TODAY

TODAY   |  July 10, 2013

Ken Jeong: ‘Turbo’ is first movie my kids can see

The man best known as Mr. Chow in “The Hangover” franchise talks about his first animated film, “Turbo,” and says he is “so grateful” for his successes as an actor after leaving his first career as a doctor.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> ken jeong secured his spot as one of hollywood's favorite activities tors with his unforgettable roll in the hang over franchise. now ken is getting more animated in his latest role. he is the voice of a shop owner who, by the way, is a woman in the new film turbo. good morning.

>> good to see you. thanks for having me again.

>> did you know you were going to play a woman when you signed on to the role.

>> yeah that's what attracted me to it.

>> okay.

>> they said you'll be in an animated film and what gender again? women, i said i'm in. perfect. i was saying to you before we came on the air, i hear a hint of leslie chow in the character's voice. is that fair.

>> very fair. it's chow embodies in a man mancurist. the experience is different but my wife is veitnamese and this is a bizarre shout out to my inlaws.

>> do they view it as a shout out.

>> yes. i e-mailed my mother-in-law and i showed my mother-in-law a trailer for it and she loved it.

>> she loved it.

>> your kids can finally see this one too.

>> first movie my kids can finally see.

>> six year old.

>> i have six year old twin girls and they saw it and they loved it. there they are right there. i don't know their names because i'm a hollywood dad but yeah it's a studio they set up as kids. they're great actors. they show the love.

>> they're adorable.

>> alexa and zoe i believe are their names. they love the movie and it's great so actually go to a theater with the kids and just watch. i love -- we love watching family movies anyway.

>> and this is a story line that's so great. it's about empowerment and believing in a dream and going for it.

>> yeah, it's a universal tale of an underdog story with a fresh premise and watching the premiere, you get unexpectedly emotional. it's really heartwarming. it's such a heartwarming film. i'm proud to be a part of it.

>> we had a few of your costars in this week asking them about animated films . you're an actor and in the hangover used to hanging out with bradley and zach for a couple of months on end. here you're rolling into a booth solo. better or worse?

>> better. you don't have to shower. you don't have to shave. i went in every day with my pajamas on. it was amazing.

>> how did you get into share?

>> thought of his inlaws.

>> very method actor . i got a trunk, you know, a makeshift trunk from the hang over , popped out of it naked just to get into the character. but then i made it family clean and family friendly . that's important. i'm not a dummy. i think these things.

>> smart man. one of the great things about your story that's come out since the hangover came out is that you are a doctor and you have been a doctor for a long time and just sort of turned on the switch and decided i'm going to go into comedy. your wife is still a doctor.

>> still practices, yeah.

>> how has this changed your life. going from emergency rooms to movie studios .

>> hangover just changed -- it's the reason i'm here talking to you today and my wife actually -- i was actually afraid to quit my day job because i -- i knew realistically as an actor it's fickle. it's feast or famine and i -- it was because of my wife. she believed in me more than i did. i really owe her everything and this relates to turbo as wellbeing an underdog story of impossible dream actually coming to life. i relate to that because i never thought in a million years i would be talking to you and natalie and, you know, like multiple times promoting -- to me it's so surreal and it's never lost on me that i'm doing this for a living. i'm so grateful.

>> on community as well. picked up another season. despicable me 2 you're a character as well. you're on fire right now.

>> thank you very much.

>> keep it going.

>> thank you.

>> nice to have you here. turbo hits theaters on july