Steven Yeun on Burning, The Walking Dead, and changing roles for Asian-Americans

For fans of The Walking Dead, Steven Yeun is a familiar face — he played fan-favorite character Glenn Rhee over the course of six years and seven seasons of the show, in the process earning a fandom and rapidly kickstarting a widely varying acting career. Asian-American actors often struggle to find roles that don’t fall into simple, predictable stereotypes, but Yeun has kept things complicated, playing a conflicted animal-rights activist in Bong Joon-ho’s Netflix weird fable Okja, a confident union agitator in Boots Riley’s Sorry to Bother You, and lone-wolf pilot Keith in the animated series Voltron: Legendary Defender.

Yeun’s latest film, Burning, adapts the 1992 Haruki Murakami story “Barn Burning,” about an awkward Japanese outsider…

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