Japan’s eP Cho talks passion for acting and new film ‘Parallel Hate’

When eP Cho took his first-ever acting class, something felt different. It was fateful, as if he was destined for that moment, and nothing had truly fulfilled him until that point. He had always loved film but had never considered it as a career. When he first began performing, he knew he had found his niche. When he moved to Japan, he immediately began immersing himself in the film scene, and with a decorated resume and 10 years of experience, he has never looked back.

“It’s the most rewarding and exciting work I’ve ever done. Initially, acting as a character was fun and interesting, but more than that, I could feel my passion for my life when I performed. You don’t always feel alive just because you like to do something but acting always gives me that energy,” said Cho.

Cho brings his passion and energy for his craft into every project he embarks on. Whether guest starring on the TBS production of My Fair Lady or starring in the award-winning film A Little World, Cho brings his A-game and leaves audiences with no question as to why he is so in-demand for what he does. He focuses on his character and the story, taking viewers on a journey.

“I believe that through media, people learn so many things these days and representation matters. As an actor, I aim to educate people about our differences, uniqueness, and overall self-acceptance through my work. I think I can also learn things from the process and strongly believe I can add a positive impact to the world I’ve received from all the creators and actors before me,” said Cho.

Cho’s most recent success is the new film Parallel Hate. Set in Los Angeles, the film tells the story of Ayana, a black girl learning fashion design for her late brother. Kana, on the other hand, is a struggling Asian stand-up comedian. One day, these girls come across someone under very similar circumstances beyond the cyberspace. Cho was immediately intrigued by the story.

“Even though you are in a different country within a different body, the challenge and feelings are the same. We live in different conditions with different societies and cultures; however, we all struggle with the same things. This film points that out so we can understand more about each other, and I love that part of the movie. If we get the chance to learn more about each other and are willing to do it, the world would be better,” he said.

Cho was invited onto the project by Director T.J. Yoshizaki. Yoshizaki was looking for an actor who could speak both English and Japanese, and liked that Cho has a large fanbase that would want to see any project he is in. Therefore, he was cast as a fashion designer in the Tokyo office. The character is a young designer trying to pitch his idea but is rejected immediately without any explanation, which is a common work environment in Japan according to Cho and one he could connect with on a personal level. 

“Old feelings came back to me when I was acting, and I realized I’ve learned so many things compared to when I was in Japan. I had a similar experience before; it was natural, and I had fun playing the character. It was interesting to perform a Japanese character with Japanese people in LA because I used to work in Japan, so I felt somehow very familiar but at the same time very different. The words and people were pretty much the same, but the system and mood were a bit different,” he described.

Cho’s character was vital to the story as it allowed audiences to see the personality of the main character who scolded this young fashion designer. The scene represented the younger generation’s reality in Japan. It gave the audience a relatable moment, which connected with audiences. 

Parallel Hate premiered at the iconic TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, where it also had a red-carpet event. It went on to several film festivals and won Best Score Short Film at the Golden State Film Festival and Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Short at the Marina Del Rey Film Festival earlier this year. Cho is very proud to have been part of a film that had such an impact.

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