John Cho feared his age would be an issue in playing Spike Spiegel in ‘Cowboy Bebop’

John Cho worried about age in Cowboy Bebop

John Cho has opened up about his biggest fear since he landed the lead role in Netflix’s live-action adaptation of “Cowboy Bebop.”

Too “old”: Speaking to Vulture, Cho, 49, revealed that his biggest fear when he was chosen to play the charismatic bounty hunter, Spike Spiegel, was his age.

  • I knew people were gonna have issues with my age. And I had to get over it,” Cho told the outlet. “I’m not a person who says age is just a number or whatever.”
  • Aside from looking “different than a 25-year-old guy,” Cho felt that the task would be physically harder, although he accepted the role anyway. “At some point, the opportunity is ‘Yes or no — do you wanna do it?’ And I did wanna do it. So I wasn’t gonna stop myself from doing it.”
  • While he believes the role would have suited him better when he was younger, the “Harold & Kumar” alum admitted, “In terms of my discipline, I am strangely better suited at this age.”
  • Cho suggested that young male actors do best in roles that require rage. At his age, he said he is better at “showing weakness and vulnerability and love.” “I don’t think I would’ve done justice to the emotional depth we tried to give Spike. There’s always a trade-off,” he said.

Physical preparation: Cho said he had to maintain a strict diet and undergo training to achieve athletic form for the role.

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  • “The regimen was to become functionally athletic rather than show-horse athletic. But, yeah, I had to watch what I ate. I did have to take my shirt off in the first episode, which was really stressful,” he told Vulture.

Other details: In 2019, Cho suffered a “freak accident” while filming a scene in “Cowboy Bebop.” He revealed that he tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the accident, adding that “for some reason, Netflix originally didn’t want to publicize what happened.”

  • Cho attributed the cause of the accident to “lack of sleep” as they had been filming all night.
  • The actor said he had to undergo surgery and went to rehab after. “I’m at home doing these knee exercises, and coming off the drugs, I was thinking about ‘Cowboy Bebop.’ Doing those knee exercises, I was like, ‘I gotta put my focus into this,’” he continued.

“Cowboy Bebop” is set for release on Nov. 19.

Featured Image via @johnthecho

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