‘Beef’ Stars Steven Yeun and Young Mazino Honored at Unforgettable Gala

‘Beef’ Stars Steven Yeun and Young Mazino Honored at Unforgettable Gala

Movies, News

Asian talent from this year’s biggest movies and television shows gathered at the Beverly Hilton for the Unforgettable Gala on Dec. 16. The Character Media event celebrated emerging and established Asian American talent in the entertainment industry.

Netflix television series “Beef” saw its cast and creator spotlighted, with creator Lee Sung Jin, star Steven Yeun and actor Young Mazino among the honorees.

With the success of the show this awards season, Lee says that he’s still all in for a second season, telling Variety on the carpet, “If Netflix came calling for that, I’m definitely ready.”

“I think there’s so many different ways I could go,” Lee continued. “It’s hard to say right now, but I’m really definitely down to explore that.”

Lee, who currently has a multi-year overall deal with Netflix, was the winner of the Writer award. “Beef” actor Steven Yeun was honored in the category of Actor in TV; “Beef” actor Young Mazino for Breakout in TV; “Past Lives” star Greta Lee for Breakout in Film; “Joy Ride” director Adele Lim for Director; the cast of “Never Have I Ever” for Vanguard; Shannon Lee for Bruce Lee’s Lexus Legacy Award; Alison Lee for Pechanga Athlete; “May December” actor Charles Melton for Actor in Film; and Steven Lim for Digital Influencer.

Young Mazino at the Unforgettable Gala held at the Beverly Hilton on December 16, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California. Elyse Jankowski for Variety

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings“ director Destin Daniel Cretton served as honorary co-chair of the event along with journalist Lisa Ling. “Barbie” actor Simu Liu was host and emcee.

“I will be your host this evening. I’m also responsible for 100% of the Asian representation in ‘Oppenheimer,’” Liu quipped on stage, referencing both his role as an Asian Ken in “Barbie” and the “Barbenheimer” cultural phenomenon. “Like, you’re seriously going to tell me that there was not one Asian in the movie set in the nuclear physics department … [at] Berkeley, really?”

“Oppenheimer” joke aside, Liu praised the wave of Asian representation in other films and TV this year.

“It was yet another milestone year for Asians in media,” Liu added, citing the success of releases like “Past Lives” and “Beef.” “I look out at this crowd of people from all walks of life and I’m so inspired by what I see. I see our community and all our shades and nuances.”

Simu Liu and Benedict Wong at the Unforgettable Gala held at the Beverly Hilton on December 16, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California. Elyse Jankowski for Variety

“Joy Ride” star Daniel Dae Kim introduced Yeun’s award, saying, “To watch Steven Yeun, to watch him onscreen, is to be transported. As Danny Cho in ‘Beef,’ he becomes a character that we can all relate to by doing some things that we might dream about doing.”

Yeun then took to the stage to accept the honor.

“Danny, I love that guy. He’s the guy that we push down, he’s the part of us that we shut down,” he said of his “Beef” character.

Asked about whether or not his character, Paul, will have a storyline in a potential second season, Mazino told Variety, “It’s really up to Sonny [Lee] and his vision, which I wholeheartedly trust. I’m pretty sure they’ve already got the writers’ room up and running … whether or not I come back, that’s up to [Lee].”

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