Meet Alan Kim, the Breakout Star from A24’s Oscar Hopeful Minari
When Minari premiered last January at the Sundance Film Festival, reactions to the new A24 drama were unanimous: Alan Kim is a star. In the Lee Isaac Chung–directed film, a Korean family struggling to make ends meet in Reagan-era America moves to the rural Midwest for a fresh start. Kim, who was only 7 when he filmed the movie, plays the precocious son David, whose lines his mother helped him memorize.
BEN BARNA: What was your favorite part about making Minari?
ALAN KIM: My favorite part was probably the part where you just get to be yourself.
BARNA: Were there parts that you didn’t like?
KIM: There weren’t actually any parts that I didn’t like. There was nothing disappointing, or anything.
BARNA: There’s a lot of waiting around when you make a movie. Did you ever get bored?
KIM: I always try to keep myself busy with something else. But, I don’t want to lie, the really disappointing thing was probably that I was stranded in the heat.
BARNA: Did you have to memorize your lines?
KIM: Yes. I had to memorize my lines. I memorized them really good.
BARNA: How did you do that?
KIM: I memorized them by reading the script like many times. And then I’d try to do it without reading the script. And then if I passed, I knew the next line. And then I continuously did that.
BARNA: Did anyone help you?
KIM: Yes, my mom would help me a lot, because she would always be there for me.
BARNA: How did you find Minari, or how did Minari find you?
KIM: Well, I found Minari by my mom. She asked me if I wanted to be in a movie? So I said yes.
BARNA: What did you think of Sundance?
KIM: I found Sundance really, really fun. And also lots of pictures really didn’t bother me, because if I had free time, I would play in the snow. I just like playing with snow because you can build a snowman, make a small igloo, and do a snowball fight.
BARNA: Do you want to keep acting?
KIM: I think I want to continue acting because it’s super fun.
BARNA: What’s fun about it?
KIM: Well, the fun thing about a movie is after Minari comes out, you can see it, and it might super fun, super sad, and super scary.
Photography Assistant: Julien Kelly-Gross