Cowboy Bebop is one of the biggest anime series to ever come from Japan, and its reputation stands pristine decades after its release. The gritty space-western helped expand the medium globally with its eye-catching story and heroes. Of course, many know Netflix is on the cusp of releasing its live-action take on the anime with actor John Cho at the lead. And in a recent chat, the star addressed naysayers who believe he is too old to play Spike Spiegel.
The whole thing began when Cho spoke with Vulture about Cowboy Bebop. The show, which will be debuting this November, is set to bring part of the glorious anime to life. The magazine asked how Cho felt about netizens writing off his portrayal prematurely given his age, and Cho had a stark answer for those judging him.
"First of all, I couldn't have done it when I was 27," Cho said. "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."
Continuing, the actor said he understands why some Cowboy Bebop fans might be upset by his age. Cho just celebrated his 49th birthday this year, and despite his youthful appearance, some fans have criticized him for making Spike look too old. This was one of Cho's biggest fears when signing up for the adaptation, but he had "to get over" the anxiety.
"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," Cho shared. "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."
Soon, fans will get to see how Cho's take on Spike will go over. Cowboy Bebop is expected to drop its 10-episode season on November 19, so be sure to keep an eye out for the release.