3 Marvel Universes: One former Clevelander may be the only actor to traverse them all
|Kurt Yue in, counterclockwise from top left, 'The Gifted,' 'Venom,' and 'Black Widow'|
When Evan Peters first appeared as Frank “Quicksilver” Bohner on WandaVision, fans were buzzing about how the actor had now appeared in both the Marvel Cinematic Universe proper and Fox’s now defunct Marvel X-Universe.
Peters wasn’t the first. Several actors have stepped through the multiverse from one Marvel world to the other. Josh Brolin, Peter Dinklage, Olivia Munn and, soon, Oscar Isaac, to name a few. And a few actors have featured in Sony Spider-Verse films as well as MCU blockbusters. Michelle Lee in Venom and Black Widow, for example.
But how many actors have appeared in all three Marvel universes?
Probably a handful, says actor Kurt Yue. He should know. With speaking roles in Fox’s The Gifted, Sony’s Venom and Marvel’s Black Widow, Yue is a bonafide … uhm, Marvel Multiverser? … whatever the equivalent of something like an EGOT would be in the world of Marvel superheroes.
“It is extremely likely there are other actors in Atlanta who have appeared in each universe,” Yue explains. “What people don't realize is that many Marvel projects over the past decade have filmed all or portions in Atlanta. That means incredible opportunities for actors down here. I have friends who were in Black Panther, Ant-Man, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Endgame, WandaVision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, and quite a few who are acting in Hawkeye, She-Hulk, and so on.
You could throw a net and easily catch an actor who has appeared in all three Marvel universes, basically.
But here’s the thing.
After IMDb’ing every credited role in Venom, we couldn’t find any other actor who has appeared in a live-action Fox X-Men, Sony Spider-Man and MCU property.
Rare company indeed
|Kurt Yue and Tofu|
Nearly a dozen credited actors have appeared in two of the three. Peggy Lu, who plays Mrs. Cheng in Venom and Venom: Let There Be Carnage, had a small role in Runaways. Malcolm Murray appeared in Venom and Luke Cage. Diesel Madkins, Javier Vazquez Jr.,Josh Henry, Matthew Cornwell and DJames Jones all appeared in both Venom and The Gifted.
A quick sampling of actors from Morbius, the only other stand-alone film in Sony’s Spider-Verse, set to be released in 2022, doesn’t present another complete Marvel Multiverser, either. Rather than Atlanta, much of Morbius was shot in England. And to be fair, we haven’t dipped into the original Tobey Maguire trilogy or Andrew Garfield duology.
That said, it’s quite likely Yue belongs to an extremely exclusive club. A club that may never have another member, now that Fox’s X-Men universe is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Or, at the very least, future members restricted to actors and actresses who appeared in the original Fox franchise who make the leap to both Sony and Marvel.
Yue isn’t alone, though. The club has another member, and you may have heard of him.
Rare air, Mr. Yue. Rare air, indeed.
Traversing the multiverse
There’s a good chance Yue had no idea life would land him in all three Marvel universes. After all, acting wasn’t much of a consideration when the Cleveland State graduate was building a career as a software engineer in Northeast Ohio. Not until he happened on the Houde School of Acting after drinks with a friend.
At first, acting classes were a way Yue would unwind after work and stay connected with friends. Then a classmate referred him to a local talent agent, and Yue started getting serious about the profession. Before long, he was booking corporate videos and learning his craft on local low- and no-budget films.
Then, in 2015, Yue took a chance, quitting his day job and moving to Atlanta to pursue acting full-time, supplementing his income with a successful YouTube channel, Acting Career Center, and opening a photography studio. He has since appeared in small roles in more than 50 films and TV shows, including A Bad Moms Christmas, MacGyver, The Hate You Give, The Haunting of Hill House, Cobra Kai and Greenland. Yue also played Herman Choi on the Netflix series, Insatiable.
‘The Gifted’ - On the phone in Fox’s X-Universe
Yue’s first foray into the world of Marvel characters was in The Gifted, the two-season Fox television series based in the X-Men universe. Yue played an employee of the Trask Corporation. It’s a bit of a blink-or-you’ll-miss-him moment.
“I worked one day on that show. Actually more like one hour,” Yue says. “I had a short scene on the phone, took about 15 minutes to shoot and we were done. I auditioned for probably 10 different roles in season one. I think the role they ended up casting me in was a last minute script revision, because I didn't audition for it. They just checked my availability, and I was on set a few days later.”
‘Venom’ - Speaking with symbiotes in Sony’s Spider-Verse
|Yue, translating for Mission Control, |
Mission Control Translator, Yue’s role in 2018’s Venom, which took place in Sony’s Universe of Marvel Characters, carried a little more weight - though it wasn’t the part he was after.
“I auditioned for a much larger role and got a callback,” Yue says. “Unfortunately, I didn't get the bigger role, but was lucky to be offered a part.”
Yue spent a day on the Venom set, but it gave him an opportunity to connect with Venom director Ruben Fleischer, who briefly lived in Shaker Heights, a Cleveland suburb, when he was young.
‘Black Widow’ - Tracking down the rogue Avenger in the MCU proper
|Yue, searching for Natasha Romanov |
in 'Black Widow'
Yue completed his Marvel Universes collection when he booked the role of Ross Lieutenant in Black Widow. The Marvel Studios set piece found Yue running around the country, trying to track down the rogue Avenger.
“The audition for Black Widow was a self-tape that led to a booking about 12 days later,” says Yue. “My character was one of the agents who worked directly for Secretary Ross (William Hurt).”
Six Atlanta-based actors were booked as “Ross Agents.” Yue spent nearly three weeks in the United Kingdom working on the film before returning to Atlanta for one more scene. All of Yue’s U.K. work, unfortunately, ended up on the cutting room floor.
Yue talked about one cut scene in an online video, sharing that Yue and team arrest Black Widow.
“Scarlet is standing there, her family leaves, she’s basically allowing herself to be captured by Secretary Ross,” he says. “We shot all of that scene to the trucks pulling all the way up to her, us getting out, Secretary Ross gets out, the six agents get out, we all walk up and she gets arrested.
“We were only on set with Scarlett for one day, but I distinctly remember her joking around with people and keeping the set positive and fun,” Yue says. “At one point she was asking everyone what their favorite sandwich was and keeping a running tally.”
In a post-Loki world - or, in fact, in a post-Captain Marvel world - with variants and shapeshifters running amok in the Marvel Universe, is there a chance we’ll see Yue turn up again?
“You know that's an NDA violation if I answer it,” Yue says - likely with a sly smile across his face.