‘Minari’ actor is nonchalant about new fame outside S. Korea
(Photo by Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP, File)SEOUL – When Youn Yuh-jung was asked how she felt about being called the “Meryl Streep of South Korea" in a recent interview, she said she’s flattered by the comparison. “I am just a Korean actress in Korea,” 73-year-old actor said. So I like to be myself.”Youn needs no introduction in South Korea, with a film career spanning over five decades. Youn lived in the U.S. for nearly a decade, not performing, before returning to South Korea, where she split from Cho and returned to acting. AdShe said the U.S. was considered a “dream land” by Asian American immigrants in the 1970s and '80s, when “Minari” is set.
In 'Minari,' harvesting an American dream
In Chung’s film, the watery basin throbs with significance — a physical symbol of putting roots down, of Korean American harmony, of resiliency. The minari in “Minari” was sowed by Chung’s father — an almost impossibly poignant bit of set dressing in a film that blooms in the gap between generations. AdThe Golden Globes spawned a controversy by limiting “Minari” (a deeply American film, with dirt in its fingers, and largely Korean dialogue) to its foreign-language film category. And perhaps most importantly, its honest and authentic rendering of an Asian American family, in an entertainment world so often reliant on stereotype, has resonated meaningfully for many. For me, what’s incredible, taking a step back, we’re almost like their American dream come true,” says Oh.