Update time：2021-07-08 15:39Tag: uncle iroh
The relationship between Zuko and Iroh in Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of the high points of the show. Apparently, the actors had a similar bond.
By Rick Stevenson
Published 3 days ago
Dante Basco, who voiced Prince Zuko in Avatar: The Last Airbender, has opened up about his close relationship with Mako, the original voice of Uncle Iroh. The two characters had a close bond throughout the series, which has been held up since as one of the best parts of the entire show. According to Basco, the actors behind those characters had a similar relationship in real life.
Zuko and Iroh’s relationship is one of the main cornerstones of the Avatar story. Iroh is Zuko’s guiding force; the voice encouraging him to break free of the toxic dogma he was raised with and find his own path. Zuko ends up betraying Iroh at the end of Avatar’s second season, but the two make amends in the show’s finale, in one of the most emotionally powerful scenes in the entire series. To hear Basco tell it, there was a secret to the convincing connection between the two characters.
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Related:?Zuko & Korra Both Share Avatar’s Rarest Honor
On a recent episode of Nickelodeon’s Avatar: Braving the Elements podcast, Basco discussed how important Mako was to him throughout his career, even before they were cast in Avatar. The two first met when Basco was only 12 years old, and they had acted on screen together prior to their roles as Iroh and Zuko. Basco said that working with Mako helped him feel more comfortable and grounded in the Zuko role from the start, which clearly paid off in his performance. Read Basco’s full quote below:
I got to work with the late, great Mako, who originally played General Iroh, and then he was replaced by Greg Baldwin after his passing. But Mako had played my father or my uncle several times throughout my career on screen. So we already had a really beautiful relationship. And it was always good to see him week after week and catch up with him. He was like my uncle, like in real life, and someone throughout my career. I think the first time I worked with him I was twelve years old, and throughout my career, throughout me becoming a young actor, an up-and-coming actor, he’d always give me advice and look at my career. And he’s just one of those prolific Asian American actors that we all looked up to because he had such a great career and had done so many great things, so that was a really easy relationship to have with Mako.
As Basco mentions, Greg Baldwin does a strong job as Iroh in Avatar season 3 and in The Legend of Korra, but it was Mako who first brought the character to life. Iroh remains one of the franchise’s most beloved characters, both for his nuggets of tea-soaked wisdom and his soft-spoken kindness. The original actor was so well respected by the rest of the team, that one of the lead characters in The Legend of Korra was named after him. The Iroh character also got an in-universe namesake in Korra with Zuko’s grandson, who’s also voiced by Basco.
Hearing about the real-world relationship between Basco and Mako makes the instant chemistry of their Avatar characters make a lot more sense. The show is packed with great vocal performances – mostly from very young stars – but the scenes shared by Zuko and Iroh?are among the best. It’s a shame that their work together on Avatar: The Last Airbender was tragically cut short, but their two seasons together remain timeless.
Next:?Avatar: How Did Iroh Visit The Spirit World? Every Clue & Theory
Source: Avatar: Braving The Elements
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avatar the last airbender
About The Author
(841 Articles Published)
Rick Stevenson is a writer, editor and performer based in Brooklyn, NY. He’s written on TV, film and games for over six years, in addition to assorted stints in bookselling, carpentry, and TV production. Rick studied writing at the College of William & Mary and Oxford University, and can report with some authority that they are both old. He lives and dies for Avatar: The Last Airbender.
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