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Space Force star Jimmy O. Yang is obsessed with Animal Crossing and YouTube cooking – CNET

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After playing Jian-Yang on HBO’s Silicon Valley, Jimmy O. Yang is now lighting up screens with a new stand-up special on Amazon Prime and his role in the Netflix comedy Space Force.

Sela Shiloni

Like many people, I first became aware of Jimmy O. Yang on the long-running HBO series Silicon Valley in which he played the nefarious and hilarious Jian-Yang. Despite the show ending in December, Yang has never been busier. The actor, writer and comedian was seen sporting an open shirt and gold chain as Bernard in the enormously popular film, Crazy Rich Asians. During an interview on CNET’s new podcast I’m So Obsessed, Yang opened up about the film and its cultural impact.

“I hope (when) we look back in five, even 10 years in the future, that there’ll be a lot more movies like [Crazy Rich Asians] that are successful and have great storytelling about the Asian American culture,” said Yang. “I hope that there will be a new generation of young Asian Americans that was inspired to get into the industry.”

In May, Yang’s first stand-up special, Good Deal, debuted on Amazon Prime. He also appears in the new Steve Carell comedy Space Force on Netflix. He plays Dr. Chan Kaifang who, alongside Carell, John Malkovich, Lisa Kudrow and others, is tasked with establishing the United States Space Force. The pedigree of the cast is simply amazing and yet the name that sticks out most is Malkovich’s.

“If you see somebody like Steve Carell on the street, you kind of freak out. You’re like, ‘Oh my God, that’s a movie star,'” joked Yang. “But if you see somebody like John Malkovich, you can’t believe your eyes. It’s like seeing some kind of mythical Centaur-like creature.”

In our wide-ranging conversation, Yang discusses everything from Space Force and his book, How to American: An Immigrant’s Guide to Disappointing Your Parents. We also discuss the three pillars of hot sauce; his multiple obsessions like Animal Crossing and his YouTube abuela for cooking; and his dog Toffee, whose new Fuse TV show was forced to halt production because of the pandemic.

Listen to my entire conversation with Yang and subscribe to I’m So Obsessed on your favorite podcast app. In each episode we catch up with an artist, actor or creator to learn about their work, career and current obsession. 

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