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The ‘Crying in H Mart’ Movie Puts Out an Open Casting Call for Its Lead

The team is looking for an 18 to 25 year old Korean American to play Michelle Zauner, the Eugene-raised musician and writer

The book cover for Crying in H Mart and a photo of a woman, Michelle Zauner, with her arms crossed
Michelle Zauner and the cover of her book, Crying in H Mart.
Photo of the author by Barbora Mrazkova
Brooke Jackson-Glidden is the editor of Eater Portland.

Crying in H Mart-watch continues: As Oregon-raised musician and author Michelle Zauner chips away at developing the film adaptation of her New York Times-bestselling memoir, the team behind the movie has begun seeking out its star. Zauner has put out an open casting call for the person playing herself.

In a Monday, May 22 tweet, Japanese Breakfast — Zauner’s band — posted an open casting call seeking an 18 to 25 year old Korean American for the role. The team is encouraging those interested to submit a “creative video introduction” for consideration, noting the candidate’s location. Zauner’s press representation did not specify if candidates would need to be able to play guitar or sing.

In 2018, The New Yorker published an essay called Crying in H Mart, written by the frontwoman of alt-indie band Japanese Breakfast. The essay explored Zauner’s relationship with the Korean grocery store H Mart following the death of her mother, and how food became her access point to her Korean American heritage. In 2021, Zauner published a full memoir of the same name, detailing her years in Eugene, Oregon as a teenager and as an adult, while her mother was living with cancer and following her mother’s death. Zauner’s memoir was on the New York Times bestseller list for more than 50 weeks, and the author has begun pre-production on the film adaptation of the memoir.

Zauner’s press representation did not specify whether Crying in H Mart would be filmed in Oregon. Those interested in submitting a self-tape can send videos to See the full casting call for Michelle’s role below: