Rick Yune

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Rick Yune
Yune on May 2, 2007
Born (1971-08-22) August 22, 1971 (age 50)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Occupation Actor, screenwriter, producer, former model
Korean name
Hangul 윤성식
Revised Romanization Yun Seong-sik
McCune–Reischauer Yun Sŏngsik

Rick Yune (born August 22, 1971) is an American actor, screenwriter, producer, martial artist and former model.[1]

Early life

Yune was born in Washington D.C., the son of Wonhui Park and Tom Taeho Yune.[2] He is of Korean descent.[3] His younger brother is actor Karl Yune. Yune was educated at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, Silver Spring, Maryland, and St. John's Military School. In 1994, he received his degree in finance from the Wharton School of Business. Yune was one of the original hedge fund traders for SAC Capital but left to pursue entrepreneurial ventures.

Yune practices many forms of martial arts, having reached Olympic standard in Taekwondo and being a serious contender for the US team when he was 19.[4] He changed the spelling of his last name from "Yun" to "Yune" for Screen Actors Guild (SAG) purposes.



While studying at Wharton, Rick Yune worked as an intern on Wall Street trading stocks during the summer of 1992. During that time, he was "discovered" by a modeling agent and soon became the first Asian-American featured in advertisements for Versace and Ralph Lauren's Polo.

Music videos

Yune appeared in the video Call U Sexy (2004), by the band VS, as well as in Someone (1997) by SWV, featuring Sean "Puffy" Combs.


Yune could also be seen in two 2005 episodes of ABC's spy-fi series Alias, playing a modern-day samurai named Kazu Tamazaki who was hunted down by Jennifer Garner in Sydney. He also appeared as a guest in an episode of ABC's legal dramedy series Boston Legal and the popular, Emmy award-winning CBS crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.


The newcomer made his film debut in 1999, playing Kazuo Miyamoto, a Japanese-American war hero accused of killing a respected fisherman (played by Daniel von Bargen) in the close-knit community, in director Scott Hicks' film adaptation of David Guterson's post-WWII novel, Snow Falling on Cedars. The film that also starred Ethan Hawke received Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography.

Yune co-starred as Johnny Tran, the ruthless leader of a Vietnamese gang and the rival of Vin Diesel's character, in the 2001 Rob Cohen-directed car-racing film The Fast and the Furious, which also starred Paul Walker. Although met with mixed reviews, the film was an unexpected summer hit and became one of the most well-known movies around the turn of the millennium, and introduced modified Japanese compacts into American popular culture[citation needed][dubious ][original research?].

In the next year, Yune was launched to the spotlight after portraying James Bond villain Zao, opposite Pierce Brosnan and Halle Berry, in the 20th 007 feature Die Another Day, directed by Lee Tamahori. Chosen for the part at age 31, Yune admitted he was intimidated the first time he stepped onto the set, but realized the best thing to do was just bear down and try his hardest. He said "History will tell where I stand in the ranks of Bond villains, I have no control over that. I was worried about being the nut that ruined forty years of history."

About the film itself, Yune commented, "This is the Bond of the new millennium. Everything is updated, from the action sequences to the interaction between the characters. All the elements reflect changes that have occurred in the world in recent years. It's still within the spirit of Bond. It's just a little smarter than some of the things that have been done before. Since I was a kid I've wanted to be in a Bond movie. It's a rare thing when a father and son can share the same experience. My father and I have seen all nineteen films together, two or three times. They've meant so many things to me at so many different times."

In 2008, Yune wrote, produced, and starred (as a Bangkok assassin) in the action/adventure movie The Fifth Commandment, directed by Jesse V. Johnson and also stars Keith David and Bokeem Woodbine.

Yune stars with Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu in the 2012 martial arts film, The Man with the Iron Fists, directed by RZA and written by RZA and Eli Roth.[5]

His most recent role is Kang Yeonsak, the main villain, in the action thriller Olympus Has Fallen, with Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman and Melissa Leo.[6]


Yune was voted one of People magazine's Sexiest Men in 2002.[7]

Additionally, he provided his voice for the video game Scarface: The World Is Yours in 2006, based on and is a quasi-sequel to the 1983 motion picture Scarface starring Al Pacino.

Yune is a Board member of the Center for Global Dialogue and Cooperation and an Ambassador for the Princess Charlene Foundation of Monaco.


List of film credits
Year Title Role Notes
1998 Nathan Grimm Extra
1999 Snow Falling on Cedars Kazuo Miyamoto
2001 The Fence Lucky Chang
2001 The Fast and the Furious Johnny Tran
2002 Die Another Day Zao
2008 The Fifth Commandment Chance Templeton
2008 Alone in the Dark II Edward Carnby
2009 Beyond Remedy Dr. Lee
2009 Ninja Assassin Takeshi
2011 China-Town Man
2011 Remigration Jonathan Park
2012 The Man with the Iron Fists Zen Yi
2013 Olympus Has Fallen Kang Yeonsak
List of television credits
Year Title Role Notes
2000 Any Day Now
2001 The Division 1 episode
2005 Alias Kazu Tamazaki 2 episodes
2005 Boston Legal Troi Ran 1 episode
2006 CSI Hong Hsing 1 episode
2014 Marco Polo Kaidu


  1. "The New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-03-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/person/369262%7C0/Rick-Yune/family.html
  3. http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/1999/01/24/1999012461304.html
  4. Lesley Jackson. "Rick Yune Interview". Martialedge.net. Retrieved 2010-01-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Rick Yune Stars With Russell Crowe in Eli Roth's 'Man With an Iron Fists". thewrap.com. 2011-03-22. Retrieved 2011-03-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Kit, Borys (July 10, 2012). "Melissa Leo and Rick Yune Joining 'Olympus Has Fallen'". The Hollywood Reporter.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Sexiest Pop Sensation - Sexiest Man Alive, Enrique Iglesias". People.com. 2002-12-02. Retrieved 2010-09-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links