"There were lots of things that resonated with me as somebody who is half-Japanese, half-British," Sharpe says of Japanese Breakfast frontwoman Michelle Zauner's memoir.

The White Lotus star Will Sharpe is trading in Sicilian pizzas for kimchi.

The actor, writer, and director has been tapped to direct the movie adaptation of Japanese Breakfast frontwoman Michelle Zauner's best-selling memoir Crying in H Mart. The book, which is an expansion of an original essay Zauner penned for The New Yorker in 2018, chronicles the mixed-race musician's relationship with her late Korean mother — who dies from pancreatic cancer — and the ways in which Korean food bridges her connection to her culture after she loses her tether to her Korean identity.

Sharpe, who is Japanese and British, told PEOPLE the story felt familiar to his own upbringing. "There were lots of things that resonated with me as somebody who is half-Japanese, half-British, spent my childhood in Tokyo," he said. "Some of the descriptions of being jet-lagged in your family's kitchen felt very familiar to me. I found that it felt universal in its specificity, in that it's so lovingly detailed about the experience of growing up around Korean food and the cooking of Korean food."

Will Sharpe attends the 29th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza on February 26, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.; Michelle Zauner at Claudia Li's runway show at Spring Studios during New York Fashion Week on February 16, 2022 in New York City.
Will Sharpe; Michelle Zauner
| Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images; Michael Ostuni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Zauner added that Sharpe's "sensitivity as a director and an actor, his ability to find humor and grace within the tragedy of the everyday, and his own personal experience — having grown up between two cultures — make him the perfect director for this film."

Zauner will adapt and provide the soundtrack for the film, with Stacey Sher and Jason Kim on board to produce.

Sharpe's previous directing credits include the British black comedy series Flowers starring Olivia Colman, in which he created and also starred, as well as films Black Pond and The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, the latter of which starred Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy. He recently reunited with Flowers costar Colman to direct the miniseries Landscapers. He's the recipient of a BAFTA Award and, most recently, Screen Actors Guild Award for his work on The White Lotus.

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