Last Friday afternoon, Korean Beacon caught up with Danny Cho of Ktown Cowboys at Cafe Mak in Koreatown, Los Angeles. Together, we talked about the popular web series (you can watch all the episodes here) and their exciting plans of turning it into a feature film—Danny even shared some insight into the movie’s plot!
KB: How would you describe Ktown Cowboys to those who aren’t familiar with the series?
DANNY CHO: Ktown Cowboys is just a story about boys being boys. Whether you’re black, white, Latino…It’s just the camaraderie between friends. I think that’s what makes Entourage so good. It’s just a group of guys being guys. [Entourage] is set in a Hollywood mansion and all that, but the dynamics of the friends make it watchable. I wanted to kind of recreate that but recreate it with stories about my friends and me. It’s a story about a group of boys just having a good night out. They just all happen to be Korean, and it’s all set in Koreatown, LA.
KB: So was Entourage a direct inspiration or are there others?
DANNY CHO: Well, I mean there were a lot of inspirations. Zombieland was an inspiration. The way there were lessons and the graphics that popped up. Those were directly from Zombieland. Entourage, definitely, in terms of the bantering and the ballbusting amongst the friends. A lot of those guys’ movies. Swingers. It’s all those films and shows that reflect the guys-hanging-out situations.
KB: Have you incorporated your own life experiences into the series? Because you’re the creator and the writer, right?
DANNY CHO: Yep. All those things that happened in the series are either things that have happened to me or the director Daniel Park. I wouldn’t say that I’m the only creator. Daniel and I sat down once. We were drunk. His girlfriend at the time was actually editing a video where I’m in a dress, and we were watching her edit it. Daniel was like, ‘Wow, why don’t we do something about Ktown, but not a comedy per se. Not a ‘slap-sticky’ comedy.’ I said, ‘Yeah,’ and so we sat down and talked about it. The next week, I started writing it.
KB: In the series, you and the other Ktown Cowboys really do seem like a close group of friends. Did you already know the other actors before Ktown Cowboys? Or if not, then how did casting come together?
DANNY CHO: I wrote the series with their characters in mind, meaning, I knew all of them. Because some of them weren’t really actors, I didn’t want them to stretch and try to pretend to be something that they’re not. I tried to make sure that their characters were similar to their personalities.
KB: Seeing as how the web series was so successful, what can we expect from the feature film and how will it be different from the web series?
DANNY CHO: Well, for the web series, the whole thing happens in one night. That’s not going to be the case for the movie…I hate to use the word ‘epic’ but the story is going to be a little wilder. It’s going to be more intense hopefully in terms of the tension. It’s going to be more of a movie structure as opposed to drawing it out as a series where you can wait until episode five for character development. You gotta develop the characters right away. It’s a prequel too. The movie is set before what happened in the web series.
KB: Can you share with us any other plot lines or teasers?
DANNY CHO: The main character is Jason. He was the cousin who introduced John to everyone in the web series. This story is based on Jason’s life. There’s gonna be an evil antagonist who’s kind of shady. I can’t tell you more because the whole script is all twists and turns, but it’s not as light-hearted as the web series was.
KB: How far along is production, and when should we expect the feature film? What cities are you hoping to release the film?
DANNY CHO: Well, we’re going to start shooting in September of this year. In terms of cities, wherever they want us…Hopefully, there will be a buzz about it, and we’re definitely going to put money into marketing it. Heck, if it’s Iowa or NYC, it really doesn’t matter to me. Both would be great, but wherever they want to see it.
KB: Where can fans find more information about Ktown Cowboys?
Danny Cho’s success as a comedian and an actor further proves that the entertainment industry is becoming more aware of the talents of Korean-Americans. With his growing popularity, Danny Cho continues to rise as he embarks on his first comedy tour in Korea, beginning with a show in the Itaewon district of Seoul.
Watch the Ktown Cowboys talk about the movie themselves, and learn how you can help get this film on the big screen!
[Photo of Danny Cho: Melissah Yang/Korean Beacon; Ktown Cowboys/Stills: Ktown Cowboys' Facebook page]