Wednesday, May 25, 2011
'Mr. Chow' enjoys a little 'Hangover' fame
Nobody ever really should be surprised by anything associated with actor/comedian Ken Jeong. After all, the little man inspiring those giant "gangsta" laughs in the "Hangover" films, not to mention as the nutty professor of Spanish on NBC-TV's "Community," was a practicing M.D. just five short years ago.
Then again, there's Jeong's explicit re-introduction as the wild Mr. Chow (shown here harassing Zach Galifianakis' goofy Alan) in "The Hangover Part II" during what could be the most-talked-about scene from what might become the summer's most popular film. In fact, Chow's early full-frontal assault on the movie-going public is one of those "did I really see what I think I saw?" moments. Or not?
Well, apparently we do get a peek at a little something, we found out, after one brave reporter neatly danced around the point in addressing Jeong at a recent press conference.
"Uh, in that moment when you, uh, 'uncover' up," The questioner cautiously began, "is that really you?"
"Hey, that's a personal question," Jeong answered almost too happily to believe, "but the answer is yes. Sorry."
Later the still-smiling Jeong said: "I run everything past my wife before I do anything, so I had full permission to do all the nudity in the film. I'm very blessed to have such a supportive wife (herself a practicing physician), who is very willing to be secure in letting me embarrass myself."
Then, apparently tossing more good-natured fuel on the, uh, tiny fire, Jeong added: "My wife always says these movies are good for men because, after watching me, they always go home feeling very good about themselves. And I wish I was lying."
Regardless, if size still matters, returning "Hangover" director Todd Phillips praised Jeong for his big contributions to the sequel, especially when discussing the ever-hilarious "candid" photos at the end of both the original and "Part II."
"It's very random what we shoot, and we literally shoot them all with my little camera so it has that cinema verite or homemade feel, like something you and your friends might post on Facebook with your own little point-and-shoot camera," Phillips explained. "We do it very much by the seat of our pants and not a lot of forethought is put into it outside of the basic idea.
"Then we go out and everyone gets a little crazy, and it's always good when Mr. Chow is in the photos because Chow doesn't realize we're not rolling sound and is always acting out and taking it to the full limit.
"It's always one of the most amazing things to watch," Phillips concluded, "when 'full-on Chow' walks into the middle of a photo shoot and treats everyone like crap, very much like Mr. Chow actually would. It's just the best."
Might there even be a "full-on" Chow spin-off someday? "If we were to do a third ("Hangover"), it would very definitely be a finale and very much a new idea.
"As far as anything else, I haven't talked to Ken about it, but we could definitely do a Mr. Chow movie. Chow is certainly a man of mystery, much like Austin Powers, and has a web that's woven deep in crime and women."
Well, maybe not that deep.
For more on the gang from the "Hangover" films, as well as my review of "Part II," visit Sun News and CriticsChoice.com later in the week.