It's been a busy fall for John Cho.
As he sits on the set of CBS' "How I Met Your Mother," he's already completed guest stints on "'Til Death" and "Ugly Betty." He already has the 2008 release "Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay" in the can. And, less than two weeks after we sit chatting on the show's McClaren's bar set, Cho is going to be cast as Sulu in J.J. Abrams' reboot of the "Star Trek" franchise.
Of course, I don't know about the Sulu casting yet and Cho isn't volunteering the information, but he has plenty of other work to discuss.
"It's really just me being a, whatdoyoucallit, indiscriminate whore, just going around and dating and not committing to any particular situation, so it's fun," Cho says of his slew of guest starring roles. "It keeps me available for features and blah blah blah on a business level, but on a fun level, I just like coming into different casts. It's a bit of a workout."
Cho's "HIMYM" episode, titled "I'm Not That Guy," airs on Monday (Oct. 29) and features the "American Pie" veteran as Jeff Coatsworth, recruiter for the evil corporate law firm that attempts to lure Jason Segel's Marshall from his more altruistic legal dreams.
"Again, evil," Cho laughs, describing his character. "I've been on a little streak and I'm a bit worried that people are seeing deep into my soul. This guy will do whatever it takes to achieve an objective and his objective in this particular case is to land Jason at his law firm. If he has to lie, he'll do it. If he has to bribe, he'll do it. Whatever."
Although he's been able to dance between the feature and television work, he admits that it's hard to find professional balance.
"It's just here, there and everywhere," he says of working as a journeyman actor. "With any actor, the periods of non-work are exaggerated in our heads. Two weeks feels like an eternity, like we're never going to work again and our families are going to starve. And then two weeks of working straight, it's like 'When are they gonna give me a friggin' break here?' It never feels really balanced, but you do what you can."
Part of Cho's regular availability to do guest work has stemmed from his difficulties getting new shows on the air, including NBC's stillborn "The Men's Room" and "The Single's Table." Far from being frustrated, he's philosophical.
"This is going to not sound like a great lesson, but the lesson I take from it is to not look too far ahead and to not fret about things you can't control and to have a good time the day-of and not worry about show night or how the episode turns out, because even that is kind of out of your hands. I feel like the point is to come in and have a good time acting," he says.
Another point would be to learn things from ever set you find yourself on.
"'Betty' has a very unique rhythm and they have just an unbelievable cast and it's always fun to just hang around really good actors and you always take notes," he explains. "And with this, I've shot in front of an audience before and you have to keep yourself from being too much of a ham and that's my mode, because I'm such an insecure loser, but this show, without an audience, it disciplines you and it's interesting to see the acting that goes on here. Even though it's a sitcom set, it's small and it's real."
Since he isn't going to tell me about getting ready to co-star in a zillion dollar studio blockbuster, might as well get Cho's read on the second "Harold & Kumar."
"I just feel like we would have let people down if we didn't do another one," he says. There was just so much interest. It's a social responsibility. I did it for the people and I did it for America. I'm a patriot. In these difficult times... Now more than ever."
"HIMYM" airs on Monday nights on CBS at 8 p.m. ET.