Interview with Ken Jeong from Dr. Ken
The other day I checked an item off my bucket list. I was able to do a fun interview with Dr. Ken executive producer, actor and all around doctor! Ken Jeong was so nice to talk to and very easy to interview. He had no big ego and shared a lot about himself and his life! So do not miss my Dr. Ken interview below!
How did you go from medicine to acting?
When I was a senior in high school I first got the acting bug. I did a mock male beauty pageant. I received a standing ovation to Three Times a Lady by Lionel Richie. I got the bug from the applause. This was 2 weeks before I graduated. I had plans to go to Duke to medical school. This kind of made me rethink that decision. So I was accepted to medical school and then applied to drama at Duke as well. I’m the first born son and I had no scholarships and we were not rich. When I was accepted into drama at Duke I had a decision to make. My dad wanted the best for me. He left the decision totally up to me. He did shape my decision. He told me if I survived medical school I was set for life. I would always have a good career and job. I decided to stay the path to medical school. The need to act was deeply rooted for me. To be doing it full time is a dream. My wife is a doctor as well and she married me knowing that I am an actor at heart.
My son is into acting and we have no plans to move to Los Angeles. Do you have any advice for me to share with him?
This was a very personal question from me to him. He gave me great advice and my son was so happy to hear his advice as well.
My advice to your son is to be a student of the craft in every performance. Now is his time to refine his skills and learn. I learn on every set I’m on and it shapes how I act to this day. Tell him to stand out in Nashville. In Los Angeles the waiters are fabulous actors. It’s a tough career. If he can make a name for himself in his town then he could potentially do well in Los Angeles. Stay local and come out of each project a better actor. Put your time in at the local level and just stay grounded and keep learning his craft. Always be in student mode.
Thank you Ken for your fabulous advice. My son is taking it to heart.
What do you like about working on this sitcom?
I’m also the executive producer of this show. So every decision that has to be made goes through me. It’s our second season and I’m so happy to be a part of this show. It’s the perfect comedy for families. I love that my character is a more exagerated fictionalized version of myself. It’s a fabulous ensemble cast of 7 or 8 and we just have fun at work. I love going to work every day.
How do you balance work and home life?
I work long days when I work so when I’m home I am completely at home. I love being with my girls. One is into gymnastics and she’s great at it. My other daughter is into acting and we get to see her this week on the show. When I’m home I try to give Tran (wife) time off. I take the girls and she goes out and has girl time with friends. We all need a break from our jobs. Time at home with family is precious.
Are you funny all the time at home too? Does it drive your wife crazy?
You’d be surprised. I’m not funny at home. I’m more reserved. My funny side tends to come out in public. I can be so annoying in public. But at home I’m chill. I married her for her sense of humor though.
How is your wife doing now?
She’s doing great. Thanks for asking. She’s an 8 year breast cancer survivor. We had a tough time but we’ve come through it a stronger couple. I’m thankful everyday for her, the kids and our life.
Do you still have your medical license? Do you have to do continuing education to keep it?
I do still have my license. I also have to take continuing education to keep it. I look at it as a reminder of where I came from. But acting is what I do now. I have no desire to go back. I love my job and role now.
This weeks episode has you and your wife sharing a patient? Did that happen to you two as well?
Yes, my wife and I met at the HMO we worked for. We did share a patient and that made for a funny storyline this week.. She’s still a doctor so a lot of storylines that I do I make sure to run by her. It’s nice that we can still share the medical field in this way.
Which actors inspire you?
I have a great respect for Joel McHale and Steve Carell. I worked with them on Parks and Rec and they’re amazing actors and lifelong friends. They both also manage their home and work balance exceptionally well.
Dr. Ken airs Fridays at 8:30 pm ET/7:30 pm Central on ABC.