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Steven Yeun refused lead roles after 'The Walking Dead' that felt too similar

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Steven Yeun has said that he turned down lead roles after The Walking Dead because they felt too similar to his part on the show.

  • READ MORE: Resurrection of ‘The Walking Dead’: how TV’s zombie epic got good again

The actor, who played Glenn Rhee on the AMC hit from 2010 to 2016, recently opened up about his career in independent film since.

Reflecting on his job starring in Sorry To Bother You, directed by Boots Riley and Bong Joon-ho’s Okja, Yeun said he was grateful for parts that “didn’t want to put me in a box”.

He explained to Entertainment Weekly: “The things that came for me after Walking Dead were actually great projects that were asking me to be the lead, they were asking me to lead a television show, but for some reason, when I would read the synopsis, it still felt adjacent to Glenn, the character that I played, and I don’t like staying in one place for too long.”

The Walking Dead
Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee in season 6 of ‘The Walking Dead’. Credit: Gene Page/AMC.

Earlier this year, Yeun opened up about the micro-aggressions he had faced as an Asian-American actor when he was just getting started.

“I auditioned with Ferris Bueller’s opening monologue and they were like, ‘That’s good – can you do that all again in an Asian accent?’” he explained recalling his first-ever audition for a show called Awesome ’80s Prom.

“At the time, I’ll be honest with you, I knew I didn’t want to do that so I kind of rejected it. But the system had no clue that’s not what I wanted. We were just in a different time. I remember my only response to do that was I did a shitty accent and phoned it in, and then I left.”

Yeun will next star in The Humans, which has just premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

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