Steven Yeun remembers exactly where he was on the night of June 15, 2004, after his beloved Detroit Pistons embarrassed the Los Angeles Lakers to win their first NBA title in 14 years:
“I was in college. It was my senior year, and we lit a couch on fire.”
This was at Kalamazoo College in his home state of Michigan, where he lived in a house with five guys on the basketball team. “That victory was strange because we won that shit in the third quarter,” explains Yeun. “And so then you’re just like celebrating but not, because it’s not done yet.” In his telling, when the final buzzer bzzzt’d and confetti ribbons squiggled down from the rafters, using a communal piece of furniture to start a bonfire seemed like a perfectly natural way to celebrate.
Now a decade and a half later, Yeun has an arson-adjacent film coming out this month called Burning, where he plays, for the first time in his career, a villain—a cultivated libertine named Ben who drives a Porsche and listens to jazz and cops to a secret love of setting old greenhouses ablaze. Directed by Lee Chang-dong, the film is in Korean and is loosely based on a short story by Japanese author Haruki Murakami. The film received a standing ovation at Cannes and similarly dazzled along the festival circuit—which is why we’re here, eating lunch at Scarr’s Pizza, a throwback slice joint hidden away on a sleepy block in Chinatown. (My first two restaurant suggestions—a nearby Taiwanese noodle spot and a Malaysian cafe—were both politely rejected via his reps, but more on that in a bit.)
In conversation Yeun is present and thoughtful, his face framed by devastatingly perfect cheekbones that could start their own contouring show on YouTube. Before we eat, though, he hovers over his pizza—a square, Detroit-style corner slice with pepperoni—and takes a quick photo. [Source]
Steven made an appearance at the 56th New York Film Festival yesterday where he appeared in a Q&A after a screening of the movie.
Steven is in Austin, Texas to attend the 2018 Fantastic Fest where Burning will be screening. Fantastic Fest is the largest genre film festival in the U.S., specialising in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action and fantastic movies. We’ve got our hands on a couple of photos of him out & about, hoping for more to surface later.
Steven stepped out for the “Crazy Rich Asians” Premiere on Tuesday night (August 7) at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. The movie based on the best-selling novel, hits theaters on August 15. I’ve updated the gallery with photos of Steven and the cast during the premiere.