By Jorge Solis (firstname.lastname@example.org) | May 26, 2015 02:00 PM EDT
From Cinedigm, the popular Taken franchise, starring Liam Neeson, gets spoofed in the Tooken movie. In an exclusive interview with MStars News, comedian Margaret Cho talks about delivering the laughs in the outrageous comedy, Tooken, working with co-star Lee Tergesen (Oz), and her upcoming “The PsyCHO Tour.”
As we previously mentioned, Tooken takes a satirical spoof at Liam Neeson’s retired CIA character. Bryan Millers (Tergesen) has become a Prius-driving mall cop with a special set of skills. Stripped of his wife Lenore (Lauren Stamile), dog, and daughter Kim (Laura-Leigh)’s virginity. Millis joins forces with his retired ex-CIA mother, Edna (Joyce Bulifant) to save the day before Brown Finger (Cho) blows up the entire world.
Before Tooken makes its debut on Digital HD and Video on Demand May 26, the Notorious C.H.O. actress discusses playing the big bad Brown Finger, the message behind her PsyCHO tour, and her upcoming projects.
MStars News: Tell me how did you become involved in the project Tooken?
Margaret Cho: I was asked to do it. I think they were looking for this particular part. They were looking for a man for the part. But then, my friend Lee Tergesen, who was the star of the film, he thought I would be great. He contacted me and we decided to do it.
MS: Tell me about creating the look of Brown Finger, because It reminded me of Dr. Claw and his M.A.D. Cat, from the Inspector Gadget cartoon series.
MC: Yes! Yes, I mean its a lot of fun. It was just fun to do and a fun character to play. I just really enjoyed it! For me, it’s always very fun to do something different. And to play a man was exciting and unique!
MS: Tell me about building the comedic chemistry with Lee Tergesen, because the timing was impeccable, especially with how you bounced off each other’s ideas.
MC: He’s a really close friend of mine. His daughter was born the same day as me. So we have that connection there. I love him! He is a hilarious guy,. He’s just a wonderful actor and I learn a lot from him. Working with him, also just being in his presence, I just love him! I think that’s one of the reasons why we work so well together. We have a real affection for each other and for comedy.
MS: Tell me about the differences between hitting your comedic timing, whether you’re on stage verses a film set?
MC: It’s definitely different, but then there are some things that are kind of the same. When you’re doing comedy, you sort of know what the timing is. It’s not that different. It’s just that you hope that the jokes still work many months later when you finally see it.
MS: Tell me about the fight scene you have with Tergesen, because it goes way over-the-top.
MC: It’s really over the top! We trained for it a long time. We were actually working on trying to make it look real, like a fight. I’ve haven’t done stuff like that. I’m not a physical person. I don’t have that In my life. It was actually kind of a hard workout to do all that fight choreography and to learn how to make it look insane. We really laughed. It was really fun to do! It was a crazy all night shoot but it was an amazing experience.
MS: Did it feel strange, especially with the giant prop, standing around on set, while everyone was looking at you?
MC: It was highly choreographed. Everyone was more concerned about our safety, really because they were coming at us with this huge weapons. You want to be safe even though the weapon is not really a weapon exactly, but it was physically challenging, I really feel for the people who are in this, who do this action kinda stuff. We had stunt doubles we had people taking the real blows for us; it was still hard.
MS: Would you consider doing another another action spoof like this ?
MC: Oh I would love to! I mean it was so much funny, fun, and really rewarding. I think people are gonna laugh. I’m really proud of it!
MS: Tell me about your upcoming standup tour PsyCHO.
MC: It’s a show that I filmed for my festival in September. That’ll be out then…I’ll be in tour in sort of support of that, for the next couple of months. Its a big show with all new material. It was stuff I was writing when I was trying to understand why there is so much violence in the world, how people are really suffering. It’s directed at people if color, directed at gays, lesbians, bi-sexual, transgender people, and directed at woman.
How do we find some sense with it, come to grips with it, and deal with it? This show is about how to live in this violent world, when you’re witnessing and on the receiving end. It’s an important show and a really good one.
MS: Would you say that’s the message you want your audience, especially the LGBT community, to come away with from your show?
MC: Yeah, well I think the message is that we have the right to protest against this. We have a right to be angry, own our anger about what’s happening to all our different communities, and just find a way to make sense of it; make peace within our communities too.
MS: Does it get easier each time or do you still get jitters in front of an audience?
MC: I think what it is is that when I do comedy often, it’s always the best. Because it doesn’t become such a whole big thing in my mind; it’s sort of looming. When you take a time off between standup shows, it can be very daunting to go back and pursue it again. I always prefer to try to make a regular thing if I can.
MS: You’ve done work with Tina Fey on 30 Rock. You were also in the John Woo action flick, Face/Off. Do you have a preference comedic or dramatic?
MC: I love it all! For me its all just trying to present the story as best I can. I try to present the story as faithfully to the writers and directors as I can. For me, it has a sense of being very similar.
MS: What other projects are you working on now?
MC: I’m doing some standup still and gearing up for this big tour. I am trying to learn how to work behind the camera as a producer, developing shows for other artists and talents. I’m trying to expand my horizons.
I’m working on a music album. I have a couple of ones that are completed. I’m trying to figure out how release that at the same time as stand-up comedy. It’s a little bit challenging to find a way to work a musical artist, a musician, as well as being comedian.
Tooken arrives on Digital HD and Video on Demand May 26. The DVD will be available July 7.
Check out Margaret Cho’s official website for dates of The PsyCHO Tour.