Photography by Emily Shur. Styling by Alison Brooks. Turtleneck and pants by Tommy Hilfiger.
YOU KNOW HIM FROM: The short film Out of the Shadows, in which he played North Korean defector Jin; small parts in Hollywood flicks like Gridiron Gang and Freedom Writers
WHAT’S NEXT: His lead role as David, a teenage son of immigrant parents who struggles to navigate cultural tensions and his sexual awakening, in the Sundance selection Spa Night. (Bonus: The movie is set against the backdrop of very traditional, very nude Korean saunas.)
ON HIS STEAMY SEX SCENES: “It was…hot. I don’t know what else to say. We were in the sauna and, yeah, things got hot. A lot of the people were attractive — it’s not like I ever had to imagine being with somebody else.”
HOLLYWOOD HOPEFUL: “About five years ago, it was pretty ridiculous. There were times when I went into an audition and had to say, ‘Did you read your script?’ Because scripts were completely fanning the flames of stereotypes. I actually had to go to Asia, because the roles there were real. But coming back now, I see a lot more roles — it’s pretty empowering. It gives me hope that people want to watch a film that casts Asians, and that movies like The Last Samurai don’t have to star a white guy.”