John Cho Discusses Worries of Inevitable Anime Comparisons for Live-Action ‘Cowboy Bebop'

“The biggest fear that I had was I was too old.”

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Ahead of the premiere of Netflix‘s live-action Cowboy Bebop series, star John Cho recently sat down with Vulture‘s E. Alex Jung to discuss his role as Spike Spiegel.

A major part of the chat involved Cho revealing that one of his biggest concerns is the inevitable comparisons with Shinichiro Watanabe’s anime source material. “This interview is all about me freaking out. But the amount of thought and worry and effort and number of days I’ve logged thinking about Spike is now equaling the fear I have about the reaction,” said Cho. The Korean-American actor noted that a torn ACL injury sustained during filming in New Zealand resulted in ample physical therapy and recovery time that offered a chance for him to think about how audiences would react to his portrayal of the iconic character.

Cho said, “The biggest fear that I had was I was too old. I knew people were gonna have issues with my age. And I had to get over it…I was gonna look different than a 25-year-old guy. 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.” Adding that he actively wanted to not create a scene-by-scene remake but was adamant in getting the original composer of the anime, Yoko Kanno, to handle scoring the series. “I didn’t think the show should go forward without her involvement. [She is] too integral to the show. Our iteration minus her would suffer too much.” Also admitting that he wasn’t familiar with Cowboy Bebop but became immersed in the anime after reading the script for the first episode of the live-action adaptation, calling it “tremendous.”

The live-action Cowboy Bebop series starring John Cho is set to hit Netflix November 19.

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