John Cho Network

John Cho has the starring role in the extraordinary new film, “Columbus,” written, directed and edited by the mono-monikered Kogonada. The Korean-born actor plays Jin, a translator for a publisher in Seoul, who travels to Columbus, Indiana to be near his father, an architecture professor who is in a coma. Jin reveals that he is not especially close with his father, but he does develop a deep, meaningful friendship with Casey (Haley Lu Richardson), a young woman who loves architecture and has stayed in Columbus to care for her mother (Michelle Forbes). Cho and Richardson have an ingratiating, natural rapport that develops as they visit various architectural sites and discuss their lives.

Cho gives a finely calibrated performance that is both profound and affecting. The actor, who is perhaps best known for his work as Sulu in the “Star Trek” films or from the goofball “Harold and Kumar” comedies, appears both enigmatic and transparent in “Columbus” — sometimes within the same scene. Jin may come off as serious, even hard at first, but as the film progresses, he and Casey reveal their emotions, vulnerabilities and sensitivities.

The magic of Kogonada’s exquisite and very moving film extends to how the director frames every shot brilliantly, incorporating Columbus, Indiana’s modernist architecture as a way of expressing the characters’ thoughts and feelings

Cho spoke with Salon about starring in “Columbus,” and the things and people that move him.

There was a buzzy twitter campaign, #starringjohncho, that raised concerns over the lack of leading man roles for Asian American actors. Can you discuss starring in “Columbus”?

There’s not much planning to my career. It’s more “this moves me, and I have to do it.” That was the case with this script. I met Kogonada and I had to do it. I’ve done things for reasons other than passion, and you can’t strategize your career — or at least, that doesn’t work for me. In the political context you’re speaking about, it’s not a reaction to the plight of the Asian American male, but I wear that as a badge of pride. “Columbus” doesn’t play to stereotypes by fighting them. It’s confident enough to be its own story and shrug off the noise about stereotypes and diversity. That’s why I was attracted to it. I’m less concerned with politics and more about expression and truth. [More at Source]

 

If you were online last summer during the peak of a particular social media movement, you may have seen John Cho fantasy-cast as James Bond, Ethan Hunt, Steve Rogers, and even “Magic” Mike Lane. The #StarringJohnCho campaign made (and continues to make) a statement about representation by imagining a universe where Asian-American actors get the iconic roles almost always played by white men. But Cho’s actual latest role isn’t an internationally-renowned spy or an all-American superhero, as in the whisper-soft indie drama Columbus, the actor plays Jin, the son of a dying man. In talking about representation, conversations tend to revolves around blockbusters, but smaller-scale films like Cho’s Columbus help move the needle forward, too.

“This movie in particular, I will say, was unusual because it didn’t explicitly push against any stereotype,” Cho says, speaking over the phone in late July. “It was true freedom because it was confident to do its own thing. It didn’t repudiate any stereotypes, it just existed outside of that pool, and that to me is where we want to go.” [More at Source]

   

“This is typically not the kind of place I like,” says John Cho. He takes off his sunglasses to better appreciate the rotunda on the second floor of the Central Library in downtown Los Angeles. It’s a breathtaking space—vast yet cozy, with a vibrantly painted ceiling dating back to its construction in 1926 and a chandelier depicting the zodiac that spills amber light throughout the massive dome. This is the 45-year-old actor’s first visit to the library, despite having lived in LA since he was in eighth grade, and he admits to being impressed: “I don’t like Rome or Beijing because their buildings always communicate power over the citizens,” explains Cho, who’s dressed simply in jeans and a white T-shirt. “But I like the idea that this is where the books are, and we’re going to build a grand place for them.” [More at Source]

Coverage: New York Press Day

by Mouza/August 01, 2016/No Comments

I’ve updated the gallery with photos of John Cho’s press day in New York last week. Check out the photos below and then the video after the cut.

   

2016 > 27 July – Today Show 
2016 > 27 July – John Cho visit SiriusXM 
2016 > 27 July – Late Night with Seth Meyers

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In a recent interview with Mindy Kaling, she reveled some details about John’s role:

Glamour: John Cho is coming on the show. I usually don’t reveal my “On a Date With…” guys until the piece runs, but he is the next column.
Mindy: I would love to go on a date with John Cho! He’s the hottest and funniest guy. When I was acting with him…I mean, I wanted to have him on the show forever! Obviously, when Selfie started, we couldn’t have him, but now we have a part for him, and he’s playing very against type. Actually, you’re the only person that knows this, but he’s playing a drug dealer.
Glamour: A drug dealer?
Mindy: Not just a drug dealer, but the head of a drug organization. Hopefully we’ll see him again, but right now he’s in one episode. [source]