Before "The Hangover" became one of the biggest success stories of 2009, it was just a Warner Bros. comedy starring that guy who cheats from "He's Just Not That Into You," the dude from "The Office," and some short, fat guy with a beard.
Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis weren't putting all their eggs in one basket, because I'm fairly certain none of them expected "The Hangover" to gross over $459 million in the worldwide box office. In fact, the stars of "The Hangover" have been some of the busiest guys around Hollywood over the past year. Here's a look at what else they've been up to since "The Hangover" hit theaters in June -- beyond, of course, preparing for 2011's "The Hangover 2."
Though Bradley Cooper surprised audiences and critics with his comedic chops in "The Hangover," he chose not to return to the bro-comedy formula. Cooper's next film of 2009 was part of the Sandra Bullock comeback tour, in the romantic comedy, "All About Steve." He has a bit part in the Renee Zellweger-starring horror/thriller "Case 39" which opens January 1, and has been filming the ensemble romantic comedy "Valentine's Day," which apparently stars Hollywood in its entirety. Cooper is also set to star in the adaptation of the TV series "The A-Team," a role which he exclusively revealed to MTV.
Ed Helms had a double-hitter comedy summer between "The Hangover" and the not-quite-as-successful "The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard." However, considering that his roles in both films are his biggest to date, Helms has little reason to complain. He spent the rest of the year filming the sixth season of "The Office," in which he plays the recurring character of Andy Bernard. During the "The Office" hiatus in October, Helms also spent his time filming the upcoming Miguel Arteta-directed comedy "Cedar Rapids," his first leading role.
After his "Wolf Pack" speech and justification for needing a man purse, Zach Galifianakis won over "The Hangover" audiences with his unique brand of awkward comedy. The stand-up comedian didn't stick solely to films that could show off just how that watery-eyed stare could cut right through you: his next film in 2009 was the animated comedy, "G-Force." Galifianakis then got to star in HBO's new series, "Bored To Death," opposite Jason Schwartzman and Ted Danson. Audiences can see him now in a small bit role at the beginning of "Up in the Air," or in a slightly larger role in next month's "Youth in Revolt." Galifianakis has a number of films lined up for 2010, including voicing "Humpty Dumpty" in the "Shrek" spinoff, "Puss in Boots."
Maybe it's because Justin Bartha didn't get as much face time as Cooper, Helms and Galifianakis in "The Hangover," or maybe it's because his character Doug was kind of lame, but Bartha is the only star coming out of "The Hangover" who hasn't been bombarded with movie offers. He starred in the French romantic comedy "Shoe At Your Foot," and is starring in the upcoming Sundance entrant "Holy Rollers" opposite Jesse Eisenberg . You'll also be able to catch Bartha in the 2010 drama, "Long Time Gone."
Ken Jeong's character wasn't part of the main four in "The Hangover," but his Mr. Chow is equally unforgettable. Jeong is one of those actors who has been popping up in just about everything over the past few years, including (but not limited to) "Knocked Up," "Step Brothers," "Pineapple Express" and "Role Models." Surprisingly, Jeong has chosen 2009 to step outside the Judd Apatow movie house and taken on a few new -- albeit comedic -- roles. He was cast with Helms in "The Goods" and with Cooper in "All About Steve." He also made an appearance in the Vince Vaughn-starring "Couples Retreat." Lately, Jeong's been visible in NBC's newest comedy, "Community," as the Spanish teacher Senor Chang. He has several more films potentially lined up for 2010, including Kevin Smith comedy, "The Zookeeper."