Ken Jeong Talks Hangover's Nude Scenes and Playing With the Asian Stereotype
What does it take to get actor Ken Jeong to go nude? Not much! The 43-year-old star, who plays hilarious mob boss Chow in the Hangover series, told Us Weekly at the Hangover Part III junket on May 12 that he didn't need to be persuaded to take off his clothes: It was all his idea!
"You know it was my idea in the first [movie], right? It was screaming for that," Jeong said of the memorable scene in which he jumps out of a car trunk butt-naked. "It was a character choice, not a personal choice. I'm a happily married father of twin girls. I don't even like to take my shirt off at the beach. I'm not that guy."
Though it was his choice, he did have to first get the approval of his wife, Tran. "Oh, yeah, I'm no dummy -- I cleared it with my wife before I even told Todd [Phillips, the director]," said Jeong, who goes full-frontal in all three Hangovers. "And my wife said, teasing me, 'I guarantee this will be the feel-good movie of the summer because every guy will go home feeling good about themselves.' This is my wife talking -- this is my boo."
As for whether his role in the Hangover series is offensive to Asians, the Community star, who used to be a doctor before quitting to pursue acting, was adamant that he's not playing a stereotype, he's playing with it. "I don't look at my d--k the stereotype. I look at it as a penis that produced a couple of kids," he said. "I laugh at that because here's a little secret -- every Asian actor has to read a role…or has played a role that has required an accent…. That's just the way it is and that's fine, but, for me, it's my job to make fun of that stereotype and the stupid roles that are supplied to us…. Chow, to me, was my response to that."
"You're never going to pay me enough money to read a line and a regular Asian accent. You got to add your thing," Jeong continued.
Hangover Part III hits theaters Friday, May 24.