DURHAM — Hell fight for freedom wherever theres trouble G.I. Joe is there.
But now the great American hero needs your support to serve thousands of N.C. military veterans and their families.
Actor Augustus Cho of Chapel Hill, who plays a North Korean leader in G.I. Joe: Retaliation, is helping stage a blockbuster premiere Saturday at The Streets at Southpoint.
The event will raise awareness and money for the USO United Services Organizations of North Carolina and the U.S. Veterans Corps, a North Carolina-based veterans community service organization.
The USO-NCs Raleigh-Durham International Airport Center served 651,000 N.C. veterans and their families in 2012, Director Connie Inggs said. Donations and volunteers support five regional centers and various programs: deployment and homecoming support, care packages, a food pantry, reading and tutoring, sports and entertainment.
The USO-NCs Honors Support Team, founded by volunteers at the RDU Center, also helps bring fallen soldiers home.
Cho, 55, said he wanted to be a part of the USO mission.
Im too old to wear the uniform, but I want to help any way I can, he said.
The red-carpet Military Appreciation Day at Southpoint will include a color guard, patriotic music, and members of the All Veterans Parachute Jump Team and the ArchAngels Rappel Team. At 3 p.m., the first 200 service members and guests will be treated to a private screening.
The event is important just for service members to be there and to see the community does care, Inggs said. We havent forgotten about them now that theyre home.
The G.I. Joe sequel finds the team fighting not only its mortal enemy Cobra but also threats to its existence and the country from within the U.S. government.
Cho stars alongside Hollywood heavyweights Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis and Channing Tatum. Director Jon Chu spent $175 million to make the movie, which was pulled shortly before last years release to add more scenes with Tatum and convert the film to 3-D.
Cho declined to talk in much detail about his co-stars out of respect for their privacy.
Bruce Willis had a certain character that he had to play into, and hes generally a quiet person, Cho said. Dwaynes basically surrounded by his persona because he comes from a wrestling background where he has to deal with the public in a very direct way.
The filming his part took about three weeks was a lot of fun and a lot of work. A typical day would start around 5 a.m. when the limo arrived to take him to the set for wardrobe and makeup. When the camera and the director were ready, everyone had to be in place. The day sometimes didnt end until after midnight, he said.
Everybody can act, but youve got to act when the camera is on, he said. Can you do it 14 hours later at three in the morning?
Cho, a native of South Korea, graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1982. In 2005, he moved back, serving on town advisory boards and running unsuccessfully for the Town Council, the mayors office and for the Republican nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. David Price in District 4.
Hes now working on his third film, Redemption of the Commons.
Cho said he wants his blossoming career to have a positive impact.
The film industry is capable of benefiting society, he said. Its how we choose to utilize the end product of movies or television programming that makes it positive or negative.