Man Crush Monday: John Cho

How much do I love John Cho? Let me count the ways in which this dashing actor has won my heart.

Let’s start with the super obvious:

1) He’s handsome AF. I mean, just take a look at those manly eyebrows (yes, I have been accused of being partial to strong eyebrows)! The facial symmetry? Those dark eyes! That strong jaw!

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2) He refuses to play racist caricatures and is known for non-stereotypical roles. Early in his career, a part he auditioned for in Big Fat Liar called for him to do a stereotypical accent and he didn’t take the part in protest. The director, Shawn Levy, then worked with him to ensure that Cho’s character had no accent.

Even the role that first made him famous–as the “MILF guy” in American Pie–was a departure for an Asian character. He continued fighting against type in Better Luck Tomorrow, a crime drama about overachieving Asian American high school students who are soon in over their heads. I remember watching the film in high school and being both shocked and excited that I was seeing Asian Americans represented in cinema who weren’t perfect, nerds, or some other one dimension.

Then of course, came the Harold & Kumar series. Two Asian American stoners who were the leads? Unheard of and yet so refreshing.

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And the short-lived Selfie gave Cho the distinction of being the first Asian American romantic lead in a TV show. Long overdue, in my opinion.

3) He’s inadvertently the face behind an anti-whitewashing movement: #StarringJohnCho. After it was announced that Scarlett Johansson would be taking the main role (a Japanese woman) in Ghost in the Shell, there was an uproar. #StarringJohnCho came out of that uproar. William Yu, a digital strategist in New York City, was jolted to recreate famous movie posters with John Cho replacing the male leads, especially after Yu saw a study that suggested diverse movie casts = more money at the box office (which should be such common sense, my two cents from the peanut gallery).

And it’s true–why couldn’t John Cho (or any other Asian male actor) be James Bond or a romantic lead in a movie?

4) He’s a talented (and funny) lip-syncer. The dubsmash videos he and his Star Trek costars created leading up to the release of the movie:

You can find many more at his Twitter feed, @JohnTheCho.

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Weinberg for The New York Times

Christine

Christine lives & works in New York City. She devours all things pop culture like they are astronaut ice cream (her favorite food). Shows she’s loving right now include Broad City, Nathan for You, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

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