres. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Arroyve, Luis (November 21, 2010). "Steven Yeun makes jump from Second City to AMC's 'Walking Dead'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 27, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f 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. 
  7. ^ Murphy, Kate (October 27, 2012). "Steven Yeun". The New York Times. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  8. ^ Peters, Megan (October 28, 2016). "Steven Yeun Says Conan Has Been Mispronouncing His Name For Years". ComicBook.com. Retrieved 1 November 2016. 
  9. ^ "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. 
  10. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ 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. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  12. ^ "The Walking Dead". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2016-04-19. 
  13. ^ "The Walking Dead : Season 5". Metacritic. Retrieved January 22, 2015. 
  14. ^ Kroll, Justin (March 16, 2016). "'Walking Dead' Actor Steven Yeun to Star in Action Movie 'Mayhem'". Variety. Retrieved April 13, 2018. 
  15. ^ Squires, John (August 8, 2017). "Here's When You'll Be Able to Watch Joe Lynch's 'Mayhem'". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved April 13, 2018. 
  16. ^ Kit, Borys (April 22, 2016). "'Walking Dead' Star Steven Yeun Joins Bong Joon-Ho's Sci-Fi 'Okja'". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 14, 2018. 
  17. ^ Romano, Nick (May 25, 2017). "Okja cast on film's political parallels, 'wars' against nature and women". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 14, 2018. 
  18. ^ Busch, Anita (June 15, 2017). "Tessa Thompson, Lakeith Stanfield, Steven Yeun To Star In 'Sorry To Bother You'". Deadline. Retrieved May 19, 2018. 
  19. ^ 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. 
  20. ^ "Cannes Lineup Includes New Films From Spike Lee, Jean-Luc Godard". Variety. Retrieved 12 April 2018. 
  21. ^ "'Trollhunters': Marc Guggenheim on Season 2 Surprises & the Future of 'Tales of Arcadia'". Collider.com. December 15, 2017. Retrieved December 15, 2017. 
  22. ^ "TROLLHUNTERS Interview: Marc Guggenheim, From Epic to Epic más grande". Animation Scoop. May 18, 2018. Retrieved May 30, 2018. 
  23. ^ "Steven Yeun". The New Potato. February 7, 2014. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  24. ^ "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. 
  25. ^ "BUSTING OUT THE BIG BUNS: HANGING WITH BRIAN YEUN AND JAMES SEOK OF THE BUN SHOP". iamkoream. May 14, 2014. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  26. ^ "The Walking Dead's Steven Yeun Marries Girlfriend Joana Pak". People.com. December 4, 2016. Retrieved December 4, 2016. 
  27. ^ Bacardi, F.; Passalaqua, H. (2017). "Steven Yeun and Wife Joana Pak Welcome First Child". E! Online. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 
  28. ^ Quinn, D. "Walking Dead Alum Steven Yeun and Wife Joana Pak Welcome First Child — a Boy!". People.com. Retrieved 22 March 2017. 
  29. ^ Ailllo, M.; Passalaqua, H. "The Walking Dead's Steven Yeun and Wife Joana Pak Named Their Baby Boy..." E! News. Retrieved 28 March 2017. 
  30. ^ "Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor on Television". koreAM. 28 July 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2018. 
  31. ^ "2014 EWwy Awards (Entertainment Weekly)". Goldderby. 11 August 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2018. 
  32. ^ "'Silver Linings Playbook' Wins Five Satellite Awards, Including Best Picture". Hollywood Reporter. 16 December 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2018. 
  33. ^ "IMDB: Voltron: Legendary Defender Awards". Internet Movie Database. 13 May 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018. 
  34. ^ "IMDB: Voltron: Legendary Defender Awards". Internet Movie Database. 13 May 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018. 
  35. ^ "Joe Lynch Instagram". Instagram. 19 October 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018. 

External links[edit]