THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION’s Star Peter Y. Kim On Being Labeled ‘Most Likely to Be Gay’ and His Mentors; Receives Queerties Nomination for Best Film Performance

Peter Y. Kim

Peter Y. Kim is hilarious as the finally etched Archie Choi, the outspoken Korean-American gay best friend/agent in Radha Blank’s critically-acclaimed and multiple award winning indie hit The Forty-Year-Old Version, currently streaming on Netflix.

The Forty-Year-Old Version and Peter Y. Kim are nominated for 2021 Queerties this year in the categories of Indie Movie and Performance – Film, celebrating the best in LGBTQ culture. Click here to vote until February 16. 

The Forty-Year-Old Version follows Radha as she vacillates between the worlds of Hip Hop and theater on a quest to find her true voice. Blank wrote, directed and produced the film with Lena Waithe.

HORNET‘s Dan Loughry writes, “And best of all is Archie, the gay best friend who’s not merely there to prop up the star of the show. He has his own agency and agendas, and Peter Kim never lets us lose sight of their deep-seated love for each other, even when they are sparring and tearing each other apart.”

Peter Y. Kim as Archie in The Forty Year Old Version. Photo: Jeong Park:Netflix

The Queer Review‘s Senior Film Critic Glenn Gaylord writes, “Kim in particular takes the “fussy gay” archetype and reveals the pain and sacrifices usually given short shrift in lesser hands.”

Radha Blank and Peter Y. Kim in THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION/Netflix
Radha Blank and Peter Y. Kim. Photo courtesy of Peter Y. Kim

City Pleasures writes, “Peter Kim as Archie is the kind of steadfast friend who’ll lay it on the line to force you to see yourself for who you are on second and be there when nobody else will the next.  The kind of friend who’ll extend a sexual favor if he thinks it’ll help promote your career. The dynamic between the two of them says so much about what real friendship is; honesty standing on a bedrock of love. Even though it shouldn’t be unusual, it still feels a little revolutionary to see such a healthy relationship between minorities in this country.”

Kim wrote an essay for Backstage.com on being labeled ‘Most Likely to Be Gay’ and talked about the mentors who helmed him embrace it. 

“Most Likely To Be Gay.” That’s what my older sister told me my classmates were saying about me. I was in the fifth grade, in suburban New Jersey, and I was horrified, ashamed, and terribly afraid they were right. This is not something the only son of working-class Korean immigrants raised in a strict Catholic home wanted to hear. Luckily, this was the same time I met Linda, my music teacher, who would become the first of many mentors in my life. 

Linda cast me in the school’s Christmas show and taught me about theater and music, and she showed me a world beyond my very insular one. She guided my talent and career, acting as surrogate mother/manager, until she passed away when I was in grad school. She was a source of inspiration for the character of Archie Choi, the outspoken Korean-American gay best friend/agent I got to portray in Radha Blank’s “The 40-Year-Old Version” on Netflix. 

I owe a debt of gratitude to all the mentors in my life, especially Liz Swados (director-composer-lyricist-cartoonist-teacher extraordinaire) and Mia Katigbak (award-winning actor and artistic producing director of NAATCO). One type of mentorship that doesn’t get enough credit, in my opinion, is peer mentorship. Or, in less academic terms, the relationships with your creative family.

NAATCO Associate Producer Peter Kim and Artistic Director Mia Katigbak. Photo by Lia Chang
NAATCO Associate Producer Peter Kim and Artistic Director Mia Katigbak. Photo by Lia Chang

This story was originally published on Backstage.com.  Click here to read the full article and to see what Peter shared about working with Radha.

Below, GLAAD’s Head of Talent, Anthony Ramos speaks with Radha Blank and Peter Y. Kim about the importance of representation and diversity on the screen. 

Peter Y. Kim is an actor, producer, director, activist and teacher. As an actor, he has appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway (Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage, Signature Theatre, Public Theater, Play Company, Ma-Yi, NAATCO, EST) and regionally. He recently starred Off-Broadway at The Public Theater in Hansol Jung’s Wild Goose Dreams. 

Peter Kim and Michelle Krusiec in a scene from “Wild Goose Dreams”. at The Public Theater. (Photo credit: Joan Marcus)

He has appeared in Saturday Church (Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award), “Sex and the City,” “Chicago Med,” “Ugly Betty.” In his time as associate producer of NAATCO, the company won a 2016 OBIE Award and was nominated for a Drama League Award for Outstanding Revival for its production of Awake and Sing!  at the Public Theater. He is a lecturer in theatre at Princeton University and a Steering Committee member of AAPAC, (Asian American Performers Action Coalition) which received a 2020 Special Obie Citation for Advocacy in the field of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Peter Kim, as a Steering Committee member of AAPAC, received a 2020 Special Obie Citation for Advocacy in the field of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Photo by Lia Chang
Peter Y. Kim, as a Steering Committee member of AAPAC, received a 2020 Special Obie Citation for Advocacy in the field of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Photo by Lia Chang

Kim is the co-creator of the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway comedy, “SIDES: The Fear is Real…”

Paul Juhn, Rodney To, Hoon Lee, Cindy Cheung, Sekiya Billman and Peter y. Kim. Photo courtesy of Facebook

He is in the fifth cohort of the Rising Leaders of Color (RLC) program, a yearlong program of Theatre Communications Group (TCG) designed to develop talented early-career BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) theatre leaders.

Kim holds an MFA in Acting from the Yale School of Drama & BFA from NYU, and is the recipient of the Lilah Kan Red Socks Award.

The Forty-Year-Old Version had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 25, 2020, where Blank won the U.S Dramatic Competition Directing Award. The current awards tally includes the 2020 New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best First Film; the 2020 Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) New Generation Award; the 2020 Palm Springs International Film Festival Directors to Watch Award; the 2021 Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Screenplay; the 2021 Alliance of Women Film Journalists (AWFJ) EDA Female Focus Award for Best Woman Screenwriter; the 2021 San Diego Film Critics Society Awards (SDFCS) for Best Comedic Performance and Breakthrough Artist; and and the 2021 Black Film Critics Circle Signature Rising Star Award. 

AAPAC, The Asian American Performers Action Coalition Receives Special Obie Citation for Advocacy in the field of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion 

Mr. Miyagi’s Theatre Company’s Rodney To, Sekiya Billman, Cindy Cheung, Paul Juhn, Peter Kim and Hoon Lee Reunite for SIDES: Zoom Edition “Ding Ding’s Play” 

 

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2021 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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