Minari Star Yuh-Jung Youn Confirms Her Real Grandson Has Never Given Her a Cup of "Mountain Dew"

Yuh-Jung Youn said she was feeling excited but "strange" to be celebrating an Oscar nomination for her role in the movie Minari on the Oscars red carpet.

By Lauren Piester Apr 25, 2021 10:59 PMTags

Sometimes, luckily, real life does not imitate art. 

Minari star Yuh-Jung Youn hit the Oscars red carpet ahead on Sunday alongside her on-screen daughter Han Ye-ri, and when E!'s Giuliana Rancic asked if she was similar to her character, she made it clear that there are two specific ways in which she is certainly not. 

"Well, actually I'm not living with my grandson. That's the difference between movie and this," she said. "And then, well, I'm sure my grandson will not give me that Mountain Dew." 

The "Mountain Dew" given to Youn's character in the movie is not actually Mountain Dew at all, so that's really great to hear. 

Questionable beverages aside, Youn is thrilled to be recognized at the Academy Awards, even if she's not quite used to the American attention. 

"Everyone all over the world knows about the Oscars, so as a Korean, as an Asian woman—I think in Korea, I'm the first nominee for the Oscars, so it's a very historical moment for us," she said. "So of course we are very excited, and it's very strange to me, actually." 

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It must feel particularly "strange" to now be on a fancy red carpet honoring a movie that, as Youn put it, was given a "short amount of time, short amount of money." 

"We live almost together. We rented an Airbnb, and we lived together...we made a family together, I think. That's what was special about this movie—we became a real family." 

Chris Pizzelo-Pool/Getty Images

Minari tells the story of a Korean family who move from California to start a farm in Arkansas. Youn plays Soon-ja, the grandmother who moves in to help take care of the kids. She has to share a room with David (the delightful Alan S. Kim) which goes badly until they eventually bond. 

Youn has some serious competition in the supporting actress category. She's up against Maria Bakalova, Glenn Close, Olivia Colman and Amanda Seyfried for the trophy, but the rave reviews for both Minari and her performance mean her odds are pretty good.