vulture festival 2021

John Cho Was Afraid He’d Be ‘Too Sexy’ As Cowboy Bebop’s Spike

John Cho, Mustafa Shakir, and Daniella Pineda in Cowboy Bebop. Photo: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Vulture

Did John Cho have any concerns when it came to portraying the iconic Spike Spiegel in Netflix’s live-action Netflix adaptation of Cowboy Bebop? Just one: At a Vulture Festival panel, Cho joked that his only fear was that he would be “too sexy” playing the space cowboy. Cho also addressed the pressure he felt playing a beloved character, and whether people were going to like the series at all. But as he continued to work on the production, the actor said his anxieties went away as he, along with his castmates, saw the passion for the anime from the crew members. And whenever Cho had any doubt about his ability to play Spike, he’d remind himself that Spike was someone “who walks around knowing he can do this,” an attitude he tried to emulate himself.

Daniella Pineda also spoke at the panel about about how women “shouldn’t be afraid to stand up for themselves even if it’s a silly little video” when discussing her video response to hate she was getting when she was cast as Faye Valentine. Pineda also brought up the costuming for her character and how the team did try to style her in the original anime look — but in the end, the show decided to style Valentine based on how she would operate in the real world when deciding on her look.

Mustafa Shakir, who plays Jet Black, said his main hope for fans is that they have fun watching the series and enjoy themselves after a long two years. He and Cho outlined how much fun they had themselves during the production, with the pair enjoying regular “laugh-offs”: silly stretches where they would try to make each other crack up. Cowboy Bebop comes out on Netflix Friday, November 19.

John Cho Feared He’d Be ‘Too Sexy’ As Cowboy Bebop’s Spike