Ken Jeong, David Koechner, Tituss Burgess, Peyton List Board ‘Departures’

Posted by | Posted in On The Big Screen | Posted on June 15, 2017

From Hollywood Reporter

Asa Butterfield, Maisie Williams, Nina Dobrev and Tyler Hoechlin are starring in the coming-of-age drama.

Ken Jeong, David Koechner, Tituss Burgess and Peyton List have boarded coming-of-age drama Departures, and the cast has been rounded out with the additions of Sonya Walger (The Catch, Lost) and Margot Bingham (The Family, Boardwalk Empire).

The film, directed by Peter Hutchings (The Outcasts) from a script by Fergal Rock, stars Asa Butterfield, Maisie Williams, Nina Dobrev and Tyler Hoechlin.

The story centers on Skye (Williams), a spirited teenager with a terminal illness who befriends Calvin (Butterfield), a 19-year-old hypochondriac working as a baggage handler at the local airport. Calvin helps Skye carry out her eccentric “bucket list” of things to do before she dies. In the process, he learns to confront and conquer his own fears, including falling in love with the beautiful, but seemingly untouchable, Izzy (Dobrev).

Jeong will star as Officer Al, a sympathetic policeman. Koechner plays Bob, Calvin’s supportive father. Hoechlin stars as Frank, Calvin’s older brother, and List stars as Ashley, Skye’s estranged and concerned friend. Burgess plays Julian, a brassy flight attendant; Walger plays Claire, Skye’s heartbroken mother; and Bingham plays Lucy, Frank’s pregnant wife.

The film is being produced by Claude Dal Farra, Brice Dal Farra and Brian Keady for BCDF Pictures; Nicolas Chartier and Alissa Phillips for Voltage Pictures; and Derrick Tseng.

Jeong, who stars on the ABC sitcom Dr. Ken, which he also executive produces, and was most recently seen in Ride Along 2, is repped by CAA and Aligned.

Koechner, known for starring in Anchorman and its sequel, along with recent films Krampus and Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, is repped by UTA and Brillstein.

List recently joined Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet, a coming-of-age tale that will also star Cameron Monaghan (Shameless). She stars on the Disney series Bunk’d and also played Holly Hills in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise. The actress also was recently seen in the YouTube Red film The Thinning. List is repped by UTA and Untitled.

Burgess stars on the Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and is repped by APA, Soffer/Namoff, and Peikoff Mahan.

Walger is repped by Gersh and Authentic, and Bingham by UTA and Untitled.

Ken Jeong Joins Crazy Rich Asians at Warner Bros.

Posted by | Posted in On The Big Screen | Posted on June 15, 2017

From Deadline.com

Ken Jeong has joined the cast of Warner Bros.’ Crazy Rich Asians, the romantic comedy being directed by Jon M. Chu (Now You See Me 2). The film also stars Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, Awkwafina and Michelle Yeoh.

Crazy Rich Asians, which was adapted by Adele Lim and Peter Chiarelli from the best-selling book of the same name from author Kevin Kwan, follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu (Wu) as she accompanies her longtime boyfriend Nick Young (Golding) to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. The film features an entirely Asian cast and is being filmed entirely on location in Singapore and Malaysia.

Color Force’s Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson are producing the picture as is Ivanhoe Pictures president John Penotti. Warner Bros. put the project into production with a full Asian cast, which was a first for a Hollywood studio. Crazy Rich Asians is actually the first book in a trilogy and follows an American-born Chinese economics professor and boyfriend in high society in Asia. It provides comical look at the the cultural differences among Asians of Chinese descent around the globe.

Kwan’s first book published in 2013 has nearly 1 million copies in print worldwide; the third novel Rich People Problems drops this summer from Doubleday.

Jeong, who stars in ABC’s Dr. Ken and is best known for NBC’s comedy Community and for the role of Mr. Chow in the Todd Phillips’ directed The Hangover feature series, is repped by CAA and Aligned Entertainment.

The True Significance of Dr. Ken

Posted by | Posted in On TV | Posted on June 15, 2017

From You Offend Me You Offend My Family
BY Dana Lee 06/14/2017

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Dana Lee and Ken Jeong (photos via Dana Lee)

Veteran actor Dana Lee was a series regular on the ABC sitcom DR. KEN playing the role of DK–the divorced father of Ken Jeong’s titular character. The show was recently cancelled following its second season and Dana writes about why working on the show was a unique and special experience:

I have seen APIA actors come and go. APIA actors have always had some moments in the sun. Sessue Hayakawa in BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER KWAI, Dr. Haing S. Ngor in THE KILLING FIELDS, Golden Globe winner Nancy “Ka Shen” Kwan, Mako in THE SAND PEBBLES and Pat Morita in THE KARATE KID are most noteworthy. And let’s not forget the contribution Bruce Lee made to advance APIA actors.

However, proud and grateful I am of their performances, I can’t help but think that all of them fitted in a certain mold of what white people expected of APIA’s, except for Sessue Hayakawa. The popularity of Hayakawa rivaled that of Caucasian male movie stars in the decade of the 1910s, and he became one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood.

Today, one can say the industry has evolved to the point where the stereotypical mold of APIAs is considered broken. APIA guys with white or black girlfriends, and badass APIA girls kicking ass. APIA’s have leads on TV series, even a sitcom with an all Asian family (there were two). These are all good and positive things, to be sure, and I’m forever grateful for them. However, I still felt something was missing, until DR. KEN.

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DR. KEN Summer Press Tour (clockwise from left): Suzy Nakamura, Dana Lee, Krista Marie Yu, Albert Tsai

My acting philosophy has always been to keep quiet and let your work speak for you. I know, that is not necessarily a good philosophy for someone in the spotlight. You see, I grew up in segregated Houston, TX where my dad had a mom and pop grocery store in the black section of town, Fifth Ward, and we lived in the poor white section of town, Denver Harbor. Because my dad was a grocer, we always had enough to eat, though we were definitely lower middle class.

So, with few people who looked like me, I became more and more introverted. One day in high school, I decided to do something about my shyness. I approached the speech teacher about taking a speech class. Mr. Long, who was also the drama coach, decided that acting was more suited for me. So, desirous of overcoming my shyness I was willing to give it a try. Immediately, I was hooked. Not for the spotlight or fame or money but I found my “voice” in acting. Mr. Long also taught me another thing, “You’re an actor. You can play any part you want to play. Don’t you ever forget that.”

I haven’t forgotten it yet.

So, having a venue for my “voice” has always been the driving force in my career. It has never been about money, fame, or any of the many other superficial trappings of acting. Although, let’s be clear, I’m also not against it either. It’s just that my “voice”, my belief in myself, has played a big part in the roles I chose. It was also a big reason why I spent about 15 years at East West Players working not only as an actor but all the other important jobs that make a successful production. I continue to work in Equity 99-seat plan theatres. That “voice” also played a significant part when it came to all the uproars about casting and white washings.

“DR. KEN” WAS ABSOLUTELY THE BEST GIG I’VE EVER HAD.

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DR. KEN promo

To be sure, I’ve had some highlights in my 40 some odd years career in film, TV and stage. I got to slap Stallone, did two Frank Chin plays, played George to Nancy Kwan’s Martha in WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF and being cast in THE WOMAN WARRIOR. Sure, Ken Jeong, a star in his own right, is no Sly Stallone, Mel Gibson or Danny Glover and the writing on DR. KEN may not be Shakespeare, but I don’t care.

The thing that DR. KEN had over everything I’ve done is the opportunity to have that “voice” heard. It was a show about human beings with human aspirations and shortcomings…without denying our “Asianness”.

It also dealt with LGBTQ issues and interracial dating without being preachy. It had the humor plus the heart. It tried to delve deeper into the psyche of each character rather than just gloss over the superficial characteristics with a clever retort.

That humanity is what I’ve craved for my whole career. For sure, especially the APIA actors, felt we were doing something bigger than ourselves. The insight and courage of Ken Jeong, John Fox, Jared Stern and producers Mike Sikowitz, Patrick Kienlen, Mike O’Connell and the rest of the team; created an extraordinary journey for us all.

I want to thank them for a wonderful experience and for allowing me to express my voice. And with its cancellation, I think our community and the world will be deprived of one of the most significant moments on TV. Time will tell if there is anybody or any other network will have the guts to bring DR. KEN back or create another series like it.

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Dr. Ken Season 2 Premiere TONIGHT!!

Posted by | Posted in On TV | Posted on September 23, 2016

TONIGHT!!!! SEASON PREMIERE Dr. Ken 8:30p/7:30c on ABC

“Dr. Ken” Renewed for Season 2!

Posted by | Posted in On TV | Posted on May 13, 2016

From Variety.Com:

ABC has added to its comedy roster for the 2016-17 season by renewing first-year Ken Jeong comedy “Dr. Ken” for a second season.

“Dr. Ken” has been a solid performer for ABC on Fridays this season, averaging a 1.5 rating in adults 18-49 and 6.4 million viewers overall in Nielsen’s “live plus-7” estimates. In both categories, this is the network’s best delivery in three years.

ABC has yet to make a decision on veteran comedy “Last Man Standing,” which has served as a lead-in to “Dr. Ken.”

“Dr. Ken” stars Ken Jeong as Dr. Ken, Suzy Nakamura as Allison, Tisha Campbell Martin as Damona, Dave Foley as Pat, Jonathan Slavin as Clark, Kate Simses as Julie, Albert Tsai as Dave and Krista Marie Yu as Molly.

The show, which hails from Sony Pictures Television and ABC Studios, is executive produced by Mike Sikowitz, Ken Jeong, John Davis and John Fox.

Dr. Ken Promos

Posted by | Posted in On TV | Posted on August 20, 2015

Cancer Changed Ken Jeong’s Comedy

Posted by | Posted in News | Posted on April 01, 2015

From WNYC’s Living Cancer Series:

Ken Jeong describes his role in the 2009 blockbuster The Hangover as “the most obscene love letter to a spouse one could ever have.” He peppered his dialogue with bits of Vietnamese as an inside joke with his wife Tran.

Ken met his wife while they were both practicing medicine at the same hospital in Los Angeles. Ken had always done comedy on the side. He even performed midnight improv while he was working up to 100 hours a week during his medical residency. But after he and Tran married, he quit medicine to pursue acting full-time. Then, a year later, Tran was diagnosed with aggressive stage III breast cancer. They had twins who were a year old. And Ken had just gotten an offer to play an Asian mobster in a Las Vegas buddy movie.

Tran encouraged him to take the part. “You’re kind of burning out right now,” she told him. And he channeled his anger about her illness into his character’s comedic rage.

Seven years later, he talked to me about raising a family in the shadow of cancer and how his careers in comedy and medicine have converged in unexpected ways.

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Ken Burns Presents – Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies

Posted by | Posted in On TV | Posted on March 28, 2015

“Ken Jeong found out that his wife had breast cancer when he started shooting The Hangover.”

http://video.pbs.org/video/2365434728/

Tran is 6 years cancer-free and doing great.

Find out more about the film:

Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies

The “Dr. Ken” Cast Is Complete

Posted by | Posted in On TV | Posted on March 12, 2015

Allison (wife) – Suzy Nakamura (“Go On”)

Suzy Nakamura

Molly (daughter) – Krista Marie Yu (“The Thundermans”)

Krista Marie Yu

Dave (son) – Albert Tsai (Bert on “Trophy Wife”)

Albert Tsai

Hector (HMO nurse) – Jonathan Slavin (“Better Off Ted”)

Jonathan Slavin

Damona (HMO receptionist) – Tisha Campbell-Martin (Gina on “Martin”)

Tisha Campbell-Martin

Pat Hein (HMO boss) – Dave Foley (“Newsradio”, “Kids in the Hall”)

Dave Foley

Genuine Humor, Good Story Help ‘The DUFF’ Make the Grade

Posted by | Posted in On The Big Screen | Posted on February 17, 2015

The DUFF Cast
From Sun Sentinel

A quirky, true-to-herself protagonist, a hot boy next door and an evil popular girl compose the roller coaster ride of humor that is The DUFF.

When Bianca (Mae Whitman, Parenthood) a senior who coasted through high school with two close friends, realizes that those friends only used her to better their reputations by having her as their DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend), she begins a quest to un-DUFF herself with the help of her popular football player neighbor, Wesley (Robbie Amell.)

While the basic storyline is a good one, the overly witty dialogue and strange product placement (social networks like Instagram and Snapchat are mentioned several times) make The DUFF seem like a kitschy attempt to relate to its audience.

The film has genuine bits of humor, however, thanks to Whitman and her awkward attempts to talk to boys at the mall. Whitman’s performance is fantastic; her character was genuine and relatable, and the choices she makes throughout the film are reflective of the modern teenage girl.

The real star of The DUFF is Ken Jeong (The Hangover), who plays Bianca’s newspaper adviser. He adds a different level of humor that ultimately lifts the film from the basic teen comedy to one that people of all ages can enjoy. Madison, the stereotypical mean girl prototype (Bella Thorne, Shake It Up) doesn’t have much depth, but she contributes to the drama in the movie.

While The DUFF has some authentic moments, it won’t be immortalized as a teen classic. The movie’s underlying message, however, is one that should be celebrated across Hollywood and beyond – while there will always be those who are prettier and smarter than you, you should never let that discourage you.

The DUFF Cast

More ‘The DUFF’ reviews:

The best of the lot is Ken Jeong as Mr. Arthur, her favorite teacher, who gives her an assignment to write about what prom means to her. Ugh.

Jeong is so much more likable here than the screeching, profane Jeong of “The Hangover.” Toned down, he is actually funnier.
The L.A. Times

A remarkably restrained Ken Jeong as the school’s most inspirational teacher. Restrained, yes, but the unpredictable and outrageous Jeong still tosses in a few naughty asides to juice things up.
The Toronto Sun

It’s Ken Jeong who stands out. Jeong, who has made a sort of cottage industry for himself playing twisted characters in already deviant comedies, tones it down a notch here as an affable, goofy editor at the school paper.
–The Associated Press

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