The Hangover Part II had to go even wilder than Las Vegas, so they went to Bangkok. This time the wolf pack wakes up and doesn’t even know how they got there from a Thailand resort. Shooting on the streets of Bangkok was chaotic too, but director Todd Philips said that was a good thing.=
“To make a movie about mayhem, sometimes you have to go to mayhem,” Philips said. “I think it all found its way into the movie and it helped. 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.”
At least they only had to deal with crowds. In the movie, the characters run across drug lords, strippers, police and monks. Zach Galifianakis said, “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 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.”
Bradley Cooper found a restaurant that became his favorite. “I actually took a liking to Top Menu which was a Chinese restaurant that I ate a lot in Bangkok,” Cooper said. “We spent Christmas in Chiang Mai which is incredible, but I just fell in love with Bangkok. We spent two weeks in a resort town and I couldn’t wait to get back to Bangkok.”
The Thai government had to approve everything the boys were going to film there. It turned out that even the raunchiest of Hangover Part II’s exploits fell within Thailand’s permissions.
“There are certain touchy hot button issues in Thailand that we just happened to not touch in the script that we naturally avoided,” Philips said. “Everything there they read and saw. I think again, the same way Vegas really embraced us filming The Hangover there and benefited from it afterwards I think, Bangkok was really happy to have The Hangover II there. The prime minister visited the set. It wasn’t like we were there shooting a small little movie. Everyone knew we were there. It was in the paper all the time. We had a blast. I think they were happy to have us but you’re right, a lot of people don’t know, it’s actually kind of a conservative city or culture.”
The citizens of Thailand welcomed the Hollywood actors too. “There’s just something about the spirit of the people there,” Cooper said. “They call it the land of 1000 smiles and there’s sort of reason for that. It’s just an openness and a gentility. So it’s very infectious. There’s something about the energy of the women and the people there that is infectious, you want to be around. That’s certainly one of the reasons I fell in love with Bangkok and would go back in a heartbeat.”
Even filming a whole movie there, Philips hasn’t gotten Thailand out of his system. “For me, Bangkok is just one of the most beautiful cities,” Philips said. “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 but Bangkok as a city is just a beautiful, unbelievable, like I said cosmopolitan city. I was there for about three months and still felt like I could’ve stayed longer, just more to see. Thailand in general is beautiful.”
The Hangover Part II opens May 26.