As Memorial Day weekend is nearly upon us, one thing is on everyone's mind: The Hangover, Part II (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!
(Originally published May 24, 2011, at 5 a.m. PT)