Ahead of the release of Netflix’s “Cowboy Bebop”, John Cho is opening up about taking on the lead role.

When Netflix cast Cho as Spike Spiegel, a 27-year-old bounty hunter, in their adaptation of the iconic anime, the actor, 49, admitted he knew his casting would probably be controversial.

“The biggest fear that I had was I was too old,” he told Vulture. “I knew people were gonna have issues with my age. And I had to get over it.”

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“I’m not a person who says age is just a number or whatever. It was gonna be harder — physically. And I was gonna look different than a 25-year-old guy,” the “Harold & Kumar” alum continued. “At some point, the opportunity is ‘Yes or no — do you wanna do it?’ And I did wanna do it. So I wasn’t gonna stop myself from doing it.”

Photo: KIRSTY GRIFFIN/NETFLIX
Photo: KIRSTY GRIFFIN/NETFLIX
Photo: GEOFFREY SHORT/NETFLIX
Photo: GEOFFREY SHORT/NETFLIX
Photo: GEOFFREY SHORT/NETFLIX
Photo: GEOFFREY SHORT/NETFLIX

But soon, Cho realized he brought some benefits of being an older actor in the role.

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“First of all, I couldn’t have done it when I was 27,” he explained. “I mean, maybe I would’ve been better suited athletically, but in terms of my discipline, I am strangely better suited at this age. I don’t think I would’ve done justice to the emotional depth we tried to give Spike. There’s always a trade-off. What young men are typically best at as actors is rage. And that might’ve been a more pronounced element in the character. What I’m better at, being older, is showing weakness and vulnerability and love. Those things are more accessible to me. Personally, I’d prefer the version I’m able to do now. That’s my taste.”

On tearing his ACL during production and pausing filming, Cho said he “felt very guilty that I had let the production down, and my cast, and the crew in New Zealand that had had a job, and then they didn’t the next day.”

Adding, “I didn’t feel that I could come back and half-a** this role. I had to take it deadly seriously. It was people’s livelihoods and I wanted every single person on the set to know that I was doing my best every single day. Which sounds Boy Scout-ish, but it was the truth. Maybe it was an apology that took a whole season for me to express. Because I felt so responsible for that upheaval in a whole crew’s lives.”

“Cowboy Bebop” debuts its 10-episode first season on Netflix on Nov. 19.