Maybe sit down for this one because we weren’t prepared for it either: John Cho is 49. You wouldn’t know it by looking at him, but apparently hardcore Cowboy Bebop fans are aware of this surprising fact about the actor, and they’ve been voicing their concerns about him tackling the role of Spike Spiegel in Netflix’s live-action adaptation of the hit anime series ever since.
In the original series, Spike is only 27, so its understandable that fans would want a more age-appropriate actor, and in new interview, Cho readily admits that his age was the “biggest fear” for him as well. However, Cho also explains what made him push past the age difference and why he thinks being older will help add more depth to Spike even it required way more time in the gym than he would’ve liked. Via Vulture:
First of all, I couldn’t have done it when I was 27. I mean, maybe I would’ve been better suited athletically, but in terms of my discipline, I am strangely better suited at this age. I don’t think I would’ve done justice to the emotional depth we tried to give Spike. There’s always a trade-off. What young men are typically best at as actors is rage. And that might’ve been a more pronounced element in the character. What I’m better at, being older, is showing weakness and vulnerability and love. Those things are more accessible to me. Personally, I’d prefer the version I’m able to do now. That’s my taste.
While some fans were hyper-focused on Cho’s age, others were not as critical. In fact, there was a sizable freakout over Cho’s “lustrous” hair for the series, which caused the actor to trend back in June when Netflix offered up a quick teaser for Cowboy Bebop. Some were even saying Cho’s whole look is a “serve,” which we’re almost certain is a good thing.