"There's a sort of gravity to playing the dad that's fun"
John Cho has discussed what it was like playing a father in Searching.
As a father in real life, Cho said he feels his age reflected in directors’ decision to cast him as a dad. “I guess it means I’m old,” Cho said with a laugh.
Nonetheless, the 46-year-old found joy in the role. “There’s a sort of gravity to playing the dad that’s fun,” he said. “It’s the highest stakes imaginable.”
In portraying father David in Searching who is trying to find his missing daughter Margot, Cho said acting as a parent was dear to him. “My primary relationship now is with my wife, but I think in terms of what defines me as a person, it’s that parent-child relationship,” Cho said.
Although the film is considered a success for Asian representation, the ethnicity of Cho’s character actually holds little significance in the film’s plot.
“It’s interesting, I’m sort of working through all that myself,” the Korean American said. “On the one hand, I feel like it’s very non-Asian because it’s so much more expressive. But that’s maybe a stereotype that I’ve maybe believed in and that is not real, you know? On the other hand, I really feel like it’s very specifically Asian.”
“I was more focusing on it being specific. So, I was trying to draw from my own life, and sort of be who I was as a dad as much as possible,” he added. “I don’t have any experience being non-Asian and a dad. …[I was] leaning into my own specificity, if that’s a political act at all.”
In related news, Searching producer Sev Ohanian recently confirmed theories that the film had an alien invasion subplot.