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Why Danny Cho From Netflix's Beef Looks So Familiar

Netflix and A24 are cooking up a storm with "Beef."

Created by Lee Sung Jin, the series follows Danny Cho and Amy Lau Nakai who cross paths after a deeply unsettling act of road rage. Both characters, filled with their own problems and insecurities, go head-to-head with one another. It's a compelling premise that has captivated critics across the world. Described by /Film's Jeremy Mathai as the funniest comedy since Donald Glover's "Atlanta," the series was praised for "[displaying] a level of confidence and command of storytelling that will carry open-minded viewers right through to its shockingly moving conclusion."

Over the dark comedy's 10 episodes, audiences will be treated to deep and introspective looks at Danny Cho and Amy Lau Nakai's personal lives, filling in the gaps on why they're so darn angry and hell-bent on revenge. Because viewers will be spending a fair bit of time with both characters, it's likely that the actors behind the two roles will be familiar to a few viewers. Amy Lau Nakai is played by "Always Be My Maybe" star Ali Wong, while Danny Cho is a role occupied by Oscar-nominated actor Steven Yeun.

Steven Yeun's first major gig was playing Glenn in The Walking Dead

Prior to appearing in AMC's zombie-drama "The Walking Dead," Steven Yeun was largely unknown. His character Glenn Rhee made a brief appearance in the pilot and quickly emerged as a fan favorite. Yeun's character was praised for adding depth to the roster of survivors and was a staple of the series for its first seven seasons. For Yeun, joining "The Walking Dead" was a life-changing experience. "I came to a realization that my life, at a certain point, has changed forever," the actor told Rolling Stone in 2013.

As great as Yeun's performance was, it also had an expiration date. Glenn, like many of the show's pivotal characters, dies in the Robert Kirkman-penned comic books. The first episode of Season 7 saw the character die a bloody death at the hands of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), breaking the hearts of viewers worldwide. Yeun agreed with the backlash AMC received, telling Vanity Fair that the popular character never received justice. "... I truly feel like people didn't know what to do with Glenn," Yeun said. "I never felt like he got his fair due. I never felt like he got it from an outward perception."

While there are certainly mixed feelings about how Glenn's story was wrapped up in "The Walking Dead," it's hard to deny how Yeun has managed to find even greater success after he left the series.

The Danny Cho actor stood out in Burning

After appearances in the sci-fi drama "I Origins" and director Bong Joon-ho's "Okja," Steven Yeun landed a leading role in Lee Chang-dong's "Burning." Released in 2018 to international acclaim, "Burning" was Yeun's first foray into South Korean cinema. Based on Haruki Murakami's short story "Barn Burning," the film follows two friends who encounter Yeun's character Ben, who may be more of a danger than the two realize. Empire said casting Yeun in the movie was a "masterstroke" choice in their positive review of "Burning."

To date, "Burning" is one of Yeun's most critically-acclaimed roles. For the actor, however, the film served as an opportunity to grow closer to his roots and find his voice as a performer. "I wasn't the Asian American in that group of characters," Yeun told The Independent, pointing out how racially-influenced typecasting is prevalent in Hollywood. "I wasn't the plucky nice guy. I wasn't the tech-dude or the person that needed to serve some sort of plot device. I was just Ben." The role was also a striking departure for Yeun, who previously only played "nice" or wholly good characters, allowing him the chance to star as a more nuanced and grey protagonist.

In "Burning," Yeun wasn't allowed to be dictated by his race, which he saw as a step forward in his career. "I didn't have to represent all Asians," Yeun continued. "I could just represent myself."

The Beef star is an Oscar nominee thanks to Minari

If "Burning" was proof that Steven Yeun could break away from Glenn's shadow, then "Minari" confirmed that he's one of the best actors of our generation. Directed by Lee Isaac Chung, "Minari" follows South Korean immigrants who take up shop in America during the 1980s. Partially based on Chung's childhood, Yeun starred as Jacob Yi, the patriarch of the family who toils to make their American dream come true. A critical juggernaut for A24, the film received universal acclaim when it debuted in 2020. Looper reviewer Larry Carroll described the film as one about "remembrance, and the sour taste which can sometimes be in our mouths during the moments we'll later recall with fondness."

Yeun, who was enamored with the script, ended up executive producing the film. In an interview with IndieWire, Yeun praised Chung's vision and authentic scope. "It was so honest and so truthful and so confident in its own point of view, I really loved it," Yeun candidly shared. "It was unwavering in its own self, it didn't require a juxtaposition to anything else for its own existence." For his performance as Yi, Yeun received an Oscar nod for Best Actor, becoming the first Asian-American to get the acknowledgment. While Yeun didn't walk away with the award, his co-star Youn Yuh-jung walked away with a Best Supporting Actress trophy.

Steven Yeun owned a theme park in Nope

With an Oscar nomination under his belt, Yeun continues to make daring choices, including working with one of our generation's most acclaimed auteurs. 2022 saw the actor work with Jordan Peele in his sci-fi-thriller "Nope." Arguably one of the most underrated films from the last year, "Nope" emerged as a box office success, grossing over $170 million worldwide, per The Numbers. In an era where original, non-IP films continue to struggle, "Nope" stands out as a true crowd-pleaser.

In the sci-fi epic, Yeun stars as Ricky "Jupe" Park, the operator behind the Jupiter's Claim theme park, which houses a mysterious creature. Of course, there's also more to Jupe than he claims... While Yeun is a veteran of the horror genre thanks to his stint on "The Walking Dead," the actor was pleased with how Peele handled his character's subject matter and execution. "I think for my part of the film I was just really enamoured with Jordan's process and the way in which he brought me into it, so I felt quite safe making this film," Yeun told Gizmodo.