'Hangover Part III's Ken Jeong: How I developed Mr. Chow's voice
The origins of Mr. Chow's trademark voice have finally been revealed.
Ken Jeong, who plays the debaucherous Chow in "The Hangover" franchise, revealed the familial source of his character's distinctive, high-pitched voice to OTRC.com.
"It's a little bit kind of a, there's a Vietnamese kind of tinge," Jeong stated. "I'm Korean, but my wife is Vietnamese and so like, Mr. Chow has almost been like this kind of a... humorous love letter to my wife."
The 43-year-old actor, who is also a licensed doctor in the state of California, divulged that, initially, he had no clear concept of the voice before he began filming the popular franchise. Jeong said that, after practicing several variations with "The Hangover Part III" director Todd Phillips, he was able to choose a tone based on his wife's reaction of laughter.
"I don't know where it's really coming from," he stated. "We were actually figuring out the voice while we were filming, and how to do it, and we really just kind of came upon that organically. And it makes me laugh. And I do it because it also makes my wife laugh, just speaking in that voice."
Jeong also revealed that the favorite catchphrase of his character, known for his quotable moments, is "toodleoo," a dated phrase that originates from the French expression "a tout a l'heure," meaning "see you soon."
"That actually came from the gifted mind of Todd Phillips," said Jeong, again referring to the writer and director of "The Hangover" film series. "Todd Phillips came up with that line, and it's like my favorite Chow catchphrase. It still is. It's so funny, just to play like this likable villain. Chow's like the devil with a sense of humor. And the Wolf Pack does a deal with him, and now there are consequences they have to face."
Jeong, an overnight star when the first "Hangover" was released in 2009, is also known for his role as Senor Chang in the NBC comedy series "Community." But despite his high-profile acting credits, the doctor-turned-actor remained modest of his achievements.
"Don't do it for the fame and fortune," said Jeong, referring to the acting profession. "Those are fleeting. What goes up will come down. But if you love what you do -- that's everlasting."
"The Hangover Part III," which stars Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis as three friends battling danger, inebriation and a "devil with a sense of humor" in Las Vegas, will be released on Thursday, May 23.
Watch OTRC.com's interview with Ken Jeong and the film's trailer above.