“He just lost his mind”: Ken Jeong Pulled a Keanu Reeves’ John Wick on His Legendary Hangover Role That Wasn’t Originally Written for Him

Had Ken Jeong not pulled it like Keanu Reeves did to bag John Wick, the legendary role of Mr. Chow in 'Hangover' might have gone to some other 60-year-old Asian guy.

Ken Jeong Pulled a Keanu Reeves’ John Wick on His Legendary Hangover Role That Wasn’t Originally Written for Him

SUMMARY

  • Ken Jeong, known for his comedic skills, showcased his talent in the popular Hangover film series, particularly in his role as Mr. Chow.
  • Although fans love Mr. Chow's portrayal that Ken Jeong nailed in the film series, that role wasn't originally written for him but a 60-year-old Asian guy.
  • Jeong pulled a Keanu Reeves’ John Wick trick on it and landed the legendary role.
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Ken Jeong has always been a phenomenal presence, both on-screen in his movies and TV shows as well as off-screen in real life and in interviews. One of the best stand-up comedians of all time (who is also an actor, writer, producer, and even former physician), Jeong has shown his hilarious comedian chops in remarkable big-screen works like his most fan-favorite role of Mr. Chow in the Hangover film series.

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Ken Jeong (@kenjeong | Instagram)
Ken Jeong (@kenjeong | Instagram)

But as much as fans love him as the hilarious Mr. Chow, little do they know that that part was never written for him. In fact, if anything, had Ken Jeong not pulled it like Keanu Reeves did to bag John Wick, the legendary role might have gone to some other 60-year-old Asian guy.

Also Read: “I probably would, yeah”: Bradley Cooper is Desperate to Return for Hangover 4 Despite Revealing Why a Sequel Will Never Happen

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Mr. Chow In Hangover Was Never Made For Ken Jeong But He Scored It

Ken Jeong as Mr. Chow in Hangover
Ken Jeong as Mr. Chow in Hangover

Also Read: “I thought it was funny”: Ed Helms Had No Regrets Over One Extremely Offensive Scene in ‘The Hangover’ That Could Have Got the Movie Cancelled

Although fans love Mr. Chow’s portrayal that Ken Jeong nailed in the Hangover film series, that role wasn’t originally written for him but a 60-year-old Asian guy. But Jeong, being as he is, pulled a Keanu Reeves’ John Wick trick on it and landed the legendary role.

Sharing about the same in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, filmmaker Todd Phillips said:

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“My first exposure to Ken Jeong was his YouTube videos with Mike O’Connell. The Mr. Chow character that we wrote was always supposed to be a 60-year-old Asian guy, and I kind of resisted bringing in Ken for it. He came into my office, and we did this read-through, and Ken just lost his mind. The whole place was, ‘What the f– is going on in there?’”

In fact, his read-through audition was terrific enough to have his friend claiming he sounded like ‘the Tasmanian devil’, as Jeong continued to share: The Hollywood Reporter |

“One of my friends was actually auditioning for another part, and he happened to be in that same casting room. He was like, ‘Man, it sounds like you’re the Tasmanian devil.’”

Nonetheless, the legendary role went down to Ken Jeong, and thankfully so, for no other person would have been able to capture Mr. Chow’s sarcastic hilariousness in the most perfect way possible in the Hangover film series.

Also Read: “We’re not apologizing for the bad behavior”: Joker Director Almost Cast Mel Gibson in ‘The Hangover’ Sequel Before His Cast Threatened to Quit the Movie

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How Keanu Reeves Bagged The 75-Year-Old John Wick Role

Keanu Reeves as John Wick
Keanu Reeves as John Wick

Ken Jeong might have bagged Mr. Chow’s role, but had it not been for Keanu Reeves previously playing the trick for scoring the John Wick franchise, perhaps the role could have gone to an actual 60-year-old Asian guy.

As shared by producer Basil Iwanyk in the book They Shouldn’t Have Killed His Dog: The Complete Uncensored Oral History of John Wick, Gun Fu, and the New Age of Action, Wick’s role was originally meant for a 75-year-old man. Thus, the initial choices were big names like Clint Eastwood and Harrison Ford.

However, at the time, Reeves was pretty much going through a career slump. So when his then-representative, who is also Iwanyk’s best friend, asked Iwanyk for any action blockbusters for Reeves, the producer ended up handing John Wick‘s script to Keanu Reeves, who was ‘clearly not 75.’

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“We had talked internally about actors, but it was Keanu Reeves — a voracious script reader; anything he gets his hands on, he reads — who got his talons into it and made it his own,” said screenwriter Derek Kolstad. “So think that he read something on a Friday, in ninety minutes, and was like, ‘I want to do it.’ In that moment, before I met and really clicked with him, I was like, ‘Yeah, I really want to do it, too.’ The first thing that Keanu said to me was, ‘Okay, Derek, I’m going to play him 35.’ And I’m like, ‘Fine.’”

Just like that, the world of John Wick was hijacked by Keanu Reeves just as the world of Mr. Chow in Hangover was hijacked by Ken Jeong.

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Written by Mahin Sultan

Articles Published: 1026

Mahin Sultan is a News Content Writer at FandomWire. With almost one year's worth of experience in her field, she has explored and attained a deep understanding of numerous topics in various niches, mostly entertainment.

An all-things-good enthusiast, Mahin is currently pursuing her Bachelor's degree in Commerce, and her love for entertainment has given her a solid foundation of reporting in the same field. Besides being a foodie, she loves to write and spends her free time either with her nose buried in a good book or binging on COD or K-dramas, anime, new movies, and TV serials (the awesome ones, obviously).

So far, Mahin's professional portfolio has more than 500 articles written on various niches, including Entertainment, Health and wellbeing, and Fashion and trends, among others.