Harold and Kumar are back for a brand new adventure with a Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas but this time, they’re older, wiser and well, not really friends with each other any more. Uh-oh. Does this mean their best friendship is over together? I had to find out for myself. I sat down with stars John Cho and Kal Penn to talk about the latest sequel and was treated to a pretty hilarious conversation. Granted, they’ve been doing interviews all day and I think I was the very last one to see them in person. We talked about everything from clay body parts, where their fans came from and how Harold & Kumar led the Occupy Wall Street protests.
Also, I learned that they knew all about 8Asians. Does this mean they’ve read our embarrassing posts about me wanting to have John Cho’s baby? Wow, awkward. Also warning, slight spoilers ahead.
8A: I saw the movie last night! It was awesome. And someone brought their kids.
Kal Penn: Who brought their kids? How old?
8A: Like six years old?
Kal Penn: That’s bad parenting.
John Cho: Were they short people?
Kal Penn: I think that’s terrible.
8A: So you would not show this movie to kids?
KP: No. Please, parents, have the judgment to not bring your children to a movie like this.
JC: Well, Santa is real in our movie so that would be appropriate for children.
KP: I think parents should buy—let’s see, two adults, two kids—they should buy four tickets for Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas and drop the kids off at Puss in Boots.
JC: That is a strange testament, I would say though, to the sweetness of Harold & Kumar—
KP: What is?!
JC: That people feel safe bringing their kids.
8A: Did you guys think you would be making a third Harold & Kumar film?
JC: [singing] Always knew it!
KP: You did?
JC: No. Well it was crazy, if you think about where we were and where the business was back in 2003. To think that these two faces would be on movie posters and they were selling that movie with us. It seems ridiculous and even now seems a little ridiculous. I still see the poster and trip out. And you know I have it hanging on the ceiling above my bed. It’s very romantic.
KP: I would agree. We never thought we would have a chance to do this and really the only reason why we had a second and a third movie is because of the fans….We had a lot of fans that we shipped from—
JC: We shipped our fans over in export crates from China.
KP: No. We manufactured them here as good Americans and sold them in China.
JC: Oh, I see.
KP: And we never thought we would have a chance to do this movie.
8A: That was a great way to wrap the question up.
JC: Yeah, it was good!
8A: How do you guys feel about the 3D? It’s the hip thing now.
KP: I like that we made fun of 3D because everything is in 3D these days and our 3D is not the appropriate wholesome let’s-go-see-a-big-budget-action-movie-in-another-dimension type of thing. It is vulgar, it’s crass and yet it also miraculously allows the audience to feel like they’re in the movie and on the couch with Harold and Kumar, which I thought was kind of cool.
JC: I think it was only appropriate considering the mega-stardom that we have achieved now. That they had to increase the number of dimensions for us to appear in to satisfy a hungry public.
KP: That’s a hipster bit. You’re doing a very hipster bit right there.
JC: Thank you.
8A: Hipsters are in now, like 3D.
JC: Are they?
8A: I went to a hipster baby party and all the babies were cooler than me.
JC: By the way. This is another thing I really hate. And I have a kid. Stop inviting adults to children’s birthday parties! Have the kids dropped off, let them jump in the bouncy house, we’ll pick them up at 4PM but—and then they say, “Oh, we’ll have beer.” Like I don’t have access to beer? [Awkward silence] No? You don’t have this problem? You don’t get invited to kid’s birthday parties? I was being invited to kid’s birthday parties long before I had a kid.
KP: I think that’s kind of fun.
JC: Oh my god.
8A: We see a lot of Harold in this movie, more than fans were probably expecting. How do you guys feel about that?
KP: [pointing to John Cho’s groin] She means that area.
Kal, were you jealous?
KP: No, cause I got to share Kumar’s with the world as well.
8A: Well, it was clay.
KP: Yeah, but my penis is actually made of clay. Very few people know this. It’s always been made of clay…In fact, I think the nice part is that I am frequently able to give partners a clay mask.
JC: Oh, wow. That was grotesque. I cannot top that…I was a little nervous about my mother seeing that scene but what can I say? You have to go with it.
8A: It’s like when an actress has to go topless for a movie. It’s for the art.
JC: Yes. We achieved high art. When a cinematic masterpiece demands something of you, you must acquiesce. Which is what I have done to advance the art form. So you’re welcome.
8A: One of the big debates on 8Asians right now is over the Occupy Wall Street protests. I was wondering if you guys could share your thoughts on that? I was excited to see you guys address that in the movie, but was that a coincidence?
JC: Was it? Or did we engineer the whole economic collapse to bump a joke?
KP: I was going to go a little lighter and say that we orchestrated all the protests for the movie…Honestly, though, I wish it was getting more coverage in the media. I’m a little sick of seeing the sob story about Madoff’s wife as opposed to the real struggles—
JC: HOW DARE YOU! That woman has been through enough without you bagging on her!
KP: I’m not even going to glorify that with a response…But I do also wish that they had a concrete set of asks. I think the energy is so great, especially the young people out there. It would be cool to see a concrete set of things that they are for as opposed to just what they are against. A lot of what they’re against is stuff that was being addressed in the political process, like the consumer financial protection bureau or like getting rid of predatory credit card lending, which the President has tackled. So it seems like there’s a bit of a disconnect there but I’m hoping to see a lot more cohesive response.
JC: Related question: I have a Capital One credit card with a 61% interest rate. Is that high?
KP: That’s your closing statement right there.
So there you have it, folks. Harold and Kumar are solely responsible for the American recession and the 99%, all for the sake of entertainment. Also, they both agreed that pho ga was their Asian comfort food. They have good taste. A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas opens in theaters this Friday.
PS. For more fun with Kal Penn, check out my interview where we play the “Kal or Kumar” game.