- Born: March 23, 1974
- Franchise: Marvel
- Married: Jae Suh Park
- Children: 1
Comedian Randall Park has been a beacon of hope for Asian American representation in movies and television for years. A comedian by trade and a writer by design, Park is typically recognized as an actor with impeccable taste in roles. He has worked on many projects for ABC and Netflix while maintaining a high profile in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
A lover of comedy who was born to immigrant parents, Randall Park, has used his life story to emphasize his place in the entertainment industry for years. A hard-working professional to his core, Park’s star has been on the rise, and his career is getting a boost from some upcoming projects. Here is a look at the fascinating life and career trajectory of Randall Park.
RANDALL PARK IS 48 YEARS OLD AND WAS BORN IN LOS ANGELES
Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Randall Park has made his mark in the City of Angels. His parents were born in South Korea and established roots in the Los Angeles area as an accountant and owner of a one-hour photo shop in the 1970s. Park currently resides in the San Fernando Valley, not far from where he was born.
Randall Park attended UCLA in the 1990s, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a minor in Asian American Studies. He continued studying at UCLA and graduated with a Master’s Degree in Asian American Studies.
Park’s time at UCLA was marked by his passion for developing an on-campus Asian American theater company, which he founded and was later retooled to be called the LCC Theatre Company.
Randall Park founded the Propergander theater group in Los Angeles along with other LCC Theatre Company alums.
After becoming a successful actor, Randall Park was asked by UCLA to return as a keynote speaker for the commencement ceremonies in 2015 and 2017. He did so for the Asian American Studies and English departments, respectively.
He also considers himself a fan of the East West Players theater group in the Little Tokyo area of Los Angeles.
RANDALL PARK STARTED AS A STAND-UP COMEDIAN
While struggling to look for acting roles in television or movies, Randall Park decided to parlay his success in theater groups into a job as a stand-up comedian.
Influenced by the work of Mike Birbiglia and the late Mitch Hedberg, the idea of stand-up comedy came naturally to Park. During this time, he met fellow comedian and friend Ali Wong, and the two joined an improv group together, according to Vulture.
HE HAD TO TAKE VERY MINOR ROLES EARLY IN HIS CAREER
Randall Park wanted to be an actor, but the entertainment business offered few roles that fit Park’s talent and description. He chose to take many of the gigs that came his way, like appearing as a cast member on MTV’s Wild ‘n Out, working at Starbucks, being a background actor in the reality show On the Lot, and starring in a variety of web series online.
In the mid-2010s, Randall Park started collaborating with Wong Fu Productions, a filmmaking group specializing in music videos, short films, and web series.
He co-starred in the 2010 comedy Too Fast, the web series Home Is Where the Hans Are, and the 2015 film Everything Before Us. He continued working when he could in order to gain some income and a little recognition.
A CAMEO IN THE OFFICE AS ASIAN JIM KICKSTARTED HIS CAREER
While starring in web series and floating around a comedy career on stage, Randall Park kept auditioning for parts in mainstream television. He appeared in several well-known shows like Community, ER, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Las Vegas, Reno 911!, and The Mindy Project.
However, it was his stint at “Asian Jim Halpert” on an episode of The Office that seemed to give Randall Park’s career a much-needed boost.
The Office was one of NBC’s leading television sitcoms at the time. Randall Park appeared in the 2012 episode “Andy’s Ancestry,” playing an Asian American version of the character portrayed by actor John Krasinski. In the cold open portion of the episode, Park sits in Jim Halpert’s seat and pretends to be Jim to prank Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson).
Randall Park’s minor role in The Office gave the actor a lot of attention during the show’s ninth season. He immediately landed the recurring role of Governor Danny Chung on the HBO series Veep, which he played for several seasons. He continued to act in other television shows like New Girl and Robot Chicken until ABC and Fresh Off the Boat came calling.
RANDALL PARK STARS IN FRESH OFF THE BOAT
Fresh Off the Boat was ABC’s newest jaunt in the sitcom environment, created by Nahnatchka Khan and loosely based on the experiences of chef Eddie Huang. The show depicted the daily lives of a Taiwanese American family living in Florida in the 1990s. It was the first sitcom in two decades on network television to reflect a family of Asian Americans as its main characters.
Randall Park starred as patriarch Louis Huang on Fresh Off the Boat, opposite Constance Wu of Crazy Rich Asians fame. The series ran for six seasons on ABC, with Park earning a nomination for the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series twice.
Rotten Tomatoes currently ranks Fresh Off the Boat with a Tomatometer score of 94 percent and an Audience Score of 79 percent.
HE PLAYED DICTATOR KIM JONG-UN
Just as Randall Park was sitting high on top of the television sphere, his luck would change when it came to starring in movies. Prior to working on Fresh Off the Boat, he had minor roles in flicks like Dinner for Schmucks and The Five Year Engagement. He later appeared in Neighbors, Sex Tape, and The Interview.
For the latter, his performance as Kim Jong-un was unique, but the controversy surrounding the film’s premise led to it being banned in most major U.S. theaters upon its release.
The Interview starred James Franco and Seth Rogen, who would later play a role in helping to shape Randall Park’s film career. Park continued acting in movies involving Seth Rogen, including The Disaster Artist, Long Shot, and The Night Before.
However, his friendship with Ali Wong led to one of Randall Park’s most significant opportunities of his career. He co-wrote, produced, and starred alongside Wong in the 2019 Netflix film Always Be My Maybe. The movie was directed by Park’s Fresh Off the Boat creator Nahnatchka Khan and was viewed by 32 million households in the first four weeks it was available to stream, according to Deadline.
RANDALL PARK IS A MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE AND DC UNIVERSE SUPERSTAR
Just before Always Be My Maybe launched on Netflix, Randall Park got the chance to portray characters in both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Universe in 2018 alone.
He appeared opposite Paul Rudd as FBI Agent Jimmy Woo in Ant-Man and the Wasp. Park also took on the role of Dr. Stephen Shin in Aquaman, which starred Jason Momoa.
Randall Park has become a fan-favorite actor of both the MCU and DCU, amounting to pressure from Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery to include him in future installments of their franchises. Park reprised the Jimmy Woo role in Disney+’s WandaVision in 2021 and is set to appear again as the FBI Agent in the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
The long-awaited sequel to Aquaman entitled Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will have a theatrical release in December 2023. In the sequel, Randall Park is confirmed to be costarring again as marine biologist Dr. Stephen Shin.
RANDALL PARK IS MARRIED TO JAE SUH PARK
If the life of a talented and successful actor isn’t enough, add to it that Randall Park is also married to one. His wife, Jae Suh Park, has appeared in several television shows during her career. These include ER, How I Met Your Mother, The League, and The Mindy Project.
Jae Suh Park was one of the main cast members of the short-lived Netflix series Friends From College, which costarred Keegan-Michael Key, Cobie Smulders, and Fred Savage. She is currently starring in the hit Netflix series Never Have I Ever as Ms. Wong, the mother to Eleanor (Ramona Young).
HIS NETFLIX SERIES, BLOCKBUSTER, WAS CANCELED AFTER ONE SEASON
Aside from his upcoming blockbuster movies for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Universe, Randall Park just concluded a run in a different kind of “blockbuster.”
The Netflix series Blockbuster premiered late last year, which costarred Park, Melissa Fumero, and a talented group of actors who manage a Blockbuster Video store. The series was canceled after one season, but it frees Park to continue working on other projects.
Randall Park started voicing the character of Pete Doheny on the animated comedy series Human Resources in 2022, a spin-off of the Netflix show Big Mouth. A second season is on the way, which might prompt Park to gain a social media presence in the near future, as he currently doesn’t have Instagram or Twitter.
Randall Park will next lend his talents to a prequel to the 1984 film Gremlins by guest starring in the HBO Max series Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai. Creating space for himself outside of television and superhero genres, Park will also be co-starring in the upcoming movie Strays. The flick will star Will Ferrell, Isla Fisher, and Jamie Foxx and is set for a theatrical release in June.
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