John Cho on Searching and how Asian-American representation can progress in Hollywood
Is it time for an Asian superhero in Hollywood? “That would be great,” says John Cho, “don’t you think?”
The Searching star sat down with EW on Facebook Live today to answer fans’ questions on a range of topics, including how Hollywood might be handling Asian-American representation on screen following the milestone success of Crazy Rich Asians and Netflix’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before this past weekend.
“One of the things I love about [Searching] is that it’s kind of from the future, in that it behaves as if we’re past this moment where we’re talking about representation, and there is no need to talk anymore about it because it’s normalized,” the actor said. “It’s an Asian-American family and it’s very specifically a Korean-American family, and yet that doesn’t have any bearing on the story that we’re telling, so in that way I think it’s an example of the endgame for me.”
Cho was also asked, “With the recent wave of Asian actors and actresses in non-martial-arts films, what other stories do you think should be explored?”
“I think the answer is that we don’t have to sit here and devise what kinds of stories Asians should be involved with because I don’t know that that is asked of actors of other races, so I think the whole gamut should be explored,” he replied.
In Searching, directed by newcomer Aneesh Chaganty and out in theaters on Friday, Cho stars as David Kim, a single father whose teenage daughter, Margot (Michelle La), disappears after a study session. While a police detective (Debra Messing) undertakes the search for Margot, David turns to his daughter’s computer to try to uncover clues about her friends and where she might have gone — and quickly realizes he doesn’t really know the life his daughter was living outside their home. The entire film is told through computer and smartphone screens, adding a contemporary twist to the thriller genre.
Watch the video above for more from Cho, as he fields questions about whether he’ll do another Star Trek movie and what his favorite scenes in Searching are.