Two years after the hashtag #StarringJohnCho became viral, John Cho finally landed a leading man role in the thriller “Searching.”
The film, which is scheduled to be released by Sony Pictures’ Screen Gems division on August 24, makes history as the first mainstream thriller headlined by an Asian American actor in Hollywood.
With nearly 100 acting credits to his name, Cho is one of the most visible Asian American actors in Hollywood today.
Best known for his role as Harold Lee in the “Harold & Kumar” films and recently as Hikaru Sulu in the rebooted “Star Trek” franchise, Cho was the subject of the 2016 viral social media movement which campaigned for more Asian American actors to be cast in traditional leading roles.
The viral hashtag featured Cho re-imagined as the protagonist of popular action flicks and romantic comedies, with netizens using photoshop to cast the talented actor in the movies’ mock-up posters.
Cho eventually got to play a leading role in an indie drama “Columbus” a year later and now, finally, in a mainstream film via “Searching.”
“I accept that it’s a big deal. I’m excited,” Cho was quoted as saying during the first night of the 41st annual Asian American International Film Festival.
The event opened with a special advanced screening of Cho’s new film, Vanity Fair reports.
“I haven’t thought of that, but what is meaningful to me is seeing the image of a whole, loving Asian-American family [more] than anything else,” he remarked.
“It’s very rare in movies. The image of that is much more startling than it should be. It was surprising to me how powerful it was. I want the future to be where it’s completely normal to see an Asian-American family on-screen.”
“Searching” revolves around Cho’s character David Kim, who goes on a quest to find his missing daughter. Told entirely from a computer screen, the innovative film currently has a 90% approval rating based on 21 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.