It’s not easy trying to play a character that so many people know and love and John Cho apparently felt the pressure while playing Spike for the Netflix live-action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop. In a recent interview with Vulture, an interview he described as “all about me freaking out,” Cho talked about his fears on how fans will react to the show.
[T]he 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… I also thought that that was a recipe for encouraging unflattering comparisons. How could you do it better? You can’t. You have to do something a little different”
He discussed especially how these discussions happened with his hair. While not wanting to wear a wig while doing action scenes, Cho still wanted to have the look Spike is known for. “My discussions with hair and makeup were ‘We could do this exact version that would match the anime, but I want him to look like this is natural’ and ‘He just washes his face and goes.’ I had to try and make my hair grow as fast as possible before episode one.”
Despite all of the efforts he put in for the show, including rehabbing after a serious injury while filming, his biggest fear was trying to play the character when he’s 49 years old.
“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’m not a person who says age is just a number or whatever. It was gonna be harder — physically. And 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.”
Cowboy Bebop is set to release on Netflix on November 19th, 2021.