Sunday, March 1, 2009

Move over, Harold.

The Orange County Register has a focus story on Justin Chon, the 27-year-old Korean-American Irvine resident who played a high school student in Twilight, a crazily popular movie about vegetarian vampires that my niece made me watch. In the movie he takes a shine to Kristen Stewart, who looks freakishly like my ex when she was a teen. 

Chon is also in Crossing Over, a movie in limited release this weekend that presents disconnected immigration stories about people trying to get legal status in Los Angeles. It features Harrison Ford, Ashley Judd, and Ray Liotta. Chon plays a Korean who came to the US as a teen. 

His father is supposedly a famous South Korean actor from a couple decades ago, but I'm having trouble tracking down the name. 

There is a growing presence of Korean-American actors on the big and small screens. There's John Cho (Harold of Harold & Kumar fame), and of course there's James Kyson Lee (of "Heroes" fame). 

Tim Kang, who plays California Bureau of Investigation cop Kimball Cho on CBS's "The Mentalist" is a departure from the could-be-nerds. His character is serious and professional, and the actor himself is tough-looking but without the annoying machismo. 

There are a lot of complaints among Asian-American activists that there are few depictions of Asian males as anything but nerds, which makes for disadvantageous stereotypes when it comes to dating and mating, so maybe Kang's image will work to erode those impressions and help Joe Kim and Jack Nguyen get a White girl. 

Should I have put an emoticon there?

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