Young Mazino Loves That BEEF Is Making People Call Their Brothers
The actor tells Bustle about his journey to playing Paul — and what’s next for the fan-favorite character.
Netflix’s BEEF is stacked with stars like Steven Yeun and Ali Wong, but it also introduces a new face who holds his own alongside the veterans: Young Mazino, the actor behind fan-favorite character Paul Cho. For Mazino, BEEF is the culmination of a longtime dream — one he’s been chasing since the late 2010s, when he was juggling a 9-to-5 at the skincare brand Fresh with drama school and auditions. “It felt like I was doing acting in the office,” Mazino, 31, tells Bustle. “Because I was pretending to be the senior analyst that I was, and [doing] the water cooler talk like, ‘Hey, Jim, how’s it going?’”
All that practice has paid off, seeing how Mazino’s performance in BEEF touched a nerve. “Korean American guys will come up and be like, ‘Yo, that reminded me so much of [me and] my younger brother ... I called my brother up just to check in on him,’” he says. In the show, Mazino plays the himbo-coded little brother to Steven Yeun’s Danny, whose road rage-fueled revenge quest further strains their relationship. Sadly, Danny’s desire to keep his brother close leads him to sabotage Paul’s opportunities to self-actualize. All the while, they both struggle to cultivate a life independent of their parents, who have returned to Korea.
It’s a theme Mazino has been wrestling with long before BEEF. During the summer of 2021, Mazino served as co-cinematographer on Riding Han, a documentary directed by his childhood friend Pak Eugene that follows three men on a 2,600-mile bike ride along the Great Divide. “The premise was to explore how we can use our ‘han’ — which is a Korean term for internalized, unresolved generational trauma that we got from our parents, war, and oppression — to create rather than let it tear us down.”
Should BEEF get renewed for Season 2, Mazino hopes his character will get the chance to do just that. “Even if Paul is to disappear and become a hermit on an island far, far away from everyone, just to get away from all the negativity, I would totally be down with that.”
In the meantime, learn more about Mazino in his Bustle Booth questionnaire below.
In The Bustle Booth
What's your coffee order?
Iced decaf Americano (or tea)
What are the saved weather locations on your phone?
NY & LA
What’s your sign?
Virgo Sun, Libra Rising, Aries Moon
Favorite overused movie quote?
“Oh hi Mark” (The Room)
What was your favorite cartoon as a kid?
What’s one movie or TV show you're currently obsessed with?
Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai and Amanda Lim’s Moon is the Oldest TV (about Nam June Paik)
Who is your celeb idol?
Jennie from Blackpink
If you had to be on a reality TV show, what would it be?
Naked and Afraid
Go-to karaoke song?
“Superman” by Eminem
What’s something that’s inspiring you lately?
Steven Yeun & Ali Wong’s abilities to handle the industry while raising kids
What is something you would want people to say about you?
“That guy seems chill.”