A Korean-American actor, Steven Yeun has achieved worldwide fame as a result of his excellent display in the portrayal of Glenn Rhee on AMC’s horror drama television series, The Walking Dead. This has earned him a few recognition, including a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor on Television.
Based on his acting skills, Steven Yeun is well known as a non-typecast actor which is evident in his portrayal of different characters in numerous movies. This has been proven to be true as he has gone ahead to voice several characters in animated series such as Steve Palchuk in Trollhunters and Keith in Voltron: Legendary Defender.
Steven Yeun’s Identity Journey
The renowned actor was born as Yeon Sang-yeop on December 21, 1983, in Seoul, South Korea. Steven Yeun was the first of two children born to Je and Jun Yeun. His father is an architect and he has a younger brother Brian Yeun.
Though born in South Korea, Yeun’s family immigrated to the States when he was just 5, thus, he is a dual citizen of South Korea and America and an old fan of Detroit Pistons. Yeun is a graduate of Kalamazoo College with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology obtained in 2005.
Most of his life, Yeun has shuttled between his home country and America and in his interview with National Public Radio, he talked about toggling between the two cultures. Yeun has done a good job fitting into two big film industries and has been featured in a lot of Korean projects, including the critically acclaimed Burning where he is the only star of Korean-American background.
He has also shared how his acting roles, especially Glenn Rhee (The Walking Dead) helped him grow his identity and became more comfortable in his skin. Talking about his role in Burning, Yeun said he often feels like a man with no country as he doesn’t really fit in both in America and South Korea. When in South Korea, he speaks the language, at least to a great extent, but he doesn’t know most of the cultural practices since he wasn’t raised there. On the American side, he is used to being the guy who looks different in a gathering. Nevertheless, Yeun is doing quite well, fitting into two dynamic worlds.
Yeun Would Have Been Seeing Patients Instead Of Acting
Growing up in Michigan, his parents had hopes that he would become a doctor and he even pursued that path for a while, specialising in neuroscience in college. However, providence had other plans for him. The actor developed a strong passion for acting when he was watching his college’s drama group, Monkapult, during his first year at Kalamazoo.
Soon after his graduation, the South Korean-American actor followed Jordan Klepper to Chicago to become a theatre actor by joining Stir Friday Night, a sketch comedy group made up of Asian-American members. He then followed it up by becoming a member of another theatre group, Second City in Chicago before moving to Los Angeles in October 2009.
The now-famous actor made his first screen appearance in a short film titled The Kari Files in 2009 and further landed recurring roles in many short films, including My Name is Jerry.
Breakout Role On AMC’s The Walking Dead
The down-to-earth Korean-American actor’s walk to stardom picked up steam when he was cast to play Glenn Rhee on AMC’s horror drama television series The Walking Dead, from 2010 to 2016. The show gained positive reviews from television critics and later turned out as the highest-rated TV series in cable television history.
Glenn Rhee is Yeun’s biggest role to date, he joined the cast of the acclaimed series as one of the main characters from the first season. He took his leave in the season 7 premiere following the death of his character which broke many hearts. Overall, he appeared on the show from 2010 to 2016.
Burning And Other Projects In His Resume
Upon the conclusion of his career-changing role as Glenn Rhee, Steven Yeun continued to land more roles. On the big screen, he was featured as Derek Cho in action horror film Mayhem in 2016. Almost soon afterwards, the Kalamazoo alum was cast to play a role in Bong Joon-ho’s action-adventure film Okja.
In addition, Steven Yeun got another major breakthrough in the industry when he starred alongside Tessa Thompson, Lakerth Stanfield and Armie Hammer in Boots Riley’s dark comedy, Sorry to Brother You. The movie was highly acclaimed as it won multiple awards, including Independent Spirit Awards and the 2019 National Board of Review’s Top Ten.
Later in 2018, his outstanding portrayal of Ben in the South Korean mystery drama film, Burning earned him several accolades. The role is his biggest in the South Korean movie industry and he’s the only Korean-American star among the cast members. As a multi-talented actor, Yeun has provided voices in several animated series and video games. Some of his works include voicing the characters of Avatar Wan in The Legend of Korra (season 2) and Little Cato in Final Space. His latest project is a voice part on animated series Invincible.
Accolades Won So Far
Furthermore, Yeun has gone ahead to earn numerous awards and nominations as a result of his fascinating acting skills, including Best Supporting Actor in the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association Award, Toronto Film Critics Association Awards 2018 and Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards for his outstanding performance in the South Korean mystery drama film Burning (2018). More so, he won Best Actor in the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival for his wonderful performance in Mayhem (2017) and many more.
It’s no surprise that the renowned actor is living a luxury lifestyle, thanks to his illustrious acting career that has been crowned with many awards. Steven Yeun has been able to amass a huge wealth over the years and his financial value is estimated to be around $4 million.
Steven Yeun Dated Joana Pak For Ten Years Before Their Nuptials
Regarding his love life, Steven Yeun dated the love of his life Joana Pak, a photographer, for ten years before they decided to exchange marital vows on 3rd December 2016. Soon after their wedding, the couple was blessed with a son, Jude Malcolm Yeun.
Joana Pak disclosed through her Instagram in early December 2018 that they are expecting their second child. Yeun further confirmed it during an interview on the TBS series Conan, in January that they are expecting the arrival of their baby girl.
Pak also shared adorable pictures of her newborn with her thousands of followers.
So now, Steven Yeun and Joana Pak are parents to two children. The second is a baby girl whose name has not been revealed just yet.
Steven is the popular person in the family and not much has been shared about his wife’s occupation in photography.