Minari: Alan Kim, Film’s Bright Young Star

Young Minari Star Alan Kim on Film Debut


Alan Kim (left) and Steven Yeun in Minari.
Melissa Lukenbaugh/A24

Alan Kim (left) and Steven Yeun in ‘Minari.’

After a standout performance in Lee Isaac Chung’s film, the 8-year-old has quickly become a celeb.

After a standout performance in Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari and a emotional acceptance speech when he won the Critics Choice Award for best young actor, Alan Kim has become even more popular.

Favorite part of working with Steven Yeun?

It was probably everything! It was really nice working with him, he was really nice. He also gave me a book. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. And we also did food races because I was such a slow eater. It was fun.

Did Youn Yuh-jung give you acting advice?

This was like two years ago, so I can’t remember exactly, but probably, “Don’t overreact.” Because if you overreact, it’s not really yourself.

Alan Kim
Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP
Promoting the film at Sundance in January 2020.
First day on set like?

Well, the first day I came to Tulsa, we did a photograph. It was really hot, and they also gave us ice cream, and I would lick my ice cream so slow that my mom would say, “Eat it fast, you haven’t got all day. It’s going to melt!” I’m like, “But I like eating the ice cream!”

Did you like Tulsa?

It was hot, but at least the hotel was well air-conditioned. … It’s kind of like a refrigerator; once you put something in and close it, put it in for an hour, take it out, it’s all frozen. And then when you come outside, leave it for about one hour or two, it all stops the coolness.

Favorite memories from filming?

The pee scene is really funny. Also I would actually watch Captain Underpants or play games off camera.

More acting in the future?

Yes! Actually, I’m starting a new movie. It’s called Latchkey Kids.

Character in Latchkey Kids?

He mostly just comes home alone, watches TV, orders a pizza. I haven’t read the whole entire script, but I’ve read part of it.

If you could act in any movie, which one would you want?

Any movie except war movies. I just don’t like them.