As Harold and Kumar prepare to escape from Guantanamo Bay later this month, star John Cho is already feeling the heat of the spotlight for his next role: he portrays Sulu in the upcoming Star Trek remake.
In a recent interview with TV Guide, Cho said: "I'm discovering how much of a basic building block of American citizenship it is. Everyone knows something about Star Trek."
With all the Trekkies clamoring for the next feature and analyzing every leaked spoiler regarding it, Cho's trying not to let the legacy of the role stress him out.
"You don't want to become paralyzed by that," he said, adding that Sulu "was a pioneer character," for Asian-American actors and that "was definitely part of why [getting the role] was so important to me. I wanted to participate in it. I wanted to be a part of that legacy."
Cho takes the chance to showcase himself as an Asian-American actor seriously. He said it was also central to his views on the role as Harold in the original film and now in Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, as well.
"In doing Harold," Cho said, "the biggest burden is worrying about what Asians think.... It is something I always fret over when I take a role. I try to say no to things that I feel are not going to be good for Asians. Comedy is particularly tough.
You want to be able to make fun of race and you don't want to exclude yourself and your own race from the equation. So you want to make yourself vulnerable, but you don't want to cross a line, either."