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The Transformation Of Justin H. Min From Childhood To The Umbrella Academy

Since appearing as Ben, a.k.a. Number Six, in Netflix's "The Umbrella Academy," actor Justin H. Min has been on the entertainment industry's radar. The Netflix show is an adaptation of a comic book series of the same name from Dark Horse Comics, following a world in which 43 children are born to non-pregnant women in 1989, each child having special abilities. Billionaire Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) adopts seven of those children, raising them to be the world's youngest superhero team.

The complete Umbrella Academy team includes, in number order from 1 to 7, Luther (Tom Hopper), Diego (David Castañeda), Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman), Klaus (Robert Sheehan), Number Five (Aidan Gallagher), Min's Ben, and Vanya (Elliot Page). It's detailed in Season 1 that Ben is killed during a mission when they are children. Klaus and Ben are the closest, and given Klaus' abilities to connect with the dead, he's able to see and manifest the form of older Ben throughout the show. Both seasons see this relationship between Ben and Klaus develop even more, with the rest of the family eventually becoming aware that Ben is, in fact, there with them.

With the confirmation of Season 3 of "The Umbrella Academy" releasing in 2022 and focusing on the famed Hotel Oblivion storyline (via TVLine), Min is set to reprise his role as Ben in real life this time, after the surprising ending of Season 2. So, how did Min go from an aspiring actor to landing a role in one of Netflix's own original superhero shows? Here's what we know.

Justin H. Min began his acting career with short films

Entering the industry officially in 2012 at the age of 22 after graduating from Cornell University (via The Cornell Daily Sun), Justin H. Min began acting seriously in the short films "My Father" and "My Best Friend Max." While there isn't much information surrounding the plot of the former, the latter follows a young and reckless teen named Maxine (Summer Rudas) who sabotages her high school's Battle of the Bands with her best friend Ellie (Colleen Marie Daly) and must choose between the performance or her friend. Min plays the stage manager of the show, a small but crucial part in the short (via IMDb).

From that point on, Min began obtaining small television roles in shows pertaining to music, including a recurring role as the character of Michael in "Discord and Harmony," a 2014 television series focusing on young teens in bands who are striving to become famous. This led to another minor recurring role in MTV's "Faking It," a show chronicling the lives of two teen girls who are best friends and pretend to be lesbians for fame, until one realizes that she isn't pretending.

Min appeared on CSI: Cyber and Pure Genius

After a few years and continued small roles in short films and television shows, Justin H. Min managed to land two crucial parts in both "CSI: Cyber" and "Pure Genius." His role on "CSI: Cyber" was still relatively minor, not receiving a designated character name but playing a role in one episode's plot involving a young bomber focused on revealing problems with society's over-reliance on technology. 

In "Pure Genius," the 2016 television series surrounding one man's desire to develop cutting edge medical technology and processes, Min plays the character of Eugene, one of the people affected by an E. coli breakout during which the "Pure Genius" team uses social media to assist them in stopping and controlling the outbreak.

These two appearances served as a definitive turning point in Min's career, as he graduated from smaller roles in smaller projects to smaller roles in more well-known and longer running series on primetime television. From this point on, Min began a rapid incline, especially since one of his next two big roles was "The Umbrella Academy."

Min played larger roles on Dating After College and The Umbrella Academy in 2019

Alongside what is now arguably his breakout role in "The Umbrella Academy," many people might not know that in the same year, 2019, Justin H. Min also starred in a miniseries called "Dating After College." 

The series premiered on YouTube from Wong Fu Productions and follows Min's Cameron and Kristen Vaganos' Madison as they begin to explore the dating world post-college, leading them to question everything they think they know about love. Needless to say, Min was a very busy actor throughout 2018 and 2019 shooting both of these projects, and it has certainly served him well so far.

However, in 2020, only one year after both of these larger roles, Min was still willing to play smaller pivotal roles in great series — including "New Amsterdam." The drama show follows a new, young director at America's oldest hospital as he breaks protocol to try and focus purely on helping those in need. Min makes a guest appearance as the character of Jason Wang in an episode of Season 1.

Min has surprising family ties to the entertainment industry

Although Justin H. Min didn't attend college for theater or acting specifically, he does have ties to the entertainment industry that might've given him the confidence that he needed to pursue a career in acting. 

Min is the second cousin of Ashley Park, known for her roles in "Emily in Paris" and the Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical "Mean Girls." Funnily enough, both Min and Park only recently found out that they were related and had a sort of mini-reunion in November of 2020 during "Character Conversations" with Character Media (via Exclusive Hollywood UK).

Park has been in the entertainment industry for about the same amount of time as her second cousin, with her resume noting appearances in shows like "Tales of the City" and "Red Frontier," along with "Emily in Paris" (via IMDb). The difference in the two's career paths really only lies in Park's theater experience, which has certainly helped her career.

The future looks bright for Justin H. Min

Justin H. Min is set to star as Ben Hargreeves at least once more in Season 3 of "The Umbrella Academy." However what's even more notable towards his rise as an actor may be his recent appearance alongside Colin Farrell in 2021's "After Yang." Min plays the character of the A.I. Yang who breaks down, leaving Farrell's Jake and the rest of his family to deal with their own lives and connections with each other. The sci-fi drama appeared at the Cannes Film Festival this year and currently has a Rotten Tomatoes critic rating of 81%.

Based on what we can tell from Min's career so far, his trajectory continues to move upward — the projects are bigger, his roles are more important, and he's beginning to star alongside some of the greatest actors in the industry. "The Umbrella Academy" in general is proving to be great ground for young actors to get more work, particularly looking at Min and his co-star Aidan Gallagher. The 18-year-old who plays Number Five earned a top spot on IMDb's Top 10 Breakout Stars of 2020. It will be exciting to see what both Gallagher and Min have in store moving forward. Make sure to keep watching for the official date and trailer for Season 3 of "The Umbrella Academy."