Korean-American star John Cho is perhaps best known for his performances in the American Pie series or the stoner comedy Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle.

Cho is interested in characters who break the stereotypical Asian-American mould. 'I don't want to make films that are just about feeling Asian-American,' he says. 'They have to be about bigger things like love, war, jealousy and hatred.'

He speaks of an earlier turn in Justin Lin's Better Luck Tomorrow, a high-school story of Asian-American over-achievers turned criminals. 'It was a very memorable experience promoting it to the greater American community and the Asian-American community.'

Cho says he likes the problem-solving aspect of acting. 'It's the same for anything I'm interested in - breaking it down and tinkering with it. That's why rehearsals are my favourite part of acting. I like getting it right - the process - and exploring the themes and harmony.

'Now I'm getting to the age where I want to look for a project that will eventually go on my headstone,' says the 35-year-old.

He would be interested in doing a Charlie Kaufman script, or something by Steven Soderbergh. 'It seems to me that actors in his movies are better than they are in others,' he says. 'Wes Anderson and Sofia Coppola are interesting, too.'

Cho decided to become an actor when he was in a college tour of the play The Woman Warrior, based on the novel by Maxine Hong Kingston. 'It was one of my favourite books, and I discovered that acting was such a more active way of studying the text.'

Born in Seoul, Cho left for LA when he was six - a little too young to retain the language.

'People say my accent is good when I speak Korean, but language is such an intrinsic part of acting, I wouldn't want to take on roles without understanding what I was saying.'

He stars this year in Michael Kang's West 32nd, a Korea-town gangster film that played Tribeca and makes its international premiere at Pusan.

Cho says he is excited to be going back to 'the homeland' for the festival and Star Summit Asia. 'A lot must have changed, and it's an interesting time in Korea cinematically.'


Contact: Gersh Agency, (1) 310 274 6611


West 32nd (2007)
Dir: Michael Kang
Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle (2004)
Dir: Danny Leiner
Better Luck Tomorrow (2002)
Dir: Justin Lin
American Pie (1999)
Dir: Paul Weitz


Harold & Kumar 2 (2008)
Dirs: Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg