Tag Archives: John Cho

koream 2014 covers

KoreAm Journal’s 2014 Covers

As 2014 draws to a close, KoreAm takes a look back at this past year’s cover stories.

January 2014

tiger jk koream cover jan 2014Read Tiger JK’s cover story here.

February 2014

arden cho koream feb 2014 coverRead Arden Cho’s cover story here.

March 2014

run river north koream mar 2014 coverRead Run River North’s cover story here

April 2014

ej ok koream april 2014 coverRead E.J. Ok’s cover story here.

May 2014

sandra oh koream may 2014 coverRead Sandra Oh’s cover story here

June 2014

sung kang koream june 2014 coverRead Sung Kang’s cover story here.

July 2014

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Read the cover story “Asian Americans: The New White?” here.

August/September 2014

shin-soo choo koream aug 2014 coverRead Shin-soo Choo’s cover story here.

October/November 2014

john cho koream oct nov 2014 coverRead John Cho’s cover story here

December 2014/January 2015

randall park dec jan 2015 coverRead Randall Park’s cover story here

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Justin Lin to Direct ‘Star Trek 3′

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo
reera@iamkoream.com

The Fast & Furious director Justin Lin has signed on to direct Star Trek 3, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Lin will be replacing Roberto Orci, who stepped down from the director’s chair in early December. The film would have marked the directorial debut of Orci, who wrote the first two installments of Paramount’s rebooted Star Trek franchise with his former writing partner Alex Kurtzman.

J.J. Abrams directed both 2009’s Star Trek and 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness, but chose not to return for the third film in order to helm Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

According to Deadline, Lin was the only one offered the project despite numerous top-rated directors being named as possible contenders. He apparently nabbed this year’s biggest open directing job because he became available after The Bourne Legacy sequel he was attached to direct with Jeremy Renner was delayed when Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass agreed to do another installment of The Bourne Identity series.

To put it simply, it was fate.

Lin comes to the wildly successful Star Trek franchise after helming Fast & Furious 6, Fast Five, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and Fast & Furious. Before he directs the third Star Trek installment, Lin will be directing the first two episodes of True Detective Season 2 for HBO.

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Photo courtesy of Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

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Unforgettable 2014: A Night of Glamour and Stars

story by JAMES S. KIM, with additional reporting by AMBER CHEN

In a toast to new beginnings and old friendships alike, the 13th annual Unforgettable gala, a blacktie affair held at The Legendary Park Plaza in Los Angeles on Dec. 5, celebrated both established and fresh faces of Asian Americans making their mark in film, television and music.

Some 500 guests had even more of a reason to raise their glasses of Royal Salute Scotch whisky this year: multimedia conglomerate London Trust Media, Inc. (LTM) officially announced its acquisition of KoreAm Journal and sister publication Audrey Magazine. Founded in 2009, LTM has a portfolio that includes Feel Ghood Music and Private Internet Access, a VPN provider. The glitzy event honored veteran actors Ming-Na Wen and John Cho and bestowed Breakout Star of the Year awards upon Arden Cho and Ki Hong Lee. Wen was Audrey’s second cover model when the fashion and beauty magazine first launched 11 years ago. John Cho has graced the cover of the nearly 25-year-old KoreAm no fewer than four times over the course of his career.

Actor Brain Tee (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift) and actress Karen David (The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior) honored Cho with the first of his two awards of the evening: Actor of the Year, for Cho’s co-starring role on ABC’s short-lived sitcom Selfie.

“There must be some mistake, my show was canceled,” Cho quipped upon receiving the award. The actor, whose film credits include the American Pie franchise, the Harold and Kumar trilogy and the Star Trek film installments, also received the evening’s Royal Salute Mark of Respect award.

john cho award speech

In his first speech of the evening, the actor gave a heartfelt thank you to his father, who was seated in the audience, before noting to the crowd that his parents didn’t take his acting career seriously until they saw a short profile on him in the Korea Times.

Reflecting on his career, Cho also thanked KoreAm for its long tradition of covering Korean Americans in the industry and elsewhere.

“I’ve seen KoreAm develop from …[being] printed on newspaper,” Cho said in his second speech of the night. “I’ve seen other Asian American publications come and go. What I believe you’re doing that separates [you from] those [publications] that have fallen by the wayside is you keep pressing into Korean American issues. You’re doing features on comfort women, adoptees, sports figures. You’re spanning the breadth of the Korean and Korean American experience. I applaud you for that.”

Unforgettable sponsor Royal Salute applauded this year’s recipients.

john cho mark of respect award

“We were honored to be a part of this year’s Unforgettable Awards to honor actor John Cho with the Royal Salute Mark of Respect Award,” said Laurent Cutier, Director of Scotch and Single Malt Portfolio, Pernod Ricard USA. “John truly embodies the Royal Salute spirit of leadership, dedication to community, and passion for producing quality work and is such a great example for future Asians and Asian Americans looking to break into the entertainment business. Congratulations to John and all the rest of the award recipients this year.”

Former San Diego news anchor Lee Ann Kim, the executive director at Pacific Arts Movement, and actor Jimmy O. Yang served as the night’s co-emcees. Los Angeles-based ABC sports anchor Rob Fukuzaki and actress Lynn Chen (Saving Face) presented the Actress of the Year award to Wen (best known for her critically acclaimed performance in The Joy Luck Club and Disney’s Mulan), who said in her acceptance speech that playing a “kick-ass” character on ABC’s action drama series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was a “dream job.”

“It was a really tough launch and was a major undertaking,” Wen recalled of Audrey’s early days, “so it’s fantastic that so many years later now [the magazine] is merging with a company that’s going to try and expand it. It’s great!”

ming na speech

Fresh off his “amazing experience” playing the young protagonist Hiro in Disney blockbuster Big Hero 6, Ryan Potter, co-presented, with K-pop artist G.NA, the Female Breakout Star of the Year award to Arden Cho for her role in MTV’s Teen Wolf.

Upon receiving her award, Cho told the audience she was “grateful,” but felt the award was premature, as her dual acting-singing career is just getting underway.

“So many amazing, talented Asian American actors and actresses have paved the way for me,” she said. “It feels surreal that I am now a part of that movement, and with that I also feel a sense of responsibility. I hope I can encourage more Asian American artists to pursue their talents and dreams, despite the obstacles and rejections.

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The Male Breakout Star of the Year award was given to Ki Hong Lee for his role in the sci-fi action thriller film The Maze Runner.

The 28-year-old accepted the honor via video, since he was out of town filming The Maze Runner sequel.

“For those of you who are still trying to figure out what to do with your lives, just know that there’s a community of Korean Americans in the industry who are willing to help you and support you,” Lee encouraged in his video speech. “Please don’t be afraid to reach out.”

As the evening’s  guests feasted on a three course dinner of mixed greens, galbijjim and jumbo prawn, along with rum raisin bread pudding for dessert, courtesy of KAY12 catering, they also enjoyed performances by some of the best Asian American artists in town. Urban dance group KINJAZ kicked off the evening’s entertainment with a mesmerizing, impeccably-synchronized routine.

Recording artist and The Voice Season 5 winner Tessanne Chin gave one heck of a performance, singing Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing,” at her first Unforgettable—a “bolt of lightning,” John Cho said. After a busy year touring for her new album, Chin said she was looking forward to some downtime for the rest of the year.

“Seeing my family, good food, doing nothing for a week or two—that sounds like bliss to me right now,” Chin said, on the red carpet.

Unforgettable 2014 solo performers

Choreographer and dancer Mike Song teamed up with beat box champion Terry Im, a.k.a. KRNFX, for an entertaining routine of their own featuring intricate steps and beatboxing sounds. Their unique performance brought down the house.

Musician David Choi provided guitar accompaniment while Arden Cho performed a number that had the crowd joining in. G.NA, in her first Unforgettable, showered the room with K-pop with her hit singles “I’ll Back Off So You Can Live” and “Black and White.”

Korean hip-hop icons Yoon Mi-rae, Tiger JK and Bizzy, artists represented by Feel Ghood Music, an LTM subsidiary, capped off the evening’s performances with their singles “Sweet Dream” and “Get It In,” in an encore performance from last year’s Unforgettable. London Trust Media CEO Sung Park said he felt nothing but optimism for the future of KoreAm, Audrey and Unforgettable.

“LTM is honored to carry on and carry forward the publications and Unforgettable to the next level,” he said. “We take the wisdom from the past, the courage to push boundaries today, and we will create new, exciting opportunities for the future.”

Park added, “[Our] goal is to innovate Unforgettable to become a bridge and a platform for not only Asian Americans, but Asians internationally to be recognized and honored.”

KoreAm publisher James Ryu, who cofounded the magazine with his father in 1990, expressed the same optimism.

“They represent a different generation,” he said, of LTM’s leadership. “They’re also a tech company, and we’re hoping that they’ll help us with our online presence. I know that they’re going to be bringing new ideas and a new direction to our magazines.”

tiger jk james ryu“Bear meets Tiger:” Tammy Ryu, James Ryu and Tiger JK.

yoon mirae carpetBizzy, Yoon Mirae and Tiger JK are dressed to the nines in their matching suits. 

han ji minSouth Korean actors Ko Soo and Han Ji Min look absolutely radiant.

hostsLee Ann Kim, Jimmy O.Yang, hosts for the evening.

brian tee karen davidKaren David and Brian Tee applaud Actor of the Year John Cho.

special guests at tableSean Richard Dulake, John H. Lee, David Lee McInnis raise a toast while Fan Yang gives two thumbs up.

audience at tablesUnforgettable guests remain captivated all evening long. 

hosts tableRob Fukuzaki, Lynn Chen, Lee Ann Kim, Jimmy O. Yang and Louis Song enjoy dinner with their fellow guests.

anna akana tableAnna Akana, presenter, and her date beam at the camera.

arden ryan potterArden Cho greets Ryan Potter after receiving her award.

kinjaz perfKINJAZ kicks off the night’s performances with their signature tight choreography.

mike songTerry Im (KRNFX) and Mike Song mesmerize the crowd with their beatbox-dance combo.

lisa ling and john choDr. Paul Song, Lisa Ling and John Cho

Photography by ALEX HSIAO, LOUIS TRINH, KIM NGUYEN, CARISSA WOO and JOE SCARNICI/Getty

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Unforgettable was possible thanks to title sponsor Royal Salute and presenting sponsor DuraCoat, as well as the following corporate sponsors: Shiseido, Vistamar School, BBCN Bank, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Pulmuone, CBS Corporation, Bethel Counsel, Legal Zoom, Paramount, Sony, Warner Bros., Park Plaza; community sponsors: Sheppard Mullin, L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas, Measured Media, Daewoo Security, Ocean Radiation Oncology; hotel partner: Line Hotel; and airline partner: Asiana Airlines.

This article was published in the December/January 2015 issue of KoreAmSubscribe today! To purchase a single issue copy of the December/January issue, click the “Buy Now” button below. (U.S. customers only. Expect delivery in 5-7 business days).


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‘Selfie’ to Stream on Hulu

by STEVE HAN | @steve_han
steve@iamkoream.com

ABC’s romantic comedy series Selfie, starring John Cho and Karen Gillan, has found a new home on Hulu.

The video streaming site announced Monday that it has agreed to pick up Selfie after ABC canceled the Warner Bros. show earlier this month. Hulu will release the the six unaired episodes on Hulu and Hulu Plus on a weekly basis starting Tuesday, the series creator Emily Kapnek announced on Twitter. The episodes will also be available on ABC.com.

ABC scrapped Selfie from its Tuesday night lineup after the series opened with an underwhelming 5.3 million viewers and a 1.6 ratings among adults aged between 18 and 49, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Manhattan Love Story was also taken out of ABC’s lineup for the same reason.

This is not the first time Hulu has adopted an axed ABC Comedy. Last year, the streamer hosted the remaining episodes of Apartment 23  on its site after ABC canceled the show due to poor ratings.

Photo courtesy of Hollywood.com

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LINK ATTACK: Ki Hong Lee, Millennials in NKorea, Veterans Day

How Millennials Are Shaking North Korea’s Regime
“My generation, they’re not really worshiping the Kim regime sincerely, just pretending. That’s what we call the black market generation,” Yeonmi Park tells NBC News.

SKorean Province Donates $100K for Jersey City’s Vandalized War Memorial
“The veterans never expected that the Korean people would remember what they fought for 60 years ago, but they do appreciate the sacrifice you guys made,” said Jersey City Councilman Yun.

Maze Runner Star Ki Hong Lee Navigates His Way Through Hollywood
“I feel that the Korean community has my back in terms of what I’ve done and where I’ve come from. I appreciate that very much,” Ki Hong Lee tells The Korea Times.

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 4.10.39 PMPhoto courtesy of Ki Hong Lee

Korean Laker Girl Sujan Pang: Defying Expectations
Laker Girl Sujan Pang talks to Korea Times about her journey to joining arguably the most prestigious cheerleading squad in the sports world.

Sundance Institute/Asian American Feature Film Fellowship
The Sundance Institute is currently accepting applications from Asian American filmmakers for the Asian American Feature Film Fellowship. Deadline is Dec. 15.

Why “Selfie’s” Cancellation is a Massive Shame: This Was the Most Promising Interracial Couple on TV
““Selfie’s” cancellation is a blow for the movement of Getting John Cho Laid On-Screen — the superficial arm of the larger organization titled Hey TV, Not Everyone Is White, In Case You Hadn’t Noticed.”

selfiePhoto courtesy of ABC/Eric McCandless

A Brief History of Political Collaborations Between Latinos and Asians in America
Hyphen magazine covers the history of longstanding collaborations forged by Latinos and Asians in America.

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Starbucks’ Foreigner-friendly Policy on WiFi Upsets Koreans
“Starbucks in Korea has come under criticism from Koreans who have discovered that the coffee giant has been demanding more personal information from Korean customers than foreigners to use its free WiFi service.”

Korean Officials Under Fire After Mentioning a Tax on Being Single
“Would more South Koreans shack up and produce offspring if the government raised the price of being single with a new tax?”

 

Veterans Day Remembrance: America’s ‘First Korean War Bride’ Comes Home
“Crowds cheered excitedly, whistles tooted. Seattle and the U.S. were welcoming the first Korean war bride to arrive in America, Mrs. Johnie Morgan, home with her sergeant husband.”

141110-wayne-miller-korean-bride-01Photo courtesy of Wayne Miller/Magnum

Two Korean Americans Throw in Names for L.A. City Council
“General elections may be over for 26 Korean Americans who ran for office, but for two more political hopefuls — District 4 candidate David Ryu and District 10 candidate Grace Yoo — the race for the Los Angeles City Council in next year’s March 3 election has just begun.”

First Look at the Coming-of-Age Teen Comedy Soul Searching 
“The upcoming indie feature film Seoul Searching is a coming-of-age teen comedy written and directed by Benson Lee. Set in the 1980s, the film is based on Benson’s personal experiences in 1986 at a government-sponsored summer camp for Koreans from around the world to learn about their heritage.”

Northridge Woman Recounts Challenges of Being First Asian-American Woman to Serve in U.S. Navy
“Susan Anh Cuddy was the first Asian-American woman in the U.S. Navy`s Waves program. She joined in 1942 and served during the cold war. Part of her duties included breaking enemy codes.”

5 Asian Authors Who Should Be Taught in Every High School
Audrey Magazine compiles five prominent Asian authors that should be introduced to the American education system.

Featured photo courtesy of Humanrightsfoundation.org

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JOHN CHO, KAREN GILLAN

In Defense of Millennials, from a ‘Selfie’ Fan

by GRACE KANG

#thestruggle has been the unofficial hashtag slogan of my post-grad life since June 2013 when my peers and I were herded by the thousands through commencement. As we haphazardly tossed our caps and tassels into the air, I shouted, “Finally, the great adventure of financial debt and accrued interest can begin!” Although dozens of those within earshot of me laughed, it was in commiseration rather than mirth. The reality is, student loans and a scrubland job market confront 99 percent of the Millennial generation. But we knew that was coming the moment we posed bleary-eyed for our student ID pictures as incoming freshman at UC-Riverside four years earlier.

Although the media loves to depict millennials as unmotivated leeches with Internet access, we are out there and struggling (I mean if you want some real bloodsuckers, check out richkidsofinstagram.tumblr.com). On the other hand, the star of ABC’s soon-to-be-axed sitcom “Selfie,” millennial Eliza Dooley, is living the #instagood life, with her own place in SoCal, a steady income and a no-holds-barred social life. It’s a glamorous far cry from #thestruggle of many twenty-somethings who find themselves in a bizarre alternate “Hunger Games”-style universe in which the arena is a job market mainly consisting of part-time, minimum-wage or entry-level positions that require anywhere from two to five years of experience. For recent postgrad applicants, coming armed with an internship on your resume is a lot like wielding a pot lid to fight the other tributes.

Selfie-ABC-John-Cho-Karen-Gillan(Photo courtesy of Hypable)

Eliza Dooley (played by the Scottish actress Karen Gillan) seems a lot more like a mashup of the Plastics and Reese Witherspoon’s character in Legally Blonde minus the conniving cutthroat attitude of the former and Harvard-educated intellect of the latter. Despite her 263,000-plus social media contacts, Eliza has no idea how to navigate interpersonal waters or go two minutes without checking her smartphone, which she uses to count calories, measure her blood alcohol levels and apparently validate her existence. Her character makes me think, ‘So this is how the Gen X minds behind “Selfie” view my generation,’ the way John Cho’s uptight, workaholic character Henry Higgs views Eliza—as attention-hungry, empty headed social media junkies in need of a rebrand.

Critics have slammed the sitcom’s fundamental misunderstanding of the relationship between millennials and the social media sphere, much of which was conceived and put into our hands by Generation X. A string of secondary characters on “Selfie” appears to be partly or almost entirely absent from these platforms (e.g. the twee book club ladies who IRL—that’s “in real life,” for those unfamiliar with social media speak—would probably get half their recipes/do-it-yourself/vintage inspiration from sites like Pinterest or the handful of the nondescript corporate boy characters who likely would spend hours burrowed deep in the crevasse of Reddit threads).

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Although it’s Eliza who approaches Henry, pleading for a revamp of her image, she possesses a strong self-awareness and is loyal to how she wants to be seen as opposed to how others would prefer to see her.

It’s funny how the MTV generation acts as if millennials should huff and puff and blow down the walls of social media, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s us—the Millenial generation—to whom they’re marketing. Millennials are aware of the fourth wall and we like to stare right back even if we, as Eliza once put it on the show, are prone to “kiss a hamburger, full makeup, no filter.” We know we’re both the product and the market. We know you’re watching – and sometimes scoffing – but we honestly don’t care.

The beauty of “selfie” culture and social media is that we, as the target demographic, have some input into what we get called out for—fairly or not. Sure, a huge unfortunate chunk of it stems from kids at music festivals appropriating Native American culture. But there’s the silver lining—like being able to send five-chinned funny face snaps to your friends, or taking non-photoshopped, airbrushed images and still getting “likes” and positive, uplifting comments on one’s social media feed.

It’s true that some of Henry’s throwbacks to the “olden days” on “Selfie” go right over my head, but there are moments invoking nostalgia, like the music of TLC’s “No Scrubs” or references to “Friends” and the elephant-shaped, tangerine-flavored “Kinder-Chewz” that brought me back to the days of chalky Flintstones vitamins. At the end of the day, “Selfie” is a lot like the way Eliza describes social media—as addictive “as crack.” The show has a clumsy charm much like the embarrassing yet endearing way Henry fumbles around Facebook. But it’s also what has my Tumblr dashboard exploding with viewers cooing over gifs and screencaps of Eliza and Henry.

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(Gifs courtesy of stealthebuttons.tumblr.com)

Eliza’s style of biting back against Gen X’s nitpicking and penchant for pigeonholing had me coming back for each new episode. (She’s like the living embodiment of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off,” which, like the show, is steadily growing on me.) But really, how can the network think to cancel a show where John Cho gallops up to Karen Gillan on a majestic steed? Oh, #thestruggle.

Featured photo courtesy of ABC/Eric McCandless.

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Grace J. Kang is a Korean American freelance writer with a degree in creative writing from UC Riverside, where she wrote scathing film reviews as the Arts and Entertainment editor at the campus paper. Her interests include egregious media consumption, intersectional feminism and free refills on iced coffee. She likes writing while listening to soundtracks from the Silent Hill games, which she says are “soothing” and “remind me of home.” You can follow her #instaunfamous self at username foxblot.

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selfie

ABC Deletes ‘Selfie’ Off Its TV Schedule

by REERA YOO

ABC won’t be taking another Selfie. The network has confirmed that it will not be ordering any additional episodes outside of the freshman comedy’s initial order of 13, according to Entertainment Weekly.

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Starring John Cho and Karen Gillan, Selfie follows the story of social media star Eliza Dooley who enlists the help of her company’s marketing guru, Henry Higgs, to help rebrand herself after a publicly humiliating incident. The show had garnered a lot of attention since it features an Asian American male romantic lead.

However, the social media-drenched show struggled to find an audience and its ratings continued to drop as the weeks progressed. ABC tried to raise numbers with back-to-back episodes this week, but Selfie only reeled in 3.7 and 3.2 million views, according to Nielsen. The show will reportedly air its seventh episode in its regular timeslot next Tuesday, but it’s unclear whether ABC will air the remaining 6 episodes.

ABC also axed Selfie‘s companion sitcom Manhattan Love Story a few weeks ago due to even lower ratings. However, the network did order a full season of its freshman drama, Forever.

Ratings aside, many fans and critics have praised Gillan and Cho’s chemistry and performances. It’s unfortunate that the show got canceled prematurely, especially since the relationship between Eliza and Henry started blossoming in the last few episodes. Although it’s been brief, we’ll miss Selfie and its hilarious Crayon Pop dances.

Read our October/November 2014 cover story on John Cho here.

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Photo courtesy of Selfie‘s Facebook page

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Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 2.43.27 PM

[VIDEO] John Cho Dances to “Bar Bar Bar” Again, This Time in a Power Ranger Costume

by REERA YOO

Halloween may be over, but this video of John Cho dancing to Crayon Pop’s “Bar Bar Bar” in a Power Ranger costume is a priceless treat.

In this hilarious and charming video, Cho morphs into a Red Ranger and dances with his Selfie co-star Karen Gillan, who turns out to be mean pink dancing machine. They are joined by the adorable Green Ranger, Keith L. Williams, who plays Charmonique’s son Kevin on the show.

This isn’t the first time the trio has danced to Crayon Pop’s infectious song “Bar Bar Bar.” They’ve previously danced to the song on Selfie‘s fourth episode, “Nugget of Wisdom.” You watch the full clip of the episode’s dance scene here.

The three actors also seemed to have taken full advantage of their Halloween costumes as they were still dressed in them for Gillan’s second ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

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Read our October/November cover story on John Cho here.

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