New Netflix comedy-drama series Beef stars Steven Yeun and Ali Wong, and tells the story of how a road rage incident between two strangers leads to a feud with ever-increasing stakes that threatens to unravel the lives of those involved.


The series comes from creator and showrunner Lee Sung Jin, who recently revealed that the premise for the series – although potentially outlandish on the surface – actually has its roots in a real-life incident.

Lee explained: "The idea was loosely based on a road rage incident that actually happened to me. Someone went off on me and for some reason that day, I did not use sound judgment and impulsively decided to follow this person. I didn't really have a set plan, I just wanted him to feel fear and let him know that it's not OK to do that to people.

"But things went awry – certainly not like they do in the show – and what happened that afternoon ended up inspiring Beef. I thought there was a show there about two people who are very much stuck in their own perspectives and have a lot going on in their individual lives that this incident unravels."

Steven Yeun as Danny in Beef.
Steven Yeun as Danny in Beef. Andrew Cooper/Netflix

Lee continued: "A little while later, when I met with Ravi Nandan, the head of A24 television, he asked me if I was noodling on anything and I told him that story, and he just instinctually got it. Everything came together pretty quickly after that meeting."

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Lee explained more details about the incident at a recent press conference for the series, saying: "It was a typical road rage thing where the light turned green and I didn't go fast enough, and it was also a white SUV [like Amy’s], although it was a BMW. And he honked at me and said a bunch of things and raced off. And for some reason that day, I was like I’ll follow you.

"I didn’t really have a plan In my mind, I was justifying it like, 'I'm just following, I'm on my way home, and I happen to be behind you'. And I'm sure for that person it felt like I was tracking him the whole run of the 10 highway.

"And so I thought there was something there about people who are very stuck in their subjective views of reality, and they're projecting assumptions onto the other person. And that was the kernel of the idea. So I'm very, very thankful for that incident."

Yeun and Lee will soon be re-teaming on Marvel film Thunderbolts, with Lee re-writing the script and Yeun taking on a currently unknown role. He will be starring alongside the likes of Florence Pugh, Sebastian Stan, David Harbour and Wyatt Russell.

One actor who may or may not be part of the cast for that film is Daniel Brühl, reprising his role as Baron Zemo. His involvement has not yet been confirmed, but Brühl did tell of his character: "The only thing I can say, everybody knows – is I'm not dead!"

Beef is available to watch on Netflix from Thursday 6th April. Sign up for Netflix from £4.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

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