For his 60th birthday, veteran Korean star Yuh-jung Yun made a promise to himself. He will only cooperate with those he trusts. Even if his ventures fell short, as long as he personally appreciated the people who built them, the result would not have worried him too much.
That late-in-life philosophy, born of limited choices and decades of professional trauma, “brought him to”Minaret,” the director Lee Isak ChungA semi-autobiographical story about a Korean family rooted in Arkansas. Yun’s flirtatious performance as a grandmother, immigrant drama in Tsunja, Tenderhair earned her Academy Award nomination First for a Korean actress, for Best Supporting Actress.
“I, a 73-year-old Asian woman, would never have even dreamed about being nominated for an Oscar,” Yoon said via video call from her home in Seoul. “‘Minari’ brought me lots of gifts.”
As he recounted this victory and the many losses it had suffered before, his pathetic expression often broke even into a cheerful smile, cheerful laughter. Adorned in a black dress and long necklace, her serene appearance was effortless grace. She began to feel thoughtful and welcoming but determined to understand her thoughts. Sometimes she would ask a friend for a camera in English at some point to hit each point more accurately.
He expressed surprise at the fact that his co-star Steven Yeown was the first Asian-American artist to receive a Best Actor-nomination: “All I can say is: it’s about time!” ‘Parasitic’ success They have certainly helped to gain more recognition for Korean artists.
The film, which was directed by Joon Ho, was not the first in English to win the best picture, and it went to Yun’s Oscars in other ways.
She returned shortly before hearing the announcement of her nomination from a shooting project in Vancouver, British Columbia, titled “Pachinko”. At first he felt numb. The Korean news media then began to objectively report on her opportunities. “It is very stressful. They think I’m a football player or Olympian, “he said,” This pressure is really hard on me. “Because of Bong’s film,” He hopes I can win. I kept telling him, ‘This is all because of you!’
Bong is a fan of Kim Ki-youngWoman of fire, “The 1971 film in which Yun made his feature debut, conveyed his award-season experience during the epidemic.” He told me, ‘You’re lucky you can just sit down and make a zoom call. They have a prize race in America and you have to go here and there and everywhere. “I thought the race was for horses only,” he said.
He is a strong push to the finish. Nominations are made on Sunday SAG Awards As part of her performance and “Minari” ensemble. That is also for a Free spirit award later this month. And she has already won acclaim from more than 20 critics groups.
They are the latest turning point in a Korean career and career spanning over 50 years in film – including the recent cooking reality show “Yun’s Kitchen” and a new nonfiction series, “Yun’s Stay”, set in a guesthouse – but Swaythu Thepian did not imagine life in the performing arts. Her international success seems to her to be, like everything else on the way, luckless.
“It’s embarrassing,” he said. “Most people fell in love with films or fell in love with theater. But in my case it was just an accident. “
When she was a teenager in the early 1960s, an MC for a children’s game show saw her on a TV station and invited her to gift it to viewers: “I got a check after that and it was good money.” ” Similar jobs continued until a director suggested auditions for the play. Although she was hesitant, the need prompted her: she failed her college entrance exam, putting her mother to shame, she said. (After publishing this article online, her representatives made it clear that she passed, but with a low score meant that she could not attend a top-teacher college.)
“To tell you the truth, I didn’t know what acting was,” she said. He said, “I tried to memorize Rekha and do what I asked her to do.” At that time I did not know if I was enjoying it or if I disliked it. “
But while she was growing up in the mid-1970s, Yun married and moved to Florida, where her husband attended university. As a housewife, she gave birth to her two American children for nearly two decades, but then divorced and returned to Korea as a single mother. Her fame had vanished and sexism resumed her career in Korean society. “The audience called and said, ‘She’s a divorcee. She shouldn’t be on television,'” he said, “now they like me a lot. It’s very strange, but it’s human.”
In order to keep her two sons through college, she accepted the parts almost indiscriminately. But at the age of 60, she was not obliged to financially support her family, which meant that she could only invest in people she believed in, such as Autorienne Hong Sang-soo, Which occasionally disappoints her for many requests for her, and cast her in an unheard of role for Im Sang-soo, a Korean actress of her age. in “Taste of moneYoun (2013), for example, symbolizes a powerful woman who sexually harasses her younger male secretary.
Yun’s close friend In-Ah Lee introduced him to “Minari” director Chung at a film festival in Busan. Chung, like Bong, was revered in “Woman of Fire”, and his knowledge or early work influenced him. She wanted to know more about him. “Everyone teases me about this now,” he said. “I fell in love with Isaac because he is a very quiet man. I wish he was my son too. “
In every film, Chung said via email, “She does something that is surprising or unexpected. I felt that his own life and approach to life was very close to the part I wrote. She added that the actress is known in South Korea for her big-hearted and no-nonsense manner, and knew that she would bring those qualities to the “Minari” role that invited the audience.
Writing for countryCritic Kristen Eunso Kim said that it “steals the spotlight”; Even though she leans towards the caricature, her tsunja brings much-needed humor and vitality to a play that might otherwise easily overwhelm Dour. “Kim’s reviews also appear in The New York Times.)
When Yun read the screenplay, the dangers of the Korean-American experience and how it resonated with him did not fit neatly into an identity. “Maybe I did this film for my two sons too, because I knew their feelings,” she said.
Chung wins her over when she asks if she wants him to imitate his grandmother and he replies that this was not her purpose. He valued the freedom to create character beyond what was on the page. Yet it was Chung’s sympathetic attitude that he came to cherish.
She recalled the first day of filming “Minari” in the heat of Tulsa, Okla. Chung could see that he was suffering. “I could feel respect and concern for him.”
On the contrary, she admitted, she thought that the many scenes she shared with inexperienced young actor Alan S. Kim, who plays her grandson, would test her patience. “I thought, ‘This is going to be sad. What am I going to do with this? She shares her work.’
The intense preparation had always served as Yeon’s shield against self-consciousness about his background. “I didn’t go to acting school and didn’t study film, so I had inferiority complex. When I got the script, I worked very hard.
But he is skeptical about further prospects in Hollywood. Yun, who often apologizes during interviews about how blunt he thinks he isn’t in a tongue, fears that his lack of English proficiency may hinder him. But he is given time to learn the dialogue, he is willing to try.
“Come to think of it, it was all worth it,” Yun said. “At that time I was suffering from only small roles and most people hated me. I just thought about leaving or going back to the states. “But she survived, she added. “I’m still alive and finally enjoying acting.”