30 under 30: aaron yoo

Aaron Yoo
Age: 30

Why he's influential: Because he's bringing a "regular Asian guy" sensibility to Hollywood. In a few short years on the scene, actor Aaron Yoo has built a solid resume of roles, quickly achieving "hey, it's that guy!" status on a number of high-profile, largely youth-oriented Hollywood studio and indie projects.

While he started out with a handful of TV credits, movie audiences first got a glimpse of Aaron as the jokey best friend to Shia LaBeouf in the 2007 hit Disturbia. I swear, the Monday after the movie opened, this blog got a considerable spike of web traffic from people searching for "Aaron Yoo Disturbia." He definitely left an impression.

Since then, you've seen him popping up in independent fare like Rocket Science and The Wackness, but also adding a little color to the whitewashed 21, playing bandmate to Michael Cera in Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist and getting killed by Jason in Friday the 13th. Hopefully, this doesn't mean he's building a career on wisecracking buddy/best friend roles.

If you ask me, I think Aaron's most interesting performance thus far has been as Japanese American ace pitcher Lyle Nomura in Desmond Nakano's historical internment drama American Pastime, where he shows off his chops as a leading man while telling a moving slice of Asian American history.

But Aaron's just getting started. Named one of Entertainment Weekly's "Hardest Working Actors" last fall, you'll next see him in the indie flick The Good Guy, the action flick Gamer, and, believe it or not, as father to Lindsay Lohan's fake baby in Labor Pains. He's bringing a normal, everyday Asian face to Hollywood in a normal, everyday way.

See the rest of the 30 Most Influential Asian Americans Under 30 here.

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