It's been a minute since we've had a Michigan native nominated for an Oscar! In 2014, J.K. Simmons, won best supporting actor for his role in "Whiplash."

Seven years later, we have another metro Detroit Oscar nominee! Steven Yeun has been nominated for best actor, for his lead role in "Minari." He's the first Asian American nominated for this category.

Other nominees for "best actor" include:

  • Riz Ahmed, "The Sound of Metal"
  • Chadwick Boseman, "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom"
  • Anthony Hopkins, "The Father"
  • Gary Oldman, "Mank"

"Minari" is about the challenges a South Korean family faces in the 1980s when they move from California to Arkansas. Yeun plays a determined father who hopes to create a successful life for his family by growing and selling produce. "Minari" is also nominaed for best picture.

Yeun was born in South Korea and first moved to the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. He grew up in the suburbs of Taylor and Troy, where he graduated from Troy High School in 2001. You might be surprised, but when Yeun was a teen, he wasn't into acting. His interest in comedy and acting came later after attending Kalamazoo College.

His friends brother, Jordan Klepper, was one of his inspirations. Klepper was part of the campuses improv comedy group. Yeun says watching him perform made him want to get into the business.

We went to watch one of his shows and I was like, 'Holy crap, I definitely want to do this. It looks so fun.' I got in and the rest is kind of history from there.

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LOOK: A history of Black representation in movies