“If we had known what we were going to experience with our bodies and minds, we might not have said yes,” Wong said.
The filming of “Beef” took its toll on stars Steven Yeun and Ali Wong.
The stars of Netflix and A24’s Road Rage dramedy, created by ‘Tuca & Bertie’ and ‘Dave’ writer Lee Sung Jin, revealed at the SXSW 2023 world premiere that the stress of the series had “taken a toll” on their bodies.
“Steven and I both broke out in hives after the show,” Wong said (via Species). “Mine was on my face. Hers was all over her body because she is so weak. It definitely wore on us, but we didn’t realize it until after the show was over. I mean, I’m not even talking about what happened to (Yeun’s) elbow.”
Wong continued: “I don’t think we knew it was going to happen. If we had known what we were going to experience with our bodies and minds, we might not have said yes, but we are very glad we did.”
Co-star Yeun added, “Our bodies shut down.”
Both Yeun and Wong are former cast members of Lee’s animated series ‘Tuca and Bertie’. The duo’s executive produced the film “Beef”, which follows the aftermath of a road rage incident between two strangers. Danny Cho (Yeun), a failed entrepreneur with a chip on his shoulder, goes head-to-head with Amy Lau (Wong), a self-employed woman with a picturesque life. The ever-increasing stakes of their behavior turn their lives and relationships upside down.
Creator Lee said Vanity Fair that Wong especially “didn’t hold back” as an actress who broke out in hives after filming the season finale. “There was so much of the toxicity of that character,” Lee said, citing “The Sopranos” as a major influence on the show’s tone.
IndieWire’s Ben Travers wrote in his review of the series that “even when ‘Beef’ goes too far, it’s held together by Wong, Yeun, and an understanding that this kind of rage doesn’t always make sense.”
“Wong and Yeun shine throughout, especially when called upon to express their characters’ seething frustrations while pretending to be good,” Travers wrote. “’Beef’ often feels like a black comedy, but it’s ultimately defined by long stretches of pure drama. Road rage can turn us all into extreme versions of ourselves, and ‘Beef’ captures the shocking outrage we felt from the first horn to the last outstretched finger so keenly.”
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