8 Things You Might Not Know about Beef Star Steven Yeun

steven yeun smiling for cameras at the premiere of the netflix series beef

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Actor Steven Yeun is all the rage thanks to the road rage comedy Beef on Netflix.

Just one week after a Golden Globe win for his portrayal of Danny Cho on the Netflix dark comedy, the 39-year-old actor won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series on Monday. “I want to say thank you to [my character] Danny for teaching me that judgment and shame is a lonely place, but compassion and grace is where we can all meet,” he said in his emotional acceptance speech.

The series, which stars Yeun and comedian Ali Wong, logged more than 221 million hours streamed from its debut on April 6, 2023 through June 2023. Wong similarly won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series.

The series is the latest hit for Yeun, who had his breakthrough role on AMC’s The Walking Dead from 2010 through 2016. He has since gone on to star in films such as 2020’s Minari—which earned him an Oscar nomination—and Jordan Peele’s 2022 science fiction thriller Nope, as well as TV shows like the Netflix animated comedy Tuca & Bertie.

Here are some things you might not know about the South Korea–born Yeun and his acting career.

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His name came from a doctor his parents met

Yeun was born Sang-yeop Yeun on December 21, 1983, in Seoul, South Korea. He wasn’t known as Steven until after he and his family moved to the United States.

On an October 2016 episode of Conan O’Brien’s TBS talk show, Yeun told the TV host his parents Je and June gave him the new name because they met a doctor named Steven and apparently liked it a lot.

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He’s a big sports fan

While growing up, Yeun lived in the Detroit suburbs of Taylor and Troy. Naturally, he became a fan of local pro sports teams like the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings and the NBA’s Detroit Pistons. He has been spotted cheering on the Pistons courtside at Crypto.com Arena when they visit Los Angeles.

His hockey fandom even drew the attention of the rival Philadelphia Flyers, who once trolled Yeun in a tweet referencing the “Lucille” cliffhanger from The Walking Dead.

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He has a degree in psychology

Yeun attended Kalamazoo College in Michigan, graduating in 2005 with a degree in psychology. When he wasn’t studying, Yeun performed for the school’s improv group and also participated in theater productions, setting him on a path toward his film and TV career.

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