In Lee Isaac Chung’s life-affirming “Minari,” Steven Yeun plays Jacob Yi, a Korean American dad who pursues his goal of financial success by moving his unenthusiastic family to a farm in 1980s Arkansas. There, the family members are strangers in a strange land — which has parallels with Darius Marder’s “Sound of Metal,” in which Riz Ahmed’s character, Ruben, an intense heavy metal drummer, has to come to terms with living life as a newly deaf person. Whether Ruben or Jacob can forge new lives for themselves, ones that give them peace and fulfillment, is the central question of both “Sound of Metal” and “Minari.”
Both Yeun and Ahmed are serious about acting, with successful runs on TV (for Yeun, “The Walking Dead,” and for Ahmed, an Emmy-
winning role in “The Night Of”). They spoke about how their personal experiences — especially as Asian performers in Hollywood and in Yeun’s case, as an immigrant to the United States — have informed their careers.
Watch the full video for Variety‘s Actors on Actors, presented by Amazon Studios, above.