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Meet Alan Kim, the Breakout Star from A24’s Oscar Hopeful Minari


Sweater and Shirt by Coach.

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.

Shirt and Top by PLAY by Comme des Garcons. Jeans Alan’s Own.

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