John Cho doesn’t consider his ‘Sympathizer’ cameo to be meta, but I can understand if he did.


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[This story contains spoilers for episode 4][This story contains spoilers for episode 4][Thisstorycontainsspoilersforepisodefourof[Thisstorycontainsspoilersforepisodefourofsympathizer“Please tell me a good line.”]

Before we meet James Yoon, we ask about him.Episode 4 of sympathizer, a limited series adaptation by HBO and A24 of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Viet Thanh Nguyen, in which Captain (Hoa Xuande) is sent by a CIA contact (Robert Downey Jr.) as a cultural consultant. This is an interlude from normal espionage activities. A Vietnam War movie about a short-tempered writer (also played by Downey). While talking to Lana (Vi Le) about the movie, the Captain mentions that James Yeun is in it. Lana doesn’t recognize the name, but the captain says she’ll know him as soon as she sees him. He’s the guy Hollywood turns to whenever there’s a role for an Asian.

That’s why when James Yeun shows up a few scenes later, it feels like an Easter egg. John Cho He made a surprise cameo with David Duchovny as a method-acting lead who refuses to break character, keeping everyone on set nervous. Of course, Cho was one of the few Asian actors to land a major role in Hollywood throughout the early 2000s. literally become the poster child For Asian American representation in the viral social media campaign “Starring John Cho.”

I talked to Mr. Cho. hollywood reporter His casting, how he relates to Hollywood’s criticism in the episode (particularly its treatment of actors and characters of Asian descent), and what Suande gave him when they first worked together a few years ago. to discuss their impressions.

How did you get involved in this project?

It was through Director Park. [Chan-wook, who co-showran alongside Don McKellar]. We met over 15 years ago, although we only knew each other socially and had never worked together. He’s someone I’ve admired for a long time, so it was an easy yes.

Do you think your casting is meta, considering what James Yoon’s journey represents in Hollywood?

I’m sure there is a way to read it that way. But for me, I’m thinking about my boyfriend a generation or two ago, and I think it’s better in terms of the social atmosphere back then and how that person was treated off set. It seemed more appropriate. In my mind, it was like a paean to my predecessors, my mentors. Many of the Asian American actors I was first introduced to were primarily stage actors and didn’t get all their paychecks in film or television. Those were the people I was thinking about. But yeah, I get it, especially if you’re young. Harold and Kumar go to White Castle. This may be the first time I’ve noticed the presence of Asian Americans on screen. So I can certainly see how someone might think that.

Do any of the ideas satirized in this episode resonate with you?

What I can relate to with the character of James Yeun is that our connection point is that he is trying to do his best in this role. What he didn’t do was criticize the big picture. Maybe today, when I look at a script, I tend to think, “In the original text, this character is not offensive or demeaning at all, but when you portray this person in context, it no longer makes sense or is inaccurate, and therefore the person itself doesn’t make sense. ” The positioning of the story itself may be questionable or racist. ” I can certainly relate to the character of James. [not] Do that. That’s how we had to think. To some degree, I still live it.

Actually, you were already working with Hua Xuande when he was a supporting actor. cowboy bebop. Hoa said on the set that he was inspired by the way you treated others, and that if he were number one on the call sheet, he would want to be a leader like you. Who would have thought that would happen just a few years later?

Yeah, what the hell does that mean? (smile) So many Asian Americans of my generation grew up in some kind of all-white environment. Men in particular felt like they had “less than” problems to deal with during adolescence. As we grew up, we had to find ways to deal with the weight of being “less than.” When I became an actor and moved to Los Angeles, I met some guys from Hawaii who really opened up to me because they walked tall. They seemed radically different, and I was so fascinated by them, and when I think about it, it’s probably because they grew up in a majority Asian culture, and therefore they Because they have a different way of thinking. And in a gentler, very subtle way, I felt that for Hoa right away. He grew up in Australia, so I don’t think he grew up in a predominantly Asian area, but he still had some of that vibe. Or maybe because he’s a surfer, there’s a different balance and grace to his gait. Anyway, my impression of him was, “This is new blood.” I liked this attitude and he was a good actor. The role didn’t really show me the breadth of what the guy was capable of, but I thought, oh, I’m so fascinated by him, and I love him. I’m not sure how far someone can go based on something like that, but I thought: Post it.[[[[Mime taking notes on post-its.]But I really liked him from the beginning and I think I was drawn to his energy.

James Yoon’s story centers around his extensive torture scenes. David Duchovny’s character has a lot to do with methodology, but James Yeun is the one who chooses to stay on the torture rack for an entire lunch break, pushing himself to the point of vomiting. It sounds like a very spot-on choice, and perhaps a deliberate statement about the sacrifices required of actors who don’t get opportunities like this every day. But what do you think about it?

It correlates with the level of power on the set. I’m not trained as an actor, so I don’t know what it actually means to give my all, but there are ways to focus on what I do in my private life, and I’m not sure what it means to be fully committed to the role. There are also ways to be proactive when acting. Interfering with how others do their jobs. And one of the girlfriends of the characters in that storyline was abusive and selfish in the way she worked. And while another actor’s way of working may be similar, it was decidedly less abusive and did not interfere with how others did their work.Who can afford not to collaborate with other cast and crew members to keep their jobs? Must Would you like to cooperate?

I think that’s one of the intersections between the 1970s set and 2024.

Slightly (smile).

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“This story contains spoilers for Episode 4 of The Sympathizer, “Give Us Some Good Lines.” ]You hear about James Yoon before you meet him. Episode 4 of “The Sympathizer”…
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