The first Hangover took audiences by storm in 2009 and with success came the pressure from fans to try to capture lightning twice. Why not up the stakes by sending Ed Helms, Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifianakis to Thailand’s most famous city for an evening of frighteningly funny forgetfulness?
SheKnows: One of the best additions to The Hangover: Part II cast is Crystal the monkey. How did she take to each of you?
Bradley Cooper: Crystal turned out to be just kind of this miracle monkey. She can do anything. The only downside to Crystal is she has very long claws. You don’t want to get Crystal around an elephant. There was one scene where we were walking down the street, there was an elephant and she sort of destroyed my shoulder.
Ed Helms: My favorite part about Crystal is her trainer is this guy named Tom, who’s a sweet guy, but whenever he needed Crystal to do something, he would literally just say, “Crystal, jump on the table. Jump on the table, jump on the table, jump on the table.” And then Crystal would do it [laughs]. So I don’t know if Crystal actually understands English or she’s just able to read the energy based on what he’s saying. I just found it so hilarious that her trainer would just repeat an English command over and over and over again until Crystal eventually did what she needed to do.
SheKnows: What were your takeaways from filming in Bangkok?
Todd Phillips: For me, Bangkok is just one of the most beautiful cities. That’s where you have to go. Bangkok’s a very cosmopolitan city. In our movie, we shot a lot in the Chinatown district of Bangkok. We really took a liking to the look and the feel of that area. I was there for about three months and still felt like I could’ve stayed longer. I just fell in love with Bangkok.
SheKnows: What was your most challenging experience on The Hangover: Part II?
Todd Phillips: I think in a nutshell, Bangkok is just a very crowded, very chaotic and very hot city so I think we all had just challenges, dealing with the crowds and the chaos, but ultimately the movie’s about mayhem. To make a movie about mayhem, sometimes you have to go to mayhem. I think it all found its way into the movie and it helped.
Bradley Cooper: You know what was odd, was challenging I thought, was the sheer number of people that were constantly on the set. There’s something about doing a production in Bangkok where there’s just tons of people all over the place. Todd, to his credit — thank God — likes a lean set and that just makes it easier to work. All the people — that was a challenge — having to adapt to there just being so many bodies around all the time.
Zach Galifianakis: I think in general just the city itself, just getting used to the city for the first few days and the jetlag was a little bit tough [laughs], but once you got there and you got settled in, the people are so brilliantly nice that you feel welcome and it’s a great society, it really is.
Ed Helms: I had a very serious hurdle to get past the first week, which was severe food poisoning.
Bradley Cooper: That lasted throughout the movie.
Ed Helms: Well, it never fully went away. Maybe I should just leave the rest up to your imagination. Let’s just say my body exploded.
Before shooting the 2009 bad-boy comedy The Hangover, costars Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifianakis decided to carpool together to the film set in Las Vegas.
But there were no over-the-top Hangover-type antics on the drive there, says Cooper.
“It was the opposite of what you would envision,” he tells Fresh Air’s Dave Davies. “There was nothing crazy. We were in a Prius [and] I think we were listening to Prairie Home Companion on the way out there.”
In the original Hangover, characters played by Cooper, Galifianakis and co-star Ed Helms traveled to Las Vegas for an over-the-top bachelor party for their friend Doug (Justin Bartha). The movie, the tenth-highest-grossing film of 2009, went on to win a Golden Globe and became a critical favorite.
Two years later, all four actors from the raunchy bromance have reteamed with director Todd Phillips for the movie’s sequel, The Hangover: Part II. In the second movie, the guys are once again getting together before a wedding — but this time, it’s Ed Helms going down the aisle, and the wedding takes place in Bangkok, Thailand — where Cooper says much of the movie was reworked during the 10-week shoot.
“We would do the scene, then [Todd, Ed, Zack and myself] would come back and then just start workshopping at the side of the set and then try to come up with better ideas and then say, ‘Okay, okay, that works, that doesn’t’ and then we would go back in and do it again,” Cooper explains. “So things would be created — written on the day they were filmed [and] they were reworked just at the side of the set.”
The result, he says, is a scripted movie with an improv-like feel, with actors who work well together because they genuinely like each other off-set. Helms, Galifianakis and Cooper — who met shortly before filming the first Hangover film — have spent holidays and vacations together and regularly hang out together in Los Angeles.
“All three of us could not be more different, yet we share a real affinity for the same kind of comedy,” Cooper says. “And then [one year] Ed and I flew to North Carolina and rented a car and drove to Zack’s farm for New Year’s and then [we were] together promoting the movie — and the next thing you know, [we were] in Bangkok for 10 weeks, shooting the second one.”
Cooper also reunited with a monkey named Crystal, who he first worked with in the 2006 film Failure to Launch. In The Hangover II, Crystal plays a drug-dealing monkey who provides belly laughs during her scenes.
“I got tons of scratches from Crystal,” says Cooper. “[My character] Phil and the drug-dealing monkey become quite close physically throughout the movie. … And there was this one scene, where we were in Bangkok with an elephant as an extra in the background. … Every time that elephant came within 15 feet, Crystal would just claw into my shoulder. And I had scars the entire time I was doing the movie.”
The Cinema Society presented a screening of The Hangover Part II the other night and I just updated the gallery with Bradley attending the screening. Enjoy!
The Wolfpack is back, baby!
A St. Louis judge has given the go-ahead for Warner Bros. to proceed with its release this Friday of The Hangover Part II, dismissing a tattoo artist’s request for an injunction because of Mike Tyson-inspired ink on Ed Helms’ face.
Here’s what the studio had to say about the ruling.
“We are very gratified by the Court’s decision which will allow the highly anticipated film, The Hangover II to be released on schedule this week around the world,” said Warner Bros. in a statement that sounds like it came straight from the legal department. “Plaintiff’s failed attempt to enjoin HII in order to try and extract a massive settlement payment from Warner Bros. was highly inappropriate and unwarranted.”
Translation: the sobriety-challenged gang’s next big-screen adventure will come off without a hitch—which is a good thing considering the sequel is on track to gross over $100 million domestically over the Memorial Day weekend.
The victory comes a day after Warners executives Dan Fellman and Sue Kroll testified at a hearing, telling the court that blocking The Hangover Part II would cause irreparable harm to the company, which would be unable to recoup more than $80 million spent in marketing the movie in advance of this weekend.
But the studio’s not free and clear just yet. The judge did rule that the copyright-infringement lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Eastern Missouri by inkmeister S. Victor Whitmill, can continue to move forward.
Whitmill claims the studio violated his copyright on the distinctive facial tattoo he did for Tyson by using similar-looking design on Helms, who awakes with the ink after a night of partying in Thailand. The tattoo scene has been prominently featured in trailers, on posters and in other marketing and promotional material.
The studio has denied any wrongdoing and has insisted its use of the tattoo is covered by the First Amendment.
Now that the bid for the injunction has been quashed, it’s likely the two parties will probably reach a settlement in the case.
As Memorial Day weekend is quickly approaching, one thing is on everyone’s mind: The Hangover, Part II hits theaters Friday (OK, maybe it’s not on everyone’s mind but it sure is on ours).
With all the crazy shenanigans the Wolf Pack got into in the first movie, one might ask, “Is it possible to top that?” Director Todd Phillips and the film’s stars, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis, all promise it is.
In honor of this weekend’s big opening, check out our list of five shocking things you need to know about before you feel this hangover…
1. Monkeys Are Not to Be Trifled With: There may not be a tiger in this sequel, but there is a monkey—and he’s a badass! He isn’t afraid to deal drugs monkey and take a few hits on a cigarette! Director Phillips and Warner Bros. have said that it’s all, literally smoke and mirrors, and that while Crystal the monkey appears to be smoking, she was never actually by any of the nasty stuff. This monkey had all of its edginess added digitally. Even so, animal rights groups are up in arms over the scene in question, and the movie will not be carrying the “no animals were harmed” disclaimer.
2. Even More Male Nudity: Ken Jeong, aka Mr. Chow, let it all hang out in the first Hangover, but he isn’t letting things stop there. His “balls,” as the actor put it, will be making another appearance in the newest installment. “When I’m playing Mr. Chow I never think of myself,” he said. “It’s an actor’s choice; holding a cup of coffee, you know, showing your balls. It’s just a choice.” Glad to know he’s so dedicated to making us all laugh…and to sacrificing his dignity for his art. This truth even sank in for Cooper, who recently told E! News of the reports there are “a lot of balls in the movie” compared to its predecessor: “No one’s put it like that before.” Sounds like things are starting to get real.
3. The Raunch Level Even Shocked the Cast: As if things didn’t get crazy enough in the first Hangover, Zach Galifianakis told Entertainment Weekly, “I remember thumbing through [the script], going, ‘Oh God. Oh God.’ ” His costar Helms agreed, telling Access Hollywood that he thought the script was insane when he first read it and didn’t expect to have any dignity left after filming. We didn’t think it would be possible for them to up the ante. After all, it is hard to top a baby getting punched.
4. Ed Helms Had a Demon Inside Him: Is Ed the real champion of the Hangover Part II? Not only did the guy completely forego a sense of dignity to get the laughs, he also suffered a serious bout of food poisoning while on set in Thailand. As Cooper put it: “He had a demon in him.” It happened at the start of shooting, but Helms still continued to film. (Maybe that’s why his hangover act is so believable). Bradley and Zach were shocked at how Ed was able to continue working, even though he was in so much pain. At one point, the pain was so intense that he was in the fetal position between takes. Once he began to feel better, Ed only ate peanut butter and jelly and kept it at that. Best to be safe and go with what you know.
5. This Won’t Be the Last of the Wolf Pack! During a recent press conference for the movie, Phillips said he envisioned the series as a trilogy. Even though nothing has really been set in stone yet, Phillips did say a third movie would follow a different format than the first two and would definitely be the finale with a clear ending. As for what king of adventure the group would be in store for? “I’m very open like the Olympic committee to being pitched and presented cities,” Phillips teased. “Flown around with wine and women and bribed and then I will make my decision.” Can’t wait to hear it!
The Hangover made superstars out of Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis. Now they’re back in The Hangover Part II and Cooper took the lead in speaking for the reunion of the wolf pack.
“I think part of the reason why there was so much room for the second one is because there was so much unfinished,” Cooper said. “You really didn’t get to know the characters. The narrative was really this mystery, this ticking clock pressing them in the first one. I think the difference between that one and this one is this movie’s more about the dynamic of the three guys and you really get to know them.”
Hangover II spends more time with the guys before they get into trouble, and gives more detail on how they cope with another drunken crisis. “For example, for me watching the first one, it could almost be boiled down to one joke,” Cooper continued. “The whole movie’s the setup and the punchline are the [photos in the] credits. When you get to the end of this movie, I’m excited to see the credits, but that’s not what I’ve been thinking about the whole movie.”
Fans of The Hangover will still get to see more raunchy humor, but they’ll get to know their favorite characters a little better too. “I got very caught up in what happened to Stu and how they dealt with that dynamic and what Alan did, which I found to be a much more pleasing movie as a viewer. It was obviously a conscious decision by Todd to do that because the movie breathes more. There’s more room for it just in terms of the timing of the cuts than the first one. It just has a different musicality to it, this movie.”
The Wolfpack ain’t going quietly.
With the release of The Hangover Part II just days away, there remains a chance, however slight, that a lingering battle over a tattoo could keep the film from hitting theaters this weekend.
So should you be canceling your reservations?
Not so fast.
As we reported last month, the tattoo artist behind Mike Tyson’s famous facial ink is suing Warner Bros., claiming the studio ripped off his copyright by parodying his design without permission. In addition to the lawsuit, the inkmeister, S. Victor Whitmill, has also asked for an injunction block the release of the hugely anticipated sequel, which is expected to rake in upwards of $100 million over the holiday weekend.
To keep the film on track for its scheduled release on Thursday, Warners filed a brief on last week laying out its best defense in what could shape up to be a “novel intellectual property battle.”
Per court papers filed Friday in a U.S. District Court in Eastern Missouri , the studio claims that since Tyson appeared in a cameo in the original 2009 flick without objection from Whitmill, Warners has an implicit license to employ a similar design for Ed Helms’ character. Warners’ lawyers also insist that the case is unprecedented—no one has ever filed a similar copyright claim against a movie based on body art.
While admitting that the boxing champ signed a release form in 2003 giving the rights to the tattoo to Whitmill’s Paradox Studio of Dermagraphics (there’s debate over whether Tyson did so knowingly), the studio vehemently denies that the tattoo on Helms’ face was “pirated” or is a “virtual exact reproduction” of Tyson’s. Warners’ lawyers also point out that Tyson’s tatoo has appeared not only in the first Hangover, but in thousands of pictures in countless magazines, as well as on TV and the Internet without similar legal action from Whitmill.
Among the brief’s other lines of defense:
Bradley Cooper is proof that if you persevere long enough in this business, you end up working with the same monkeys all over again — and no, we don’t mean Zach Galifianakis.
“Crystal was incredible,” Cooper says of the monkey who plays a Bangkok drug-mule who’s key to the plot of The Hangover Part II, in theatres Thursday.
“I’d actually worked with her on Failure to Launch about six years ago.”
The monkey talk makes Cooper laugh. “What’s it say that I’m doing movies with monkeys I’ve worked with before? Is it my age?”
It may be that you’re just remembering he was even in the Matthew McConaughey/Sarah Jessica Parker rom-com Failure to Launch, just as you’d have to have fairly vivid memories of Sex and the City and Alias to recall him clearly. If you saw Wedding Crashers, you saw a TV good guy show earn a reputation for being able to convincingly play a jerk.
But it was the lightning-in-a-bottle adult comedy The Hangover that put Bradley Cooper on the cover of magazines, most notably People, which put him on the shortlist of Sexiest Men Alive.
The tale of three blackout victims on a bachelor’s weekend in Vegas — whose search for a missing groom involves a tiger, a baby, property damage, a hooker marriage and gangsters — hit some kind of nerve with the public in 2009, becoming the highest-grossing R-rated comedy in history (surpassing Beverly Hills Cop).
To be honest, I didn’t feel the prospect of a Hangover sequel — as inevitable as it was — boded well.
“And I felt exactly the same way,” replies Cooper, fresh off his scene-heavy box-office triumph opposite Robert DeNiro in Limitless. “Although I was less trepidatious when we got around to shooting it. And it’s nice when you finally see it and you realize your hunches were correct.
Bradley appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on May 17th to promote his new movie The Hangover: Part II! I know I’m a little late with this video, but it’s here now. Enjoy the video and the captures!
Screen Captures > Guest Appearances > 2011 > 05-17-11 – The Ellen DeGeneres Show
Bradley attended the Los Angeles premiere of his movie The Hangover: Part II last night and I just updated the gallery with 150+ photos of him appearing. I’ll be adding more photos as they arrive. Enjoy!
Public Appearances > Events from 2011 > “The Hangover: Part II” Los Angeles Premiere