Steven Yeun is lastly getting the popularity he deserves because of his function as Jacob Yi in Minari. Not solely did Yeun obtain his first-ever Oscar nomination on March 15, he grew to become the primary Asian-American finest actor nominee in Oscars historical past. Together with the nomination of Riz Ahmed in the identical class, this yr’s ceremony marks the primary time two males of East or South Asian descent have been acknowledged in the identical yr. Miyoshi Umeki and Haing S. Ngor are at present the one Asian-American actors to win Oscars within the supporting actress and actor classes.
Within the historical past of the Oscars, solely 5 males of East or South Asian descent have been nominated for finest actor. Out of the 5 – which incorporates Yeun, Ahmed, Yul Brynner, Topol, and Sir Ben Kingsley – solely Brynner and Kinglsey have taken house the award, Brynner for 1956’s The King and I and Kingsley for 1982’s Gandhi. Regardless of Brynner’s Buryat lineage, his casting because the King of Siam was thought-about problematic. It has been 18 years since Kinglsey was nominated for his function as Colonel Massoud Amir Behrani in Home of Sand and Fog, so Yeun’s nomination has been a very long time coming.
Associated: Right here Are the 2021 Oscar Nominees, Together with Judas and the Black Messiah and Minari
“It is most likely a bummer that that’s the case. This can be a laborious one for me,” Yeun beforehand advised Selection about probably making historical past with a nomination. “As nice as it could be to set a precedent or be a part of a second that breaks by means of a ceiling, I personally do not need to be ensnared by that second, both. The reality that I am attempting to grasp for myself is who I’m, individually.”
He continued, “I am glad to serve a bigger second for the group. And I am glad to push narratives and present who we’re as a result of I’m that, too. I’m an Asian American and the satisfaction I’ve for that’s immense. But in addition, for me, it is actually about carrying my house and myself by means of this life and ensuring that I inform it true from my perspective. However it could be superior, and I hope that we are able to have many extra of these and that it will not be a difficulty shifting ahead.”