Ali Wong, Steven Yeun serve up epic feud in Netflix’s ‘Beef’

Apr 3, 2023, 8:50 AM

In these days of rage — from hate-tweeting threads to public confrontations — one thing is pretty clear: “Beef” is on the menu.

Served up by Ali Wong and Steven Yeun, the new television show created by Lee Sung Jin drops Thursday on Netflix. The 10-episode “Beef” follows an epic feud between two strangers, played by Yeun (“The Walking Dead,” “Minari”) and Wong (“Always Be My Maybe”), that stems from a wild case of road rage.

The plot points may go to the extremes for entertainment but Yeun believes “Beef” actually says a lot about society, and he’s “proud” of that.

“I just see a giant mirror up to all of us,” he said in a recent interview. “We’re living in a lot of isolation, building a lot of stories up in our head. Maybe all we really want to do is connect to somebody.”

Wong agreed, adding that their characters Amy and Danny keep their feud going because each finds it strangely enjoyable.

“They’re letting walls down. They’re seeing each other at their ugliest,” Wong said. “There’s a deep acceptance that’s obviously very cathartic and very necessary. I think that’s the most unexpected and beautiful part about our show.”

The more Danny and Amy reveal their true selves to one another, the more they hide from their loved ones. Amy grits her teeth and smiles at her husband George, as she secretly resents that she’s the family provider, taking her away from quality time with their young daughter while George stays home and creates bad pottery. George, in the meantime, feels inadequate that his wife is the breadwinner.

“I just wish you’d unload the dishes sometimes,” George complains to Amy in a scene.

“I barely have time to eat off those dishes,” she replies.

“Once any partner has a sort of resentment that they hang on to and suppress, and it’s not communicated, it boils into something else,” said Joseph Lee, who plays George. “Something will explode at some point.”

Portraying so much anger actually helped Yeun to choose to take a more Zen-like outlook.

“At first it was cathartic to play anger. I was just like, ‘Cool, that’s fun.’ Then after a while, I was like, ‘I’m tired,'” Yeun said. “To be angry for this long is so tiring. Like, what are we doing? Why are we so angry? It was just very clear to me, to like, just chill, so it was illuminating for me.”

Wong is quick to point out that despite the rage expressed on screen, offscreen it was very different.

“There was a lot of joy being had in between takes that we don’t see on camera … like me and Steven laughing,” Wong said. “The friendship I developed with (castmate) Ashley Park and a lot of the other people is like by far the best outcome of the show, no matter how it’s received.”

National News

Associated Press

How employers are taking steps to safeguard workers from extreme heat

McKINNEY, Texas (AP) — At the start of every work day, construction worker Charles Smith puts on the essentials: hard hat. Safety glasses. A reflective vest. And a small, watch-like band for his wrist. But rather than track time, its purpose is to ensure he doesn’t overheat while working during sweltering summer days in Texas. […]

16 minutes ago

Associated Press

State election directors fear the Postal Service can’t handle expected crush of mail-in ballots

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — State election directors from across the country voiced serious concerns to a top U.S. Postal Service official Tuesday that the system won’t be able to handle an expected crush of mail-in ballots in the November election. Steven Carter, manager of election and government programs for the postal service, attempted to reassure the […]

27 minutes ago

South Central District Judge Bruce Romanick listens to arguments by attorneys during a hearing, Tue...

Associated Press

North Dakota judge will decide whether to throw out a challenge to the state’s abortion ban

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Attorneys argued Tuesday over whether a North Dakota judge should toss a lawsuit challenging the state’s abortion ban, with the state saying the plaintiffs’ case rests on hypotheticals, and the plaintiffs saying key issues remain to be resolved at a scheduled trial. State District Judge Bruce Romanick said he will rule […]

38 minutes ago

Associated Press

Editorial Roundup: United States

Excerpts from recent editorials in the United States and abroad: July 22 The Washington Post on what Kamala Harris needs to do to win the election With President Biden’s exit from the race, Democrats are quickly coalescing around Vice President Harris. Too quickly, arguably: Both she and the country would be better served by a […]

49 minutes ago

Associated Press

A sentence change assures the man who killed ex-Saints star Smith gets credit for home incarceration

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A 25-year prison sentence for Cardell Hayes, the man who killed former New Orleans Saints start Will Smith in 2016, was reduced to 22 years and two months on Tuesday by a Louisiana judge who sought to give Hayes credit for the time he spent confined to his home before his […]

50 minutes ago

FILE - Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen attends the summer conference of the National As...

Associated Press

Montana Supreme Court allows signatures of inactive voters to count on ballot petitions

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana’s Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would allow the signatures of inactive voters to count on petitions seeking to qualify constitutional initiatives for the November ballot, including one to protect abortion rights. District Court Judge Mike Menahan ruled last Tuesday that Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen’s office wrongly changed election […]

1 hour ago

Ali Wong, Steven Yeun serve up epic feud in Netflix’s ‘Beef’