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The Untold Truth Of The Umbrella Academy's Justin H. Min

When it was revealed that Justin H. Min would play Ben Hargreeves in the Netflix adaptation of "The Umbrella Academy," fans were excited to see how the actor would portray the tentacle-summoning boy who lost his life on a mission. Ben is one of countless children born in 1989 with strange and fantastic powers, and he's one of the seven adopted by Reginald Hargreeves. Going by the moniker "Number Six," Ben teamed up with his adoptive siblings and fought crime. Following his death, a statue was erected in his honor. During the events of the "Umbrella Academy", Ben is now a ghost, having been summoned by his brother, Klaus. He sticks with Klaus throughout the first two seasons, providing comfort — as well as much-needed truths — to his former teammate. 

With Min's ability to "bring tears to the audience's eyes even though his character is technically deceased" to his chemistry with Robert Sheehan (Klaus Hargreeves) and Elliot Page (Vanya Hargreeves), he shows that he is always ready to rise to the challenge (via The Hoya). His dedication to his craft is just as exciting as the untold truths some may not know about the actor. 

Justin H. Min had no idea what he was auditioning for

It seems like every aspect of "The Umbrella Academy" is shrouded in secrecy from its conception to the final product. In fact, the details about the series were so guarded that Justin H. Min actually had clues about his audition for the show. According to an interview with CBR, all he knew going in was that he was trying out for a Netflix series. He was given material that had nothing to do with the show or his character. An audition is always nerve-racking for any actor, but it must have been even more stressful for Min — not only did he have little to work with, but he also had to deal with fake material during his callbacks. "Then when I got the call from my agent and manager that I booked the job, I was obviously so excited. But as soon as we stopped screaming, they said, 'We have no idea who you are still,'" Min said. 

There was even more secrecy with the second season. Min revealed that he and his co-stars receive their scripts on an episode by episode basis, leaving them in suspense until the next shipment. Min thought his last day would be after Ben sacrifices himself for Vanya, but obviously, he was wrong. When he got the remaining pages of the script and found out that he would get to be Ben from an alternate timeline, his reaction was amazing: "I just sat there screaming." 

He is fluent in Korean

Justin H. Min is a second-generation Korean-American, so it comes as no surprise that the actor is bilingual. Almost two years ago on October 1st, Aidan Gallagher (Number Five) sent two Tweets in Korean. One was a birthday message to "The Umbrella Academy" family — all of the special children were born on that day — and the other teased the possibility of a second season. Min followed suit and replied in Korean, asking "What is this?" This had fans reeling with excitement and began questioning whether Gallagher's Tweet was a result of Min giving his co-star Korean lessons (via Exclusively Hollywood

Despite being Korean-American, Ben's heritage has not yet been explored in the series. However, after Allison Hargreeves was given a storyline that explored her life as an African-American woman during an extremely intolerant time, perhaps viewers will also get to see a similar side to Ben. Now that he will play a more active role alongside the other characters, it would be interesting to see if Min gets to say some lines in Korean. 

Min was a journalist

Before Justin H. Min was an actor, he was working as a journalist. Though he says there wasn't anything specific that inspired his career change, he did not have the best experiences with his writing jobs. During an interview with GQ, he spoke about the end of his college career and his interest in journalism. He did get to write for a few magazines, but the assignments were not what he was hoping for — he specifically mentioned a local lobster festival. 

Min soon found out that he needed years under his belt before he could get where he wanted, and being the impatient person he is, he was not looking forward to having to cover such events until that time came. "Through a long series of existential crises and making pro/con lists, I sort of stumbled into acting," he said, and he landed his first acting gig in 2012 as Grey in the short film, "My Father." 

He has a second cousin who also appears in a Netflix series

Families aren't unheard of in acting, but how many times has an actor discovered they have a relative in the middle of a completely unrelated hangout on the set of a show? That's exactly what happened to Justin H. Min and Ashley Park, better known as Mindy from another Netflix series, "Emily in Paris." In November 2020, during a talk hosted by Character Conversations, Park revealed that she and Min "just found this out last year." Min confirmed their relation in his portion of the talk, saying, "For those who don't know, Ashley and I are — we've now confirmed — are second cousins."

The serendipity of their relationship goes beyond sharing a bloodline, as Park also mentioned during their interview that they both had renewals of their shows announced within the same couple of days. Season 2 of "Emily in Paris" began production in May 2021 while Season 3 of "The Umbrella Academy" was scheduled to begin in February.

Netflix keeps him in the dark about his character

Thanks to some playing around with the source material, Justin H. Min has no idea what's in store for the future of Ben. As we saw at the conclusion of Season 2, the group splits up after Ben's raw and emotional goodbye to Vanya, but not before asking for a hug. This is all new territory for Ben, who is an exclusive character never seen in the original "Umbrella Academy" comics. When Collider asked about his status on the show, Min warned that he would be sent to "Netflix jail" if he revealed any future details about the plot or Ben's future arcs.

After some polite requests, Min said, "I will say that I appreciate the ambiguity and the mystery behind it. You get into that in Season 2, particularly with the flashback in the last episode, but from a storytelling and writing point of view, it allows them way more freedom when they keep it ambiguous and a little more mysterious."