John Cho: The Boom Dizzle Interview
Recently, NBA star Baron Davis sat down with actor John Cho to talk about life, the NBA, his television roles, the much-hyped Star Trek movie due out in 2009, and Choís current role in ďHarold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo BayĒ, which hits theaters on April 25th.
Baron Davis: Whatís happening, NBA? Iím your NBA movie critic, Baron Davis, and Iím here with the famous John Cho of the new ďHarold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay,Ē due out April 25th. Welcome to the Boom Dizzle NBA Movie Critic show. First of all, Iíd like to welcome my guest here Ö Itís a pleasure to meet you.
John Cho: Thank you so much.
BD: Letís just jump right into it. Youíve been doing a lot of work (obviously, weíve followed your career with the first Harold & Kumar flick) and this year, it seems like, has been a big year for you with Ugly Betty and How I Met Your Mother. Tell us about that. Youíre blowing up and getting all of your ďjust due.Ē
JC: Yeah, itís been an exciting year and, you know, to be frank with you, Iím just happy to be working, man. This is a tough game for Asians in this business and so my parents are just happy that Iím paying my rent, so Iím really excited. Also, Iím working on ďStar TrekĒ which is a mind-blower. Weíre just about to finish up. So thatís been good, too.
BD: Yeah, Thatís big.
JC: Itís fun, man. Itís cool being on a space ship.
BD: Now, are you a ďTrekkieĒ? Were you a big fan of ďStar TrekĒ?
JC: I wasnít a big fan growing up but, you know, itís one of those things you see on TV late at night and you just end up watching it. Itís a really thoughtful show, you know. And itís a meditative show. I kind of dug it. They didnít decide things (with violence). Well, Kirk did get into a lot of fistfights but, it seemed like wisdom won out on that show, so I dug it that way.
BD: Thatís cool. Great cast Ö Eric Bana, Winona Ryder. Tell us what it was like to work with people like that.
JC: I donít have any scenes with those two because theyíre on the Ö [Both laugh] I canít reveal plot points.
BD: It would be nice if you could. This is sports, man; weíre coming to see it!
JC: Itís a really good cast. Zach Quinto, who is on ďHeroesĒ, is Spock and thereís a guy named Chris Pine. Are you familiar with Simon Pegg from ďShaun of the DeadĒ? Heís playing Scotty and heís great. Weíve just been having a blast. And walking around in spacesuits Ö
BD: Right. Thatís incredible. And youíre also from Los Angeles -- Iím from South Central -- local Los Angeles resident blowing up. Doing it big for the Asian community. What part of L.A. are you from?
JC: I was born in Korea, we moved around a lot, and we settled in Glendale, where thereís a lot of Koreans. Thatís where I went to High School. Then I actually went to college here at Berkley.
BD: [Jeers and gives thumbs down] Yeah, but itís cool. [Both laugh]
JC: You guys (UCLA) used to beat us. It was a beatdown, a beatdown. Iím man enough to admit it.
BD: Itís all good. [Still laughing] Calís a great school, great program.
JC: [Laughing] Blah, blah, blah, blahÖ
BD: They produce great people. I have to say that. Letís talk about the new film. Talk a little about the first one (Harold and Kumar go to White Castle). I know that was fun being on set. Did you guys have a lot of practical jokes? Now, being able to do it again, how does that feel?
JC: Itís good. You know, we didnít know each other the first time around and this is a sequel, so now itís really easy stepping right back into it and, now that weíre all friends, we can just jump right into it. So, itís been fun and people seem to be excited about the new movie and especially, one thing that we didnít really expect that people would be so keen on is the racial politics of the first one.
The second one takes it even further because now weíre Ö We try to go to Amsterdam and Kumar brings something on the plane that someone overhears as a ďbombĒ and we get sent to Guantanamo Bay because they think we are North Korea and Al-Qaeda working together. [Embarrassed] So, ah, you know, it gets political a little bit. Thatís one thing, I wasnít expecting people to so in to but, they are.
BD: Yeah, especially with everything going on in the world today and the presidential election, Iím sure poking fun at that must have been a pretty amazing time.
JC: Yeah. I was a little afraid that they were going to open up an FBI file on me. [Laughing] I really did. We have a cordless phone at home and I found out it didnít have enough gigahertz or something like that. I was hearing clicking noises whenever I was on the phone and I said to my wife, ďtheyíre listening to us. They caught on to what the movie was aboutĒ, I was so scared man. [Both laugh]
BD: You would have really been locked up at Guantanamo Bay, huh. Thatís awesome. This is obviously an NBA thing so, you know, I know that you are a huge NBA fan.
JC: Yes sir.
BD: The fans would like to know: Who is your favorite NBA team?
PART II: John Cho Talks NBA, and Reveals Whether He's "That Guy"