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‘Beef’ Star Ali Wong Makes History With 2024 Golden Globe Win

Beef Star Ali Wong Makes History With 2024 Golden Globe Win
Ali Wong Steve Granitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

CORRECTION: Steven Yeun was mistakenly identified as the first Asian American recipient of the Golden Globe for Best Male Actor in a Limited Series in an official press release during the show. Darren Criss, who is half Filipino, was the first Asian American actor to win the category in 2019 for The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.

Original story: 

With their nods for Best Female Actor and Best Male Actor in a Limited Series, Beef costars Ali Wong and Steven Yeun became the first Asian Americans to take home Golden Globe awards in their respective categories.

An emotional Wong, who was going through a divorce from husband Justin Hakuta while filming the Netflix show, referred to her ex as her “best friend” in her acceptance speech on Sunday, January 7, and thanked him for his “love and support.”

Minutes later, Yeun took the stage to claim his statuette and cited feelings of “isolation” and “separateness” throughout his life — then cracked, “I just realized that feels like the plot of Frozen.”

In the critically acclaimed series, Wong and Yeun — longtime friends who also costarred as voice actors in the 2019 animated Netflix series Tuca & Bertie — play strangers from opposite sides of the class divide who become entangled in a dangerous game of cat and mouse after a road rage confrontation in a parking lot. While the show is filled with dark comedy, it also puts the characters through an emotional wringer, giving both actors the opportunity to flex their dramatic chops.

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Showrunner Lee Sung Jin, who was also a writer on Tuca & Bertie, originally envisioned Wong’s character as an older white man. But after chatting with the actress about the project as friends, he began to believe a character fashioned after her — successful and ambitious, of Chinese and Vietnamese descent — would make the story much richer.

Beef Costars Ali Wong and Steven Yeun Make History With Their 2024 Golden Globe Wins
Ali Wong and Steven Yeun Andrew Cooper/Netflix

Despite the trio’s history, Wong was still unsure the casting decision would work, given that she and Yeun had never been on camera together.

“It was kinda scary,” she told Variety last year. “But I remember it being, like, electric after the first time we read together. I didn’t know what kind of actor Steven was and if he was gonna, like, throw a donut at my head in between takes, just because he’d be really into the animosity of it all? That was, like, a legit concern. And, uh, no! He didn’t. He was very loving and sweet in between takes.”

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Beef also took home the Golden Globe for Best Limited Series, Anthology Series or Motion Picture Made for Television.

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