Ryun Yu makes his directorial feature debut with The Last Tour, which has its world premiere screening during the 2016 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival on Sunday, April 24 at 6:00 PM at Downtown Independent, 251 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 , and Tuesday, April 26 at 4:30 PM CGV Cinemas 2, Theater 2, 621 S. Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90005 .
Yu stars as Jun, a burned-out Gulf War veteran, who is kidnapped from his L.A. neighborhood, flown to North Korea, and pressed into service for one last, secret mission: to watch over a hostage and insure that no harm comes to him while Jun’s employers extract an unspecified confession out of the prisoner. A crisis of conscience, a daring escape, and suddenly, this international prisoner drama literally shifts scenes from a North Korean gulag into… well, somewhere else?!? And what exactly WAS that “confession” that was being extracted, anyway?
The cast also features Ron Balicki, Francois Chau, Mimi Cozzens, Anthony De Longis, Franz Elizondo Schmelkes, Elizabeth Ho, James Huang, Diana Lee Inosanto, Charles Kim, Chil Kong, Jeff Liu and Kim Miyori.
Yu, who is also the co-screenwriter, shares, “The Last Tour was inspired by a friend who is a combat controller with the Air Force (they’re like the Special Forces). I was struck by his sincere desire to be the person standing between danger and those he loved, and was concerned that he would end up like other friends of mine who had returned from their tours of duty embittered. I felt then, as I do now, that a single act of courage can literally change the tone of your life. It can change what was a dark drama into a comedy, or even into an adventure. I felt there was something about that generosity of spirit that was not only transformative, but lasting. That no matter how it might seem to disappear, it would survive under the surface, waiting to be resurrected. That was a character I wanted to write and play. Also, I wanted to see him share an adventure with a Mexican cook who had gone to MIT. That part was developed with great affection for my dear friend Franz, whom I’ve known since we were eighteen, attending MIT. I don’t think he ever worked as a cook though.”
Ryun Yu co-executive produced, produced, directed, wrote the screenplay, shares writing credit with Jeff Liu, edited and stars in The Last Tour. Other crew credits include Franz Elizondo Schmelkes (executive producer and producer) and Jeff Liu (producer).
Ryun Yu is the first Korean-American to train at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. He also has the first theatre degree ever awarded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He just finished playing Mark in the film adaptation of David Henry Hwang’s Bondage. This is Yu’s second film collaboration with Hwang—he played a fictional version of the writer in Yellow Face, which was the first adaptation of a major play for YouTube. His other film credits include the upcoming Only the Brave, The Brothers Solomon and The Mikado Project. His television appearances include “The Whole Truth,” “Bones,” “Good Luck Charlie” and “The Unit.” He played George in the Los Angeles premiere of Julia Cho’s The Language Archive and David in the world premiere of Lloyd Suh’s American Hwangap at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco. In Los Angeles theatre, he has played Ivan in Art at East West Players, Gene in Sea Change at the Gay and Lesbian Center (Maddy Award, Ovation Award nomination), and all of the characters in Hold These Truths (formerly Dawn’s Light: The Journey of Gordon Hirabayashi) at East West Players and ACT in Seattle. He also performed in the West Coast premiere of Richard Greenberg’s Tony Award-winning Take Me Out at the Geffen Playhouse and in Kimber Lee’s tokyo fish story at South Coast Rep. Yu is on twitter @realryunyu.
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Ryun Yu stars as Gordon Hirabayashi in Jeanne Sakata’s HOLD THESE TRUTHS at ACT
Production Photos: Kimber Lee’s tokyo fish story starring Sab Shimono, Ryun Yu, Lawrence Kao, Jully Lee and Eddie Mui at South Coast Repertory through March 29
Other articles by Lia Chang:
2016 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival Opening Night Film- World Premiere of Lena Khan’s “THE TIGER HUNTER” Starring Danny Pudi; Centerpiece Film – “TYRUS”; Closing Night Film – “PALI ROAD”; Festival Runs Apr. 21- 28
Internationally Acclaimed Playwright Velina Hasu Houston named Distinguished Professor at the USC School of Dramatic Arts
Lia Chang and Garth Kravits’ HIDE AND SEEK Screens in 11th Annual DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon on May 1; Complete Lineup
Qui Nguyen’s “Vietgone” wins $25,000 Steinberg/ATCA Award for 2015; Additional $7,500 citations for Steven Dietz’s “Bloomsday” and Jen Silverman’s “The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane”
Sandra Oh, Sola Bamis, Corey Brill and Raymond Lee Star in South Coast Repertory’s World Premiere of Julia Cho’s OFFICE HOUR, April 10-30
Lily Mariye Talks Directing “Nashville,” the Disney-ABC Creative Talent Development Program and What’s Next
East West Players to Honor Broadway’s ALLEGIANCE, Hit TV Show “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” and Pan Asian Repertory Theatre Founding Artistic Director Tisa Chang at 50th Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner & Silent Auction on April 25
Photos: Denise Burse, Chinaza Uche and More in Kimber Lee’s “brownsville song (b-side for tray)” at Seattle Rep through April 24
Thom Sesma, Greg Watanabe and Jeanne Sakata Set for A SINGLE SHARD at People’s Light, April 27 – May 29
Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis, Ellen Burstyn, Bobby Cannavale and Paola Lázaro-Muñoz at The Drama Book Shop for BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY Reading and Signing
Broadway Vet Gedde Watanabe and MISS SAIGON’s Jon Jon Briones Lead the Cast of East West Players’ Production of LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, May 12 – June 26
Tony Award-winning playwright and screenwriter David Henry Hwang and singer-songwriter, producer, and actor Leehom Wang to Receive Honorary Degrees from Williams College
Closing Night Party of Encores! 1776 with André De Shields, Santino Fontana, John Larroquette, Nikki Renée Daniels, Bryce Pinkham, Ann Harada at New York City Center
“Sunny Side Up” on Sprout, starring Emily Borromeo, Carly Ciarrocchi, Kaitlin Becker and Tim Kubart, Receives Daytime Emmy Nod for Best Pre-School Children’s Series
Q & A with Emmanuel Brown, Actor, Award-Winning Fight Choreographer and Champion Martial Artist
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 is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. 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 and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Examiner.com, Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.