Steven Yeun’s come a long way since being a post-apocalyptic pizza boy, as the former Walking Dead star has made history this week for being the very first Asian-American actor to receive an Academy Award nomination. Yeun was among the just-released nominees for the 2021 ceremony, earning himself a place in the Best Actor category for his acclaimed turn in Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari. And his old TWD colleagues couldn’t be prouder of him.
Many of Yeun’s pals from the Walking Dead universe took to social media to congratulate him on his historic nomination. Including producer Gale Anne Hurd.
— Gale Anne Hurd (@GunnerGale) March 15, 2021
Ex-showrunner Scott M. Gimple, meanwhile, found the news to be a “damn wonderful thing to wake up to.”
Damn wonderful thing to wake up to: https://t.co/CSRh6s6Jto
— Scott M. Gimple (@ScottMGimple) March 15, 2021
Beth Greene actress Emily Kinney seemed too excited to form actual words.
!!!!!!!!!!!! ??❤️ https://t.co/n11OPuwsEy
— Emily Kinney (@emmykinney) March 15, 2021
TWD creator Robert Kirkman gave Yeun a “huge and well-deserved congrats” over the news.
— Robert Kirkman (@RobertKirkman) March 15, 2021
Last but not least, Yeun’s onscreen killer, Negan star Jeffrey Dean Morgan, was blown away by the announcement.
WHOA! @steveyeun a big huge massive congratulations!!
— Jeffrey Dean Morgan (@JDMorgan) March 15, 2021
Yeun played Glenn Rhee on the hit AMC series from its very first run to the season 7 premiere. As one of the most beloved characters on the show, Glenn’s violent and tragic death at the hands of Negan and his barbed bat Lucille has gone down as perhaps the most controversial moment in TWD history. Nonetheless, Yeun has spoken about how he embraced being killed off as it gave him the opportunity to explore new acting opportunities. And clearly that worked out for him.
Minari tells the semi-autobiographical tale of Chung’s own childhood, following a South Korean family of immigrants who move to rural America in the 1980s. Yeun stars as Jacob, the husband/father of the Yi family. The A24 movie is one of the biggest successes of the year, earning six major Oscar nominations in total, including Best Picture and Best Director.
As for The Walking Dead, AMC airs new episodes of the extended season 10 on Sundays.