Karl Yune’s Shakespeare Moment creates rising film star

The plan all along, for Washington, D.C.-born Karl Yune was to be a successful businessman, but Shakespeare changed all that one day while he was studying at Columbia University in New York.

Karl Yune of Real Steel-for-DA MAN by Yann Bean 2

Photo Above: Jeans, leather jacket and shoes by Emporio Armani, watch by Alpina 

The Korean-American Karl Yune, currently in the news for his acclaimed role in the recent blockbuster Real Steel alongside Hugh Jackman, was actually a successful businessman before enrolling at Columbia.

Having already sold a profitable Internet company, it seemed the sky was the limit for him as a business magnate.

As it turns out the sky is still the limit just in another field. He got turned on to the theater instead of business and enrolled in Columbia’s highly regarded theater and drama school. The rest, as someone once said, is history.

In addition to this year’s Real Steel, in which he played robot-boxing kingpin Tak Mashido, the versatile thespian has also been in Slaughter (2008), Speed Racer (2008), Ken (2006), Freezerburn (2005), Memoirs of a Geisha (2005), Hold Up (2004), Miracle Mile (2004), Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004) and Forbidden Warrior (2005), among others.

In this exclusive interview and fashion shoot, Karl Yune shows us another side, particularly his intense passion about protecting children, as well as his cool and fashionable side. He also reveals that there is going to be a big announcement soon via his Twitter.


Karl Yune of Real Steel-for-DA MAN by Yann Bean 1

Above: Jeans by Emporio Armani, cardigan by J. C. Rags


DA MAN: One of your most memorable experiences is…
Karl Yune:
In Fiji ‘trying’ to scuba dive. The other divers were deep below the ocean enjoying their dive, while I was floating on the surface unable to equalize. Every time I got below 10 feet (three meters) my head felt like it was going to explode! I ended up floating on the surface for an hour, bored and frustrated because everyone was having fun without me, until two giant manta rays leaped from the water flipping on their backs right next to me. Everyone on the boat ride back was jealous.

DA MAN: You can’t live without…
Karl Yune: A decent sense of humor. The world is as funny or as serious as you want it to be.

DA MAN: Your idea of happiness…
Karl Yune: Is a sloppy wet kiss from my baby girl.

Karl Yune of Real Steel-for-DA MAN by Yann Bean 3

Above: Jeans by Emporio Armani, shoes are Karl’s own


DA MAN: You value…
Karl Yune: The feelings of others. I hold a lot of empathy for how others feel; unless there is a lack of respect. Then … watch out!

DA MAN: Something that you’ve not told anyone is…
Karl Yune: This is going to be announced on my Twitter @karlyune this year. Don’t miss it. It’s a bombshell that you will never believe.

DA MAN: This year, your goal is to…
Karl Yune: This year and every and every other year, is to inspire the lives of children who have endured abuse.

Karl Yune of Real Steel-for-DA MAN by Yann Bean 4

Above: Jeans, leather jacket and shoes by Emporio Armani, watch by Alpina 


DA MAN: Fashion, to you, is…
Karl Yune: Timeless and classic.

DA MAN: If you were not acting, you would be…
Karl Yune: A full-time activist/mentor for abused children.

Karl Yune of Real Steel-for-DA MAN by Yann Bean 5

Above: Leather jacket by Emporio Armani, shirt by John Varvatos



DA MAN: Your favorite journey has been…
Karl Yune: … is not over yet.

DA MAN: Your motto in life is…




Photographs by Yann Bean

Styling: Jon Marc Balint
Grooming: Karoliina Kangas/Opus
USA Editor Mitchell Nguyen McCormack