‘The Walking Dead’ Alum Steven Yeun Drawing Rave Reviews For Starring Turn In ‘Minari’

The Walking Dead alum StevenYeun being interviewed
Emma McIntyre / Getty Images

The Walking Dead alum Steven Yeun has managed to move his career to the big screen. While his former cast mates are having to deal with whether the show’s creator did or didn’t reveal the cause of the zombie plague, the actor who played Glenn Rhee is drawing rave reviews for his starring turn in Minari, according to the website Undead Walking.

The film, about a Korean family who moves from California to Arkansas in the 1980s, has been a hit at the Sundance Film Festival. The flick, directed by Lee Isaac Chung, is reported to be quite the tear-jerker. Talking to The Washington Post, Yeun explained that was one of the reasons he was drawn to Minari.

The Walking Dead alumnus said he read the script and immediately felt the project was one worth doing, even if the budget wasn’t anywhere close to what he’s seen in other movies and television shows.

“I’ve read many scripts about families of immigrants. A lot of the time, they’re explanatory or they’re catering to an audience that’s not even of themselves. When it does that, it loses its authenticity and romanticizes in some ways, idealizes in other ways. When I read the script, I was like: This is unabashedly a truthful telling of these human beings.”

Yeun described Minari as a kind of “fish out of water story,” though it’s definitely not a comedy, even if there are some comedic parts. Instead, according to Polygon, it’s about the family realizing the South is quite welcoming, which isn’t what they expected.

Steven Yeun poses with cast members of Minari
  Cindy Ord / Getty Images

What The Walking Dead veteran and his family find in Arkansas is a community that has wanted to adjust to a growing immigrant population. Yeun, alongside a gruff but eventually loyal and friendly neighbor played by Will Patton, figure out a way to grow Korean vegetables. The garden subsequently helps even more immigrants feel at home as they move into rural Arkansas.

Minari debuted at Sundance on January 26, and Steven Yeun and other members of the cast have been getting plaudits since audiences got their first look at the film. Produced by Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment and partially financed by The Walking Dead alum himself, it’s not yet known when audiences outside of Utah might be able to check the flick out.

While audiences around the country have not gotten to see the movie yet, critics believe the starring actor has done quite well for himself since he put his zombie-killing days behind him.