The Godfather of Korean-American actors is still in his 30′s but it would be safe to say that John Cho is really the guy who paved the way for many young Korean-American actors into Hollywood. John Cho had a real breakout year. He was Sulu in this summer’s re-ignition of the Star Trek franchise, and he also found himself in a co-starring role in ABC’s FlashForward. That’s not just big for being a Korean-American actor, but that’s big for anyone in Hollywood: to get a co-starring role in a large scale movie franchise and then a leading role in a network television show in a single year. I’d call that a damn good year for any actor. And to make things real interesting, he found himself stretching the racial boundaries as the fiance of Zoey, played by Gabrielle Union. Big props to the writer for installing a Korean-American guy in a romantic relationship with an African-American gal. Oh and btw, just to finish off the year, John was once again named as one of People Magazine’s Sexiest Men Alive for the second year in a row.
John’s been in Hollywood for a long time and all that pounding of the pavement is finally paying off. When you think of Korean-Americans at the forefront of Hollywood, John Cho is probably the first guy that comes to mind. He’s come a long way from being the guy who said “MILF” in American Pie and smoked pot in his pursuit of White Castle burgers in Harold & Kumar. He’s really made it in Hollywood and has become truly recognized. There’s a good number of up and coming Korean-American actors in Hollywood trying to make it big, but they can all thank John Cho for being the pioneer and showing the way. And that’s why John Cho has beamed up to #4 as one our top ten most influential Korean-Americans in 2009.