Ken Jeong on Asian-American Acting Community: “We’re Helping Redefine Our Identity”

In a recent interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, The Hangover: Part II star Ken Jeong opened up about being an Asian-American Hollywood success story and the inspirations for the hilarious antagonist he plays in the new film.

“It’s a great challenge. But for me as an actor, I look at it this way—there were some roles that were written for white people that I got,” Jeong explained. “For example, my role in All About Steve was written for a white person. I got the role instead. I feel the joy of playing different characters.”

Speaking about the Asian-American acting world as a whole, he said, “There’s a groundswell of Asian-American talent and I’m honored to be among them. The best thing about it is we’re all different. We’re not the same. We don’t act or look alike. We’re helping redefine our identity.”

In The Hangover and its sequel, Jeong plays Leslie Chow, a maniacal Las Vegas gangster. Who influenced the way he portrays the character? “It’s a combination of different characters in movies and people. Joe Pesci’s character in Goodfellas was a big inspiration. In fact, there were times in Thailand when I’d watch Goodfellas in my trailer just to get in the right mood. And Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight in terms of the sociopathic qualities of Mr. Chow.”

Via the Philippine Daily Inquirer

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