Why “Maze Runner” Ki Hong Lee Keeps His Korean Name In Hollywood

He is proud to be Korean.

While there are currently many Korean actors in Hollywood who choose to go by an English name, Maze Runner actor Ki Hong Lee is not one of them.

In a resurfaced interview with CAPE in 2015, Ki Hong Lee revealed that he does not use an English name because he believes people can learn how to pronounce his Korean name.

He took inspiration from an anecdote told by actress Uzo Aduba, whose full name is Uzoamaka Aduba, who also had the same worries as him. When she asked her mom as a child if she could change her name to Zoe, her mom replied with:

If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky and Michelangelo and Dostoyevsky, they can learn to say Uzoamaka.

Ki Hong Lee deeply resonated with this story, realizing that he does not have to change his name for anybody because he can just be himself. He recognized that people can learn his name if he is good enough, has the talent, and has been working in the industry long enough.

Ki Hong Lee has starred in a number of films, including The Public, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Asian Bachelorette.

Check out his interview below!

Source: Insight