Lee Isaac Chung Talks Redefining Success, Rejecting Hollywood Tropes in ‘Minari’ | The RS Interview

In a year where Asian-American stories have been brought to the forefront, few voices have been as celebrated as Lee Isaac Chung’s. Oscar-nominated for his work on Minari, a semi-autobiographical tale of his upbringing in the South, Chung joins Nomadland’s Chloe Zhao as one of two Asian filmmakers nominated for Best Director and Best Picture this year.

The success of Minari, which follows a Korean-American family’s move to rural Arkansas, has propelled Chung into the spotlight – a welcomed but perhaps unfamiliar position for someone whose mercurial career had him considering a switch from filmmaking to dental school as recently as four years ago.

But for Chung, who grew up in the U.S. and now lives in Los Angeles, the film has not only given him a new platform to speak about his own experiences within the industry, but also a new measurement for what it means to find success (spoiler alert: it has nothing to do with awards).

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