In 19th-century Java, a brutal massacre and the murder of Sultan Hamza by Captain Van Trach and his Dutch soldiers force Arana, Jamar and Suwo — the sultan’s brother and infant sons — to flee the country, bringing them halfway around the world to the American Wild West. After working the railroads and learning the cowboy way of life, Arana tells the boys it’s time to return to their homeland and avenge their father’s death.

Yoshi Sudarso, who plays Suwo, is probably best known for his role in Power Rangers Dino Charge as Koda the Blue Ranger. While it was a step forward for Asian actors to be cast as a lead in a TV series, Power Rangers is a niche series which unfortunately means it doesn’t bring a lot of mainstream recognition. Mike Wiluan’s Buffalo Boys has a majority Asian cast with Yoshi taking on one of the lead roles, a cowboy that fully embraces his Asian heritage.

Joe attended the premiere of the film at the Asian World Film Festival and spoke with Yoshi to discuss what this film means to him.

“Growing up in America, westerns are a thing. You enjoy that stuff, you know, and it was hard not to ever see. . . not just be a lead character, not even be one of the smaller characters on the side. . . the closest we got was Shanghai Noon.”

Buffalo Boys gave Yoshi Sudarso a chance to be a true cowboy. One of the first Asian traditional cowboys. It gives other Asian actors and children a chance to see themselves in a genre that is super popular and lacked representation for them. Most Asian actors that are just support for the lead or are portrayed as skilled warriors who don’t need guns. Yoshi does mention this referencing modern westerns:

“In the past few years we had Magnificent Seven and he was a dope character, but again, the only character that doesn’t gunsling. . . and being called for this . . . I was like . . . you’re kidding me. I get to be a cowboy? Like an asian, real life cowbow?

Asian actors in westerns are typically just supporting roles, but Buffalo Boys is bringing them to the forefront, creating new opportunities for the future. Yoshi couldn’t be happier to show that Asian actors can be anyone, not just a single trope. He wants the world to see that Asians in film can be whatever they want to be. Like many others have stated, it’s ironic, to get a real Asian cowboy, they had to leave America to become one.

Yoshi also mentions that HBO is getting a spin-off called Grisse and if it does well, a season 2 could bring back both Yoshi and his co-star Ario Bayu for a team up, giving us more chances to see Asian’s take the lead in .