Q&A: FlashForward's John Cho

Last seen in Star Trek as Sulu, best known as Harold in the Harold and Kumar movies, and now making his mark on television with FlashForward, actor John Cho has come a long way since his role in American Pie made "MILF" a household term. caught up with him discuss ABC's new show about blacking out and seeing the future. For the folks who haven't seen FlashForward, what's it all about, and who do you play?

John Cho: I play Demetri Noh, who is an FBI agent. [In the pilot], my partner (played by actor Joe Fiennes) and I are in the middle of a completely different case, following a terrorist suspect. We're in the middle of a high-speed chase when we crash [after] blacking out. When we wake up, we discover everyone on Earth has blacked out, and everyone has seen a vision of their future that takes place on April 29, 2010. So we're trying to get to the bottom of that mystery and also dealing with the chaos caused by knowing a bit of your future. The pilot ended with a cliffhanger. What should we expect in the second episode?

JC: In the pilot we discovered that Joe's character is beginning to investigate the worldwide phenomenon. We're working backwards, we're starting this investigation by following this lead he saw in his flash forward. [In the second episode, we're heading] to Utah, and a very interesting player will be introduced. We've heard there are tons of surprises in store for the show. How are the producers keeping all the storylines secret?

JC: They're doing everything. It's really confusing on-set. They don't use anyone's real name. Honestly, the call sheet has all fake names, so we don't know who we're working with. The numbers are wrong. It's to the point where I feel, "Why do they bother printing any of this stuff up?" That's the first step. It's also not telling the actors anything. I guess it's merited, but it feels like we're working for the Secret Service. What's the show really about to you? What kind of themes are we looking at?

JC: I think the heart of the series is the sweetness and bitterness of knowledge, and this is a fantasy that's really embedded very deep in our DNA -- we just want to know more than we should know. It can be a blessing and it can cause a lot of problems. To me that's the central story we're telling. The last time we spoke was before Star Trek was released. Have you been mobbed by nerds or had new fans come out of the woodwork since playing Sulu on the big screen?

JC: I haven't been out a whole lot since the release for one reason or another. Little kids used to have no idea who I was, but that's all changed. It's really fun to meet 10- and 12-year-old kids who saw me wielding a sword ... and now see me in dolphin shorts and holding a lollipop. [Laughter] I mean, what?

FlashForward airs Thursday nights at 8 pm on ABC.

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