Former TWD star Yeun picked up a nomination in the Best Actor category for his role as Jacob Yi in Lee Isaac Chung's Minari, which follows a family of South Korean immigrants who try to make it in rural America in the 1980s.
With his nomination, Yeun has become the first Asian American actor of Korean descent to receive a nomination in the Best Actor category.
Also making history in the 2021 Oscar nominations list was Rogue One: A Star Wars Story's Riz Ahmed, who has also been nominated for Best Actor for his role in Sound of Metal and became the first Muslim actor to receive a nomination in the category.
Ahmed and Yeun's nominations also mark the first time two actors of Asian descent have competed for Best Actor in the same year.
It's also the first year that two female directors have been nominated for Best Director at the same time, with Emerald Fennell nominated for her work on Promising Young Woman and Chloé Zhao nominated for her work on Nomadland.
Zhao is also the first non-white woman to be nominated in the category, and the first woman to pick up four nominations in the same year.
Last year it was confirmed that the 2021 Academy Awards ceremony would be delayed by several weeks, with the event now taking place on April 25.
Speaking about his new film at the Sundance studio, Yeun shared that he felt a connection to the Minari script, explaining that director Lee Isaac Chung "captured a feeling of what an immigrant experience is like".
"He captured the feeling of what a family is like, of what marriage feels like, what growing up in a religious household feels like… there are so many things that I could relate to with [Lee] Isaac [Chung]," Yeun said.
"I hadn't seen many tellings of stories of the other done in a way that wasn't idealizing them or romanticising them or needing them to be afflicted by some external force that validates their existence."
The 93rd Academy Awards take place on Sunday, April 25.
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