John Cho on ‘Searching’ and the Challenges of Acting Opposite a Computer

     August 23, 2018

For most of its runtime, Searching is pretty much just John Cho staring at a computer screen, and yet (or perhaps—more accurately—thus) the film is completely riveting, a testament to the actor’s talent. Cho stars as David Kim, a widowed father whose only daughter suddenly goes missing, prompting him on a desperate search to find out just what happened to her. There’s a real subtlety to Cho’s work in the film, especially— since given the conceit, almost all his shots are in close-up. It would be easy to oversell or go ‘big,’ but Cho wisely steers away from any histrionics, giving a subtle and heartbreaking performance within the high-concept thriller.

searching-posterIn the following interview with John Cho, he discusses the difficulties of shooting in front of a computer screen, finding commonalities between him & the character, and how the film affected his views on technology. In addition, he also gives updates on his future roles in The Grudge and The Oath. For the full interview, watch above.

John Cho:

  • John Cho reflects on a service that would delete his search history before death…
  • How did Searching affect Cho’s views on technology?
  • Does he ever look at his own search history?
  • What are the challenges in acting opposite a computer screen?
  • What did Cho base the performance on without anyone to interact with?
  • What was the most difficult scene to shoot?
  • When Cho gets a script, what tends to be the first thing he does to find the character?
  • Who does he play in The Grudge?
  • Who does he play in The Oath?
  • Do the-powers-that-be ever give Cho any updates on a potential new Star Trek?

Here is the official synopsis for Searching:

After David Kim (John Cho)’s 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a local investigation is opened and a detective is assigned to the case. But 37 hours later and without a single lead, David decides to search the one place no one has looked yet, where all secrets are kept today: his daughter’s laptop. In a hyper-modern thriller told via the technology devices we use every day to communicate, David must trace his daughter’s digital footprints before she disappears forever.

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