Steven Yeun has been hitting it out of the park continually since rising to stardom following his part in AMC’s TWD, whose gruesome demise at the hands of Negan still remains iconic. From starring in Jordan Peele’s Nope to Bong Joon-ho’s Okja, the acclaimed actor has proven to have an immaculate taste, and his Netflix release earlier this year was once again a hit among critics.
Starring Yeun and Always Be My Maybe Star Ali Wong at the forefront, the Netflix series Beef, which opened to critical acclaim in April was deemed as “Dumb Heat” by the production crew per the actor.
Steven Yeun’s Acclaimed Beef Was Deemed Dumb Heat by Crew Members
It’s not hard to notice the parallels between Netflix’s dark comedy Beef and Michael Mann’s acclaimed Heat, starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. Like the latter, which went on to inspire Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, Steven Yeun‘s 10-part comedy revolves around the antagonistic relationship between the two leads in the rage-fueled drama. And like the Michael Mann classic, it also captured the hazy backdrop of LA while witnessing engrossing stuff with guns. So it’s not unreasonable to see why the crew members referred to Beef as “dumb heat”, said Yeun.
But being a Dumb Heat isn’t a bad thing and certainly worked in the show’s favor, and is another enthralling addition to Steven Yeun’s imposing filmography, which keeps on getting richer.
The Hardest Part of the Dark Comedy Was Summoning Tears for Steven Yeun
Although the Netflix drama doesn’t fall short when it comes to comedy, it does comprise its fair share of heart-wrenching moments, with one being Yeun’s Danny being moved to tears in a church. However, for the pivotal scene, which involves Danny breaking into tears following his escalating psychological warfare with Ali Wong’s Amy, Yeun just couldn’t summon the tears. This led to one of the show’s directors, Jake Schreier, talking to the actor off-stage, and instead of resorting to fake tears, they decided to film another scene before getting back to the congregation scene.
And with additional context, Yeun perfectly pulled off the part, as he explained the moment for Danny wasn’t a point of isolation but “a moment of deep connection”. Speaking on IndieWire’s Award Spotlight, he said,
“What does it mean to give real grace?” Is it to take away everything and go like ‘It’s all about you, we’re here for you’ — because somehow that didn’t lead to the truth. When we just made it true and there was no judgment, when everybody else started singing, then I just started sobbing. That’s what this moment is for Danny; it’s not a moment of isolation, it’s a moment of deep connection.”
With standout performances from the entire cast, especially Yeun and Wong, Beef has cemented itself as one of the most exciting TV releases of the year, and the Heat inspiration only elevated the experience.
Beef is available to stream on Netflix.