Or Great Moments in Asian Cinema
Most Asian actors are relegated to two things: nerd or martial artist. But there's a lot more to being an Asian male than karate chops and calculus. So, whenever someone breaks that mold he always has a warm place in my memory. This, of course, brings us to the legendary Dante Basco better known to the public at large as Rufio. Which leads us to a favorite Generation Y past time: The Rufio Spotting.
What is a Rufio Spotting?
It's when you see Rufio doing something non-Rufio related and pointing and asking, “Is that Rufio?” So, before we can go into the intricacies of a Rufio Spotting, perhaps it's best to start with explaining who Rufio is.
Rufio, Rufio, Ru-Fi-O. The funny thing about Rufio is that while some of us can make a game of finding Rudfo, the majority of people have absolutely no idea who he is. To most of the universe he's a nobody (Sorry, Dante, but it's true), while for an entire generation there can be no bigger star. We'll okay, I'm sure no one considers Dante Basco a major star, but to some of us he's more than just a memory. An interesting phenomenon though to say the least, if you were born before 1978 or after 1990, you would have no clue who or what Rufio is, but if you were born and raised in that 1980's sweet spot, Rufio is ingrained in your hearts. Ru-Fi-O. Dante Basco played Rufio in the movie Hook. A terrible movie. A terrible part. A terrible mohawk. Dante was perhaps the only good thing in that movie because for some reason Rufio lives on. There's even a pop punk band named after Rufio from Hook. That's when you know you've arrived. I'm waiting for the Wolf Gnards to become a squeaky clean boy band.
If you don't know who Rufio is, I suggest you rent a copy of Hook and enjoy. Fast forward through the skateboarding, the zebra-headed hair cut, the bangarang, the fateful stabbing by El Capitan Hook, and Rufio's sad sack last line, “I wish I had a dad... like you.” I hope this explains the inexplicable urge I have to point and shout, “Rufio!” every time I see Dante Basco. Whether it's a Heroes/Turbo Tax commercial or a Suite Life of Zack & Cody cameo. We spot Rufio then we ask where is Rufio? L.A. What's Rufio been doing? Mostly commercials and voice acting. Can he call Robin Williams if his life depended on it? Probably not.
It's probably for two reasons I and many others do this: One because we never expected to see Basco do anything else ever again and Two because he hasn't aged in 20 years. It's reasonable to think Dante Basco would just fade into oblivion, slowly walk into a lake, whatever. We expect our child actors to get heroin addictions, rob Blockbuster videos, then slowly transition into porno. We never see the fat kid from Hook or the short kid or Peter Pan's son for that matter (I'm pretty sure he married an old lady). But Dante Basco has been living in Los Angeles and working pretty steady: a Verizon Wireless commercial, American Dragon Jake Long, bad spoken word poetry (but all spoken word is bad), an Entourage walk-on. While, none of his projects appear to be good, the fact that he has projects is just mind boggling. Way to go Rufio, way to have regular paychecks.
The odder thing though is that Dante Basco hasn't aged. I suspect some sort of voodoo. Perhaps, a deal with the devil I suppose. He is Filipino, so perhaps like other Asians such as myself he's simply baby faced and eternally young looking. I like to imagine some sort of elixir though made from children's tears. Or he could be an actual Lost Boy!
So, Bangarang Ru-Fi-O + steady work (none of it good) + youth elixir = pointing and yelling, “SNAP! It's Rufio.” For those of us who are lucky enough to spot Rufio it will always be a thrill. And for the vast majority of us who neither remember who played Rufio, or that there is a Rufio, or kind of remember a Robin Williams' Peter Pan movie but never really sat through it, they will never experience the joys of a Rufio Spotting.
Rufio on TMZ
I love that Dante answers to Rufio without getting upset at all.
Have any good Rufio Spottings lately?
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