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Ken Jeong Says Mr. Chow Was Inspired By His Wife’s Battle With Breast Cancer

“There’s a little bit of Joe Pesci in ‘Goodfellas,’ a little bit of Heath Ledger’s Joker in ‘The Dark Knight,’ and everything else is just kind of in my head. Mr. Chow’s voice is a little Vietnamese [like his in-laws], a little Korean, and a lot of mayhem … My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago and I’m happy to say she’s cancer-free. She was going through chemotherapy when I was offered the job for ‘The Hangover’ and I almost turned it down. Tran, my wife, insisted that I do it … I think the reason I played Chow so aggressively and over-the-top in the first movie was, for me, a catharsis. If I had not done that, I would have had a nervous breakdown in real life. Even if ‘The Hangover’ wasn’t a success, it’s the best project I’ve ever been a part of because it got me through the worst period of my life. It saved me.”

—Ken Jeong, who happened to be a full-fledged doctor before getting bit by the acting bug, talks about his iconic role in “The Hangover,” Mr. Chow, and how his wife’s battle with breast cancer inspired his performance. Jeong also shares that, for “The Hangover 2,” which opens this weekend, Tran traveled with him to Thailand. “I was just so happy that Tran was there … I felt like an Asian Rick James.” Amazing. Love him. [The Daily Beast]

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