Aaron Yoo

Aaron Yoo


5/12/1979, East Brunswick, New Jersey, USA

Birth Name


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Aaron Yoo was born in 1979 in New Jersey. He is of Korean descent and had his first acting role in 2003 in an episode of Ed. Since then he has been in several movies including American Pastimes, Disturbia, 21 and The Wackness He was also on the…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

  • Quotes

    • Aaron Yoo: Doing Shakespeare in the Park has always been a dream. Everyone else says Hamlet, but I want to play Romeo.

    • Aaron Yoo:(On the acting business) I feel like after acting, the other half of why I love this business is the opportunity to work with and meet people who inspire you. That it pays my rent is a good bonus.

    • Aaron Yoo: There are, like, 10 people on the e-mail list [that sends me my schedule] - agents, assistants, my manager, my publicist. I'm exhausted. I have no personal life. But I have to remind myself, 'No, you can't be tired. This is the stuff you dreamed about as a kid.'

    • Aaron Yoo:(On how life changed after "Disturbia") I get seated faster at restaurants. Girls actually give me working numbers. I mean, things have changed. You know what, the biggest and happiest thing for me, as an actor, is that ...I have this wonderful agent who fights tooth and bone for me to get scenes for stuff that's not necessarily where I fit the character description as it's written, but she sees something that she's like, "Well, you fit the spirit of this character." Especially if they're not looking for someone of ethnicity in particular for a character, but she can call and say, "Listen, I've got this wonderful client here." And before it was like, "Oh, great." But now it opens doors to where people are like, "OK, we'll give it a shot. Why don't you have him come in?" And I've always wanted to be in that position. I also don't think I like any of my work, but it's sort of the bipolar thing of an actor. But if you just get me in the room, I just want the opportunity to get a part. And that's what any actor wants. I mean, it's such a tough game to get that door opening thing. First, you need an agent and all that stuff, and now I did this movie Nick and Norah ....and for me to get the audition, I had to be pitched for, because I wasn't really the character description. And Peter Sollett is such a brilliant and imaginative director, the director of Nick and Norah, that he was just like, "Yeah, let's try that out." So, I flew to New York and we met, and it worked out. And it's one of the most amazing projects I've ever been able to be a part of. That would never have happened without Disturbia. Ever.

    • Aaron Yoo:(On how he stays positive) Sleep. Lots of sleep. I mean, I like the idea of suffering for your art. The ideal I like, but at the same time, you should be a human being. You have the best job in the world. In my career, I've been really blessed. I mean, I've had tough enough times in my life that I don't need to make my life any harder. It just doesn't make sense to me as a person. If life is so hard, why make it harder on yourself? But even then, you have hard days. There are some days on set where I feel like I can't hit it into the ocean. That's actually one of the few things that really makes me angry: If I feel like I'm not pulling my weight. I mean, I get livid. But sleep is the happiest thing to me. I swear to god. The best thing about it is once you wake up, you're basically starting over again. So, no matter what, yesterday might have totally sucked, but tomorrow I get to wake up with a clean slate.

    • Aaron Yoo: Am I a gambler in life? I am and I amn't. I try to stay away from gambling as much as possible because it's a take-over kinda thing for me. Once I sit at that table, Aaron ceases to exist. I honestly am the kind of person that will play my bank account to zero. So, I have to get very strict. You know the worst thing? They charge you four dollars to withdraw money at an ATM on a casino floor. Four dollars! I'm thinking to myself, why? They're pulling the money out of the casino for one reason, to give it back to the casino. It's just a little mean and it's just not a good sign ever for anybody in the world to visit one of those ATM's. What does it mean? It means you lost the money and you're pulling out X amount of money to lose more.

    • Aaron Yoo: I've been blessed. I've had a very short, very very very fantastic career. I'm getting through the all-star team of young Hollywood actors. The kind of people who, it doesn't matter their age, you still learn stuff from them. Then you get what I call the cheat sheet, which is like Kevin (Spacey) and Laurence (Fishburne). I got to see a lot of Kevin's work and from day one it was like, 'wow, that's acting! Oh my god, what am I doing!' And when you see an actor bring something to the role that wasn't on the page, you're like 'did I miss that class?' I love people who love their work.

    • Aaron Yoo:(About D.J. Caruso) There's never a moment of uncomfortablility. He's that's kind of director, where you never feel anything but faith. D.J. knows exactly what he wants. He has the whole movie storyboarded and knows exactly what the shot is…And since he's already visualized the whole thing, he's totally comfortable deviating from what's inside that frame and being creatively loose within a certain structure

    • Aaron Yoo:(On being recognized) It's still hit or miss. I don't really know how to deal with it. No crazy stories, really. The funny thing I realize is that the photographers, paparazzi and all of those cats, none of them have seen our movie. They're not exactly our target audience. There are times when they're like, "Wait a minute, he's that kid!" They'll click off a photo or two, but most of the time they're just like, "Um, I see some random Asian kid. He's got some crazy hair, though." I was at the Transformers premiere and a bunch of guys were clicking photos and I knew some of them had no idea who I was. They were probably thinking, "Well, he's standing there in the middle of the blue carpet, so he must be someone. Either that or he's just lost."

    • Aaron Yoo: I'm an actor in between jobs right now, so I kind of live the life of a 7-year old.

    • Aaron Yoo:(About his character in "Disturbia") It's really kind of cool that people tag on to this character that you've created. That speaks to the movie's success. I've always said that I think it's what separates it from other movies, because you get to care about these cats before the killer starts picking them off. The first time reading it, the script was amazing. I don't know if I'm supposed to say this or not, but in the very first draft I do die, and it was a really cool death. It's somewhat similar to the closet scene. At one point I asked D.J. [Caruso] why we were rewriting it and he said that the character was so cool that he didn't think anyone wanted to see him die. D.J. also told me that one of the cool things about working with Spielberg was how he has this uncanny sense of how film speaks to people, and how he was always right. That character is not a character we want to kill off and I think he and D.J. were both adamant about that, so I was like, "Cool for me."

    • Aaron Yoo:(About meeting the people who inspired "21") They're all lunatics. We got to meet a bunch of them. They're actually really sweet guys. They're really cool, but if you take them to Vegas, they're crazy. Outside of the casino environment they're still sweet reasonable people, but they're basically like, "You should put a couple thousand dollars on that." They said when they got back to Boston they were going to try to look up the guy who Martinez is based on, the guy that I play, and they said they had been trying to get in touch with him, but he's such a sketch-ball that he will or he won't meet me. They told me that the guy got thrown out of M.I.T. for trying to break into the ATM in the lobby of the busiest building on campus. He was one of the guys I didn't meet. Kate Bosworth was telling someone that I reminded her of the real Martinez, and I was like, "How is that possible?" The real guy was half-Hispanic and half-Chinese. I don't know how that is possible, but whatever. Maybe I tan really well?

    • Aaron Yoo:(about Shia LaBeouf) I met him at our first rehearsal. That first rehearsal I walked in and thought, "I have the script. Okay, let's just play around." We were going to do the scene where we first see Ashley swimming, right before she comes over. I remember D.J. was saying we were going to use the window in his office and we looked out the window and saw an empty parking lot. It was funny, because at the end of the day when we were filming, we were looking at lights. Once we had seen the playback, we had to just go into the set and look out the window and agree on points and then just make it all up as we went along. At the first rehearsal I came in thinking, "Okay, lets go." Shia walked in at 183 percent and I was at 40 percent. So I started to think, "I'm getting blown off of the lot." I made it through that first rehearsal and went home, threw the script on the bed and promised myself I was going to be prepared the next day. Then we got to spend time together and hang out.