Heather Graham has been in movies for decades, but it is her experience in the first The Hangover movie that may sit at the top. As evidenced in The Hangover Part III trailer, she’s back in the final film in the franchise and phoned Movie Fanatic for an exclusive interview to talk about the finer points of enjoying an old-fashioned Hangover.
The actress is clearly honored to be part of a blockbuster franchise that has humored millions. “It’s so fun to be part of this hugely successful comedy that so many people love," Graham said. "It’s great to be one of the people that made this movie.”
When it came to returning to work with The Hangover Part III leads Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms and Bradley Cooper, she welcomed the discovery that the trio have become huge stars and never let go of who they are at their core.
“It’s weird 'cause they’re all super successful now because of this movie. We now have much nicer trailers, nice little perks that we didn’t have before. I was really excited there was a juice bar! This was not there in the first one! These guys are these big movie stars. Whereas before they were these really talented actors and now they are giant movie stars,” Graham said.
“I thought it might be different. But, they are exactly how they were before. We immediately got back to a really fun and nice vibe.”
Her story within The Hangover universe is quite closely tied to Ed and his character of Stu. Although the marriage of the dentist and the escort did not work out, the actress who plays Jade still marvels at the unique talent that is The Daily Show graduate.
“He’s like the comedy Jimmy Stewart. He’s so likable and he has that quality that you just adore him,” Graham said. “I loved having our love story together and I was holding out hope that our characters would have gotten married. I was a little sad, but Jade’s got a really happy ending to her story. It was nice to work with him again. I’m such a huge fan."
When she got the script for The Hangover Part III, Graham was just slightly delighted that her character was married to a “real” doctor, living in a huge house. “When I went to shoot that day and I saw the house, I was like, ‘This house is massive!’ My character’s life is so much easier,” Graham said.
“Instead of leaving my baby with a bunch of guys I met the night before, my son has a gigantic toy room. I’m happy that Jade is a good mom.”
Keys to the success of the franchise are many, but it has to start with creator and director Todd Phillips. “I think he’s bold. He breaks the mold in terms of what you’re used to seeing in a comedy. He makes characters more morally ambiguous,” Graham said. “He doesn’t try to make them redeemable. He just goes for the comedy. At the same time, they are likable.”
The Hangover comedies are ones you can watch over and over. When asked what funny film is the same for Graham, her answer may surprise you.
“Tootsie! I love Tootsie,” she admitted. “And I love this Billy Wilder movie The Apartment and I also love Harold and Maude."