John Cho: The BD Interview, Part II
BD: The fans would like to know: who is your favorite NBA team?
JC: Well, sorry, the Lakers are my favorite team. I grew up watching the Lakers. I’m 35, so I was watching “Showtime”.
BD: No way! Thirty-five?!? I was about to card you. So you’re a Lakers fan -- Magic Johnson.
JC: Absolutely. So, what would it take to get you to the Lakers? Can I make some calls?
BD: Oh man. Nah. I love it here in the Bay Area. It’s kind of like a reversal of roles for us … You went to Cal, now you’re back in L.A. I was in L.A., now I’m up here in The Bay. Let’s concentrate on you and your love for the Lakers. [Laughs] Let’s talk about MVP. Who do you think should be the MVP this year?
JC: You know I really believe that Kobe is doing so much, in spite of all the other stuff that happened before the season. He’s just been doing all of the little things … getting everyone involved. His points are down, but his assists are up. I just feel like he’s being such a leader and, considering the median age of the team is so young, it’s really unbelievable what he has done.
BD: Yeah. I totally agree. Especially with how the season started with all of the turmoil, he’s my favorite for MVP, as well as LeBron James. I think that’s going to be a tight race. What do you think?
JC: He’s no “Schmo”, that LeBron. He’s doing alright. It’s unbelievable. This season is fantastic. There’s so much parity in the league. More than in any year I can remember. Well, last year was crazy. Hey, I got to ask you … What is it like to “posterize” Kirilenko? And to see him later … I mean, you must run into one another at some point. I mean, is it awkward?
BD: Nah. In basketball, it happens. Everybody gets dunked on. Everybody gets crossed-over, crossed-up and falls.
JC: Yeah, but nobody gets dunked on like that.
BD: We saw each other after the playoffs and we both just kind of laughed.
JC: Oh really?
BD: I was like, “Sorry dude”.
JC: I don’t know. I’d hold a grudge. I really would. [Both laugh]
BD: Nah, he’s a good guy. He really didn’t. So, let’s talk a little bit about preparation, because in my sport we practice a lot. You’ve got to get in the mood, get in your role. How do you prepare for a role like this? How do you get into that character?
JC: I think I prepared for the first one when I realized that I was the “straight guy” and Kal Penn, who plays Kumar was more of the “wild card.” It was a “buddy picture,” so I watched a lot of buddy comedies to sort of get into that mode. Other than that, for me it was pretty straight forward … staying invested in the circumstances and then doing it.
I had a question about the same process for you. I’ve always been curious because, for actors, we try to learn the lines and then forget them kind of. I always wondered, with coaches drawing up plays all the time -- how much is conscious and how much is unconscious? What’s the balance?
BD: It’s more flow. Just like when you practice your lines, we practice the same plays over and over again so they become second nature, but there is always ad-libbing. It’s all about flow. The coaches are there, like a director, to make sure you do it right. But once you’re out there on the court, you really have to just ad lib and go with the flow. The way we play that’s pretty much …
JC: Yeah, your game is … it’s really musical. It’s improvisational. I love it. You are the most entertaining team in the league, I mean that.
BD: I appreciate it. We enjoy your movies. Enjoyed the first “Harold and Kumar,” definitely looking forward to the second one and laughing … Basically laughing all of the time. Is that character a part of your personality? Are you that guy at home with your wife?
JC: I’m probably a little more of the funny guy like Kumar, and Kal is pretty straight serious. Right now, he’s campaigning to get Obama elected President of the United States of America … Crazy. He’s out there every weekend … He’s very serious. He’s teaching a college course right now. So he’s a very serious man and, ah, I’m not. [Both laugh]
BD: Well, that’s great acting then. You would never know that, especially watching the film. You seem funny. You ARE funny. You make me laugh, and I consider myself a tough critic. I just enjoy film because I enjoy people like yourself who share and express talent through your art.
JC: I’m anxious to see “Made in America” (Editor’s note: “Made in America” is Baron Davis’s documentary with director Stacy Peralta on gang life in south central LA). That looks really fascinating. Stacy (Peralta) knows what he’s doing. That “Dogtown (and Z-Boys)” documentary was really good too.
BD: He’s great. It was great working with him.
I’m definitely happy for your success and continued success. You know, we in the NBA are going to be looking forward this movie coming out … April 25th. Everybody go see it. This is NBA.com. This is Baron Davis. This is John Cho. We’re doin’ it live from San Francisco, not Guantanamo Bay, but he will be there April 25th.
Thanks a lot for being here. We appreciate it.
JC: What a pleasure. Thank you so much.
BD: And … that’s a wrap!
PART I: John Cho "Escapes from Guantanamo Bay"