You may recognize him as Zuko from the hit animated series Avatar The Last Air Bender or maybe even recognize him from Steven Spielberg’s Hook featuring the late, Robbin Williams.
Dante Basco is an actor, voice actor, poet and now an author, releasing his first book, From Rufio to Zuko, a journey into Basco’s personal acting career from an American-Filipino perspective living in the small, industrial town of Pittsburg, California. The book not only covers his career but also, some of his poetry skills as well.
During a book tour event at Barnes and Nobel at The Grove, Basco spoke about his experience being part of the Avatar cast,
“When I originally auditioned for Zuko, I asked them, ‘is this like Danny Zuko or something?‘ I have no clue where the name [Zuko] comes from. The funny thing about Avatar is, [. . .] I go there [Nickelodeon Studios] they give you this script that’s like an anime inspired, epic tail of like martial arts, four-elements — and you’re like, ‘this ain’t Nickelodeon‘, you’re like reading the script and you’re like, ‘is this some Disney XD movie, what is this?’
He goes on,
[. . .] Who’s is this dude? He has a ponytail, he got a scar on his face, chasing this Avatar dude, always yellin’. The whole first season, he’s like ‘honor, honor, honor‘ I’m like, what am I doing? and then all of a sudden, it changed. When I read the script and find out how he got the scared, it was like ‘Who IS this dude?‘.
Crazy things started happening; I remember we were at Sundance [Film Feastival], and I ran into Jason Issac, who plays Genernal Zhao in the show and the older Malfoy in the Hary Potter movies [Refering to Lucius Malfoy] and he was like “Dante! That cartoon we did, WT-f??” you know? because it started to become this phenomenal thing, a CARTOON we did, you know? And this was before comic cons started popping up.”
Basco also went back in time to relive his experience with Robbin Williams on the set of Hook,
“He was like everyone’s favorite uncle, you know, I have a lot of great memories with Robin. Like poetry actually, the Poetry lounge I always, to me in my heart, I’m always connecting it to Robin Williams. [. . .] I grew up a fan like everyone else, [. . .] When I watch Dead Poet Society it was like; It blew my mind. [. . .] We would be able to sit in the make up room, I’m getting my hair done, he’s getting his hair done and we would talk about poetry because he knew how much I love poetry. He’d tell me about his favorite poets and I’d tell about my favorite poets; He was big supporter of me being a poet.”
Remembering Williams, Basco explains,
“When I got to work with him, He’s great! Like, Everything you think Robin is gonna be, the fastest, wittiest, craziest dude in the world, he is! Running 10,00000 miles an hour, so amazing, he’s a god. He IS the Genie from Aladdin, THAT’S who he is. He comes in the room and magic is going to happen just because he’s there and it always does.”
Basco also holds the title of voicing the very first Asian-American (Chinese-American) hero, Jake Long in Disney’s animated series, American Dragon: Jake Long.
Pick a copy of Dante Basco’s newest book, From Ruifo to Zuko now available at your local bookstore, or…
Basco fans now have the opportunity to win this SIGNED copy of Dante Basco’s book, From Rufio to Zuko! All you have to do is share this post on ANY social media platform using #FromRufioToZukoTKN. The winner will be announced on Dec 1st on our FACEBOOK page.