Widely considered one of the best animated series ever made, Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of the most popular cartoons Nickelodeon ever aired. It’s fair to say, though, that few could have predicted quite how successful the adventures of the last Airbender and his friends would be.
That extends to the cast as well, it seems because Dante Basco, who voiced the honour obsessed Prince Zuko on the series, admitted to us he had no idea how popular Avatar would become when we asked him if he expected the show to become a pop-culture phenomenon.
“I’ve told Mike O’Brien and the creators over the years, ‘Dude, I had no idea what the show was gonna become’,” he admitted. “I was like, ‘What are we doing?’ This is an epic, Asian-inspired, anime-inspired tale about balancing the world, and it’s on Nickelodeon in the afternoons with Spongebob. We all do pilots, and we all do different projects that never see the light of day. Part of me was like, ‘Oh, nobody’s going to see this, it’s not the one for Nickelodeon’, you know? ”
“Then it becomes, whatever you want to say, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings for a certain generation,” he continued. And you go, ‘Wow, I got to be a part of one of those from the beginning’.”
While Basco might not have expected Avatar’s success, he told us he’s proud of the show and voicing Zuko. He also said that once a member of Team Avatar, always a member of Team Avatar, explaining he’s spoken to Dallas Lou, the actor playing Zuko in Netflix’s live action Avatar.
“I’m in the Avatar family for life. It’s impacted my life profoundly,” he said. “I always root for it to do well, root for the story to carry on, because it’s such a strong story. So I look forward to what they put together. I got to talk to the new Zuko, Dallas Lou; he’s a cool kid. He wanted to ask me questions about the character, some acting stuff. I feel like I became Uncle Iroh talking to him about passing the torch.”