Steven Yeun Found Himself Unfulfilled with The Walking Dead’s Depiction of Glenn
Published on March 26th, 2023 | Updated on March 26th, 2023 | By FanFest
Over its 11-season run, “The Walking Dead” has been no stranger to controversy. Beginning with the abrupt termination of Frank Darabont as showrunner and continuing through Laurie Holden’s and Jeffrey DeMunn‘s subsequent departures from the show, AMC’s breakout hit entranced viewers with Rick Grimes‘ (Andrew Lincoln) plight whilst often being clouded by bitter tensions behind-the-scenes.
But Steven Yeun, actor of the melancholic Glenn, has voiced his grievances about something else besides this heartbreaking death. The character was adored by fans around the world and yet, despite that fame, he expressed feeling restricted creatively in certain aspects of playing him. In fact, sometimes it almost felt as if being wholly good was a kind of prison for Glenn.
In a 2021 GQ interview, Yeun expressed that he felt like he was advancing the notion of decency rather than connecting with Glenn’s humanity. As probably the only character exempt from making moral sacrifices, Glenn never developed into anything more than an archetype throughout the show. After all, putting him in zombie-filled wells and relying on him to run errands left no room for growth or complexity. Ultimately, his expected role as a symbol of resilience failed to manifest itself as intended.
Glenn was always under appreciated.
Following his departure from The Walking Dead, Steven Yeun has made a conscious effort to defy categorization. With that in mind, Director Bong Joon-ho selected him for the part of ‘Okja’ and he was later featured in the widely acclaimed “Minari.” Now this same actor will star alongside Ali Wong on Netflix’s upcoming show “Beef” about road rage. Each role is so distinct which I find endlessly refreshing after months of watching Glenn suffer neglect during the series’ run time. Needless to say, it broke our hearts when we learned he had left us but as Yeun himself said in an interview with Vulture: there never seemed enough appreciation for his character no matter how much love viewers gave him.
“I might not be objective, but I truly feel like people didn’t know what to do with Glenn,” Yeun reflected. “They liked him, they had no problems with him, and people enjoyed him. But they didn’t acknowledge the connection people had with the character until he was gone.” Glenn was undoubtedly a fan-favorite character, yet his efforts were never recognized in reality. Yeun said he didn’t get the same merchandizing fame as Andrew Lincoln or Norman Reedus did and Entertainment Weekly’s only cover devoted to Glenn was during the season of his death. Sadly enough, Glenn experienced similar issues inside and outside The Walking Dead universe – he simply could not catch a break!
“I never felt like he got his fair due. I never felt like he got it from an outward perception,” Yeun admitted.
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