The fact that Todd Phillips has managed to create a lengthy and ongoing media interest in a simple cameo role in a sequel to his endless streams of blokish, bawdy road-comedies is a testament to his gift for courting media sensationalism and controversy and creating exposure for otherwise underwhelming work. The soap-opera sideshow that has been the choice of a humble tattooist in Bangkok (the setting for The Hangover 2) has ensured that the movie has remained in the headlines throughout its production, and with the movie reaching its completion, there has been another change of plan with the choice of Nick Cassavetes for the role. Yeah, because audiences are going to care about Nick showing up? Initially, of course, the marginal part of the tattooist was earmarked for the actor that would appear to have the word hangover tattooed through him like a stick of Blackpool Rock, Mel Gibson. It was subsequently reported in suspicious detail that the cast had rebelled at the notion of including Gibson in the film, due to allegations of anti-semitism and misogyny though they apparently had few such qualms about working with convicted rapist Mike Tyson in the first film. Liam Neeson was then cast in another of his lucrative cameos; however, somehow the parts he shot did not make narrative sense in post-production for which the Irish actor was not available and so in stepped Nick Cassavetes. As Phillips explained:
We were in a complete time crunch so I called up Nick and asked if he would do the part... He came in and crushed it and that is the scene that you will ultimately see in the film.Cassavetes has been primarily devoted to following in his illustrious fathers foot-steps behind the camera in recent years, his last part on the big-screen a small and unaccredited role in Blow. It will at least be interesting to see what he can still bring to cinema after all this time. Little else about Phillips forthcoming comedy can be said to share this quality. The Hangover 2 is scheduled for release on May 26th.