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Five Chow Facts from Ken Jeong - The Hangover Part III

By Anne Brodie May 22, 2013, 18:59 GMT

Five Chow Facts from Ken Jeong - The Hangover Part III

Leslie Chow’s evil genius is ramped up to warp speed in The Hangover Part III.  He is the film.  The Wolf Pack’s final outing has Chow leading the boys – Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis – down the road to hell just when you figured they knew enough not to. 

Apparently not so.  Once again they fall into Chow’s sticky web of manipulation and madness.  

Ken Jeong, Chow’s keeper had a few things to say about him when he dropped by to chat in Toronto:

Chow knows how to handle each guy.  It came instinctively.  There was something in the first movie I improvised, why I liked or hated each guy.  I said to Cooper “I don’t like you, you’re not my type, you’re too good looking” and to Ed “I like you. You have this approachable beauty” and for Al “I like that your fat”.

And I had working knowledge of these guys from having worked with them all.  But Chow does something specially, “Hi nutty, hi blue eyes, hi fatty”.   He just marginalizes them into five words.  Chow mimics what the audience is thinking.  It’s a meta joke.  Chow IS a meta joke.

Chow is the only character who you can go so over the top with you want to go and it’s still within the realm of his character.  He's not over the top for over the tops sake, he’s Chow is over the top.  It’s a perfect fit but in this movie because Chow is such an expanded role, I have to credit Todd for finessing my performance.  Instinctively I’d go for something bigger in my performance and he would reign me in to get from point A to point B in the film.   He'd say "You can't put any mustard on that".  

In the karaoke scene, any actor with a mic is going to sing well, that’s the geo and instinct of the actor.  My instinct was to rock it out and maybe get a Grammy and then Todd says “What are you doing? Chow has to be vulnerable now, he needs these guys there is desperation.  Isn’t it more interesting if he’s an international criminal who is afraid to go onstage?  Maybe he can sing great in real life in the bathroom, but maybe in public he’s completely scared. 

That was all Todd, at the end he knows he did a bad job singing and he just swats away that mic.  That was all Todd beat for beat, guiding me.  I can’t take credit for any of that!  He just knows tone so well.  He has a sophistication I just haven’t seen in comedy.   I bonded with Todd early on, when I decided to come out of the truck naked in the first film, it bonded us.  He knew that the actor behind the character has a vivid imagination.

I can’t say enough great things about those guys, Bradley Ed and Zach. They’re egoless diva-free leads.  They set the tone of the whole movie. People are shocked to see how low key we all are in really life, we save it all for the camera and we have a free exchange of ideas were friends and co-workers who trust each other.

Collaboration and trust by the third movie I felt I could say anything.  Complete trust, that’s what I’m going to miss about the hangover franchise.

I’m afraid of heights so I worked with stunt director for six weeks to desensitize myself from his fear of heights so I could hang glide over Las Vegas.  I’d go every night after taping Community and be in a harness 10 feet and then 20 and then 30 and subsequently moving at a fast rate and eventually doing that 30 foot drop. 

It was a combination of about six to eight weeks of me getting over my mental block and executing it and physically it was the greatest day of my acting career.

Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy and David Letterman influenced me, for some reason they stick out.  They’re geniuses, which I’m not. They have a sense of fearlessness which I admire and David Letterman influenced me even though I'm nothing like them, but there was a sense of fearlessness that I admired and then there was Dana Carvey on SNL, an actor who can find the funny and later in life there was Will Farrell and Steve Carrell Sacha Baron Cohen.  So many influences it’s ridiculous.  

Zach and I have been friends for 15 years, he’s a big influence and he was always the funniest guy.   He’s the funniest guy there is now.  I’ve worked with everybody in comedy and no one makes me laugh harder than Zach.  Zach is the quickest ad libber and improviser I know.  He’s quick to the draw with the lines.  So many funny things we’ve done in outtakes.  He makes me feel like a four year old kid. 



FROM THE WEB

Further Reading on M&C

Bradley Cooper Biography - - Bradley Cooper Movies -
Heather Graham Biography - - Heather Graham Movies -
John Goodman Biography - - John Goodman Movies -
Ken Jeong Biography - - Ken Jeong Movies -
Zach Galifianakis Biography - - Zach Galifianakis Movies -

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