Eugene Lee Yang Explains How Nimona’s Queer Story Drew Him To The Movie

Nimona features an unlikely team-up between a knight framed for a crime he didn’t commit and the shape-shifting teen who might also be a monster he’s sworn to kill. This animated feature showcases messages of acceptance and friendship, which is certainly important in the world we are living in today. It stars Riz Ahmed as the knight, Ballister Boldheart, and Chloë Grace Moretz as Nimona.



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Based on the graphic novel of the same name, it already has a large fan base that is eager to see it come to life on the screen. Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin (Eugene Lee Yang) is the love interest of Ballister Boldheart, who is torn between doing what he is sworn to do, and protecting the love of his life. Nimona starts streaming on Netflix on June 30.

Related: Everything We Learned During Netflix’s Nimona Long Lead Press Day

Screen Rant spoke with Eugene Lee Yang about Netflix’s Nimona, where he explains that it was the queer story that drew him to want to be a part of it. He also touches on why he loves his character, Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin, and how powerful the messaging behind Nimona is.



Eugene Lee Yang Talks Nimona

Eugene Lee Yang Reveals The Queer Story Is What Drew Him To Nimona

Screen Rant: Nimona is rated 100% on Rotten Tomatoes! How does that feel?

Eugene Lee Yang: It’s incredible. That’s such a unique and rare thing. Knowing how much love was poured into this film, and seeing it reflected back from not only early viewers, but the critics as well. It just feels like it was meant to be this way. I’m just so fortunate to be a part of this project.

Screen Rant: I love this movie. It’s one of my favorites of the year. What was it about Nimona that made you want to be a part of it?

Eugene Lee Yang: I was familiar with the graphic novel prior to being cast. I was a big fan of ND’s with She-Ra on Netflix. So that alone was a huge push for me. But knowing that this was distinctly unapologetically a queer story being brought to screen, that was the main part of why I just knew that this was a project I couldn’t pass up.

Screen Rant: Can you talk about the importance of bringing that to screen? I have a queer daughter, and she’s obsessed with Nimona.

Eugene Lee Yang: Congratulations! I think it’s so important because, first of all, the story is created by ND who his perspective already infuses it with inherent queerness. I think that’s the thing, give more queer creators the space to create, give them that ability. Then you can see that it effortlessly is infused into this really creative world. It’s still fun. It’s funny, it’s action packed, but at the same time you have this very casual representation, that’s also core to the story. I think that’s something that you don’t often see happen, especially in more family geared media. Especially in this time that we’re living in, it’s so necessary to see that now.

Screen Rant: I absolutely agree. That line towards the end when Ballister says I see you to Nimona…

Eugene Lee Yang: Destroyed me. I don’t cry about anything. Literally. And that got me teary eyed.

Screen Rant: How would you describe your character. Sir Goldenloin? Besides having the best name in the movie.

Eugene Lee Yang: I know, right? I love that they actually fought to keep his name, Ambrosius Goldenloin. I’m glad it stayed in. Pun intended. No, I really think Ambrosius is this wonderful example of the person who’s torn between two worlds, which is honoring a system that they were essentially told is what you have to abide by, and also then honoring one’s emotions and feelings and true north. I think that that’s something so many people can relate to. It’s something I certainly related extremely well to. Sometimes society tells you one thing, and your soul tells you another, and in the end, you know which direction you should pick.

About Nimona

Nimona drawing her own story in Nimona trailer

When Ballister Boldheart (Riz Ahmed), a knight in a futuristic medieval world, is framed for a crime he didn’t commit, the only one who can help him prove his innocence is Nimona (Chloë Grace Moretz), a mischievous teen with a taste for mayhem — who also happens to be a shapeshifting creature Ballister has been trained to destroy. But with the entire kingdom out to get him, Nimona’s the best (or technically the only) sidekick Ballister can hope for. And as the lines between heroes, villains, and monsters start to blur, the two of them set out to wreak serious havoc — for Ballister to clear his name once and for all, and for Nimona to…just wreak serious havoc.

Check out our other Nimona interviews here:

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