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C Entries
Edward L. Cahn
James Cameron
Lewis John Carlino
Richard Carlson
John Carradine
Helena Bonham Carter
Leo G. Carroll
Maurice Cass
Lon Chaney
Lon Chaney, Jr.
John Cho
Arthur C. Clarke
Phyllis Coates
Joan Collins
Sir Sean Connery
Roger Corman
Buster Crabbe
Richard Crane
Tom Cruise
Peter Cushing
 
CHO, JOHN
(1972– ). American actor.

SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY, AND HORROR FILM CREDITS
Acted in: The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (Nick Levant 2000); Delivering Milo (Nick Castle 2001); Down to Earth (Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz 2001); "Junior," "Tantrum" (2001) (animated; voice), episodes of Static Shock; Evolution (Ivan REITMAN 2001); Earth vs. the Spider (Scott Ziehl 2001); Solaris (Steven Soderbergh 2002); "Exchange" (2003) (animated; voice), episode of Kim Possible; "Helping Handis" (2006) (animated; voice), episode of American Dad; Star Trek (J. J. ABRAMS 2009); FlashForward (tv series) (2009-2010).
 
John Cho conforms to precisely one stereotype of the Asian-American man: he works very hard. Otherwise, what he seems to be working hardest at is defying conventional expectations. After moving with his family from South Korea to Los Angeles at the age of six, the young Cho immersed himself in the culture of southern California, and when this bright young man went off to the University of California, Berkeley, he chose to major in English literature, not math or science. Returning to Los Angeles, he became the lead vocalist of an active rock band, now named Viva La Union, while simultaneously accepting every single acting role that his agent could land, slowly but surely maneuvering his way up to better parts; and, while best known for his work in comedies, he is now improbably endeavoring to reinvent himself as a macho action star. Technically, to be sure, he perhaps has not yet done enough significant work in the field of science fiction and fantasy film to warrant an entry in this volume, but that was also true of Brendan FRASER when I first discussed that rising young star, and I've been forced to periodically update his entry ever since. Keeping the equally industrious John Cho's entry current, I suspect, will also become an ongoing chore.

In his early years as an actor, Cho did contrive to appear in some major science fiction and fantasy films, like Down to Earth, Evolution, and Solaris, without making any sort of impression; indeed, I have seen those films but cannot recall precisely what Cho was doing in any of them. He was having more of an impact with numerous roles outside the scope of this volume in television and film comedies, including small parts in the American Pie series (American Pie [1999], American Pie 2 [2001], and American Wedding [2003]) and, most prominently, as one of the stoner stars of the delightful Harold and Kumar films (Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle [2004], Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay [2008]). One might say that Cho and co-star Kal Penn were becoming the Cheech and Chong of their generation, except that unlike that pair, I cannot imagine those two very serious young men spending much time smoking pot off the set. In any event, while they may reunite for a third Harold and Kumar film, they preferred to seek more demanding assignments, as Penn accepted a position in the Obama administration while Cho elected to enlist in J. J. ABRAMS' revival of the Star Trek franchise.

In the first film of that series, Cho undoubtedly proved to be a more robust and persuasive Ensign Sulu than George TAKEI could ever muster, but that amicably inept actor has so marginalized the Sulu character that Cho will have to fight to get more screen time in what are likely to be several more Star Trek films. As if preparing for that challenge, Cho then signed up to do some heavy lifting as a tough FBI agent in the television series FlashForward. Therein, it was refreshing to see an Asian hero fighting the usual way with guns and fisticuffs instead of fancy martial-arts moves, and he also got to romance not one but two beautiful women during the series' brief run. Nevertheless, while he performed these duties with impeccable skill, one could not shake the feeling that Cho would feel more comfortable being a clown, smoking a joint and stuffing his face with Twinkies. (In his one lighter moment, he did contribute some memorably horrid karaoke versions of "Sister Christian" and "Like a Rolling Stone" to one episode, struggling to make his voice sound worse than it actually is.)  Yet Brendan Fraser (I am liking the analogy more and more) has also distinguished himself by his stubborn determination to keep taking on roles that seem to be outside his range, and workaholic actors do have to demonstrate a certain amount of flexibility to remain constantly busy.

And so, as his next bold career move, I suggest that John Cho combine his interests in comedy, science fiction, and music by hustling his way into the leading role of a film version of Bat Boy—The Musical; and while it might seem a stretch, I am sure that John Cho will work very hard to provide the very best performance possible.

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