Zach Galifianakis takes center stage in ‘The Hangover Part III’

In "The Hangover Part III," Zach Galifianakis' Alan has a more dominant role Credit: Melinda Sue Gordon
In “The Hangover Part III,” Zach Galifianakis’ Alan has a more dominant role
Credit: Melinda Sue Gordon

What’s one more trip to Las Vegas between friends? “The Hangover Part III” finds Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and loose cannon Alan (Zach Galifianakis) teaming up for one last road trip gone wrong. Only this time, Galifianakis’ Alan goes from comic relief to main character, which is a particularly risky proposition — at least according to Galifianakis.

Alan really takes center stage in this installment.
Yeah, as disheartening as that is. [laughs] No, I mean we’ll see if the audience thinks that an Alan storyline is sustainable for a movie — I mean a lot of Alan. There’s a lot of Alan in this. I was excited because we got to explore Alan a little bit rather than have him be just a one-dimensional character that’s kind of weird and saying random things. In this third installment I think there’s a little bit more of an emotional arc with him, which I appreciate. It’s more of a story than just jokes with Alan this time. I don’t know at the end of this where Alan goes. I think it’s kind of open-ended, but at least he seems like he’s on the right path.

I was going to ask where you see him five years from now.
Running The Tea Party. [laughs] No, that’s just a good-natured joke. I don’t know where Alan would be. Hopefully he’s married, and he probably drives by Phil’s house a lot and honks to see if Phil will come out, and then Phil maybe looks through his blinds to see who it is, if it’s Alan outside. Every other Thursday Phil will come out and say hi to him.

They’ve been billing this as the final installment. Why is the trilogy the standard for film series?
Well, part of it is overstaying your welcome, I think. After the first one I was fine with just leaving well enough alone, to be honest. But then it was so fun to do the movies, and I thought there was more to explore, ultimately. I’ve never really thought about the trilogy thing. The good thing about the third one is it allows kind of a nice goodbye. With the second one there’s no closure, really. There was an event, they’ll go on with their lives. This one seems like there’s a little bit of closure.

The “Hangover” films have been phenomenally successful. If this one follows suit, do you think you’ll have to try to talk them out of making a fourth one?
Well, I think it’s bad to do movies because of economic gain. As a entertainer or an actor, you want to try to do other things and challenge yourself to try other roles, and it’s time to move on. I think everybody feels that, the director and the other actors — and not out of anything but love. There won’t be a fourth.

Speaking of doing new things, you’re currently filming “Birdman,” a comedy from Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu, who’s better known for heavier films.
It’s a comedy, and Alejandro hasn’t made one. He’s a great filmmaker, obviously. The little I can tell you about is you kind of know you’re in the hands of a really experienced technician and great filmmaker. It’s been a really great work experience for me. I’m there with really serious actors who’ve done really accomplished work. I think I’m the only one in the cast who’s never won a trophy — and it will probably stay that way for my whole career. But it’s nice to be mixed up with these serious actors doing a comedy.


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