Searching's John Cho Doesn't Like Being The First Asian-American To Headline A Thriller

searching John Cho's not happy

While John Cho has found success in a slew of movies and TV projects, it was only recently that the actor became the first Asian-American lead in a thriller on the big screen. He did this with Searching, a new movie from director Aneesh Chaganty about a young woman who disappears, leaving social media clues for her father to find. While the movie has earned some additional awareness due to John Cho leading the film, the actor recently revealed that he doesn't completely enjoy the notice for his role in the thriller. He outlined why, noting in a recent interview:

Listen... I'm just looking forward to the day when none of this is news. That's my take on it. It's exciting to be the first but it's a little sobering to learn that, too. I guess I no longer want to be the first Asian anything... because it means we haven't done it yet!

It's not that John Cho is mad about being in the spotlight for his role in Searching. Instead, he just seems to be waiting for the day when diversity casting in movies is no longer news. The fact that it took until 2018 for an Asian-American to lead a thriller to box office success is a bit shocking, but the audience's appetite for Searching has helped to spotlight the fact that diverse movies are not only catching on but viable to a wide audience at the box office. It may not have always been John Cho in the role, however. Elsewhere in the interview with the Herald Sun, John Cho even described passing on the original movie at first due to the heavy presence of technology and social media in the movie.

However, he has credited the director for pushing him in the right direction, previously telling CinemaBlend,

I had to be sold on it. Though I really loved the script, and the story was compelling, and I wanted to do a thriller, but I wasn't buying it shooting it on screens. I wanted it to look and feel like cinema, not a video. So I said no. I turned it down.

So far, Searching has made nearly $54 million worldwide. While that may not be as much as the moolah fellow Asian-led Crazy Rich Asians has brought in both domestically and internationally, it's still a big deal for a movie made on a lower budget and acquired for $5 million. While John Cho hopes to soon see the day when hearing about himself leading a thriller won't be the biggest news related to a movie he is starring in, for now, it has certainly helped bring more attention to the project. It's also a nice tie-in to the #starringJohnCho hashtag that ran around a couple of years ago. Audiences have seen the actor's star potential for a while, so it will be interesting to see what John Cho does next, especially with Star Trek 4 on hold. If you haven't caught Searching yet, you can find out what CinemaBlend thought about the flick or can catch Searching in theaters right now.

Plus, if you want to take a look at the slew of movies heading to theaters next year, be sure to peruse our 2019 movies schedule.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.