That Slap Hurt! Five Ways Zach Galifianakis Threw Me Off My Game in ‘The Hangover Part III’

Thelma Adams
The Reel Breakdown

It's not easy being a parent – and that goes triple for Sondra Currie, 61. The long-suffering actress has played Zach Galifianakis' mom, Linda Garner, for three movies in "The Hangover Saga." And, just like every mother has her arsenal of embarrassing baby pictures, Currie has a story or two to tell on her screen son Alan. Galifianakis' mission on the set seemed to be to keep his movie mom in a constant state of fumbling unbalance.

[Related: Original 'Hangover' Baby Back for Part 3]

What's it like to play catch without a mitt opposite acting's wildest pitcher? If you've seen the trailer, posted below, it's no spoiler that Alan buries his father in the third movie. What you don't know is how much he improvised.

According to Currie, "That whole funeral sequence started with a couple of lines and Zach embellished it when he was doing his eulogy." And from there, his trail of mayhem through Currie's life began again.

1. "When Alan said, 'I can't believe my daddy is dead. I can think of so many people I would rather have died first - like my mother.' And then he shoots this pointed look at me. That was totally unexpected."

2. "After Alan gives the eulogy, he's leaving the stage and he does a pratfall over the sprays of flowers. That was unrehearsed. Then he stands up and continues and all our reactions were 'OMG.'

3. "When Alan sits down beside me after his eulogy, I try to sooth him. I put my hand on his knee -- and he whacks me! I was so startled that I let out a yelp."

4, Zach really slapped my hand hard and the director [Todd Phillips] said, 'Sondra, not that big.' I went, 'he slapped me!' He really had slapped me at that point. He's very spontaneous and that did throw me a little bit. It was an honest reflex when I yelped. It wasn't intentional.

5. "Removing his shirt when he's shoveling dirt on the grave: Zach came up with that, too."

Of course, Currie was used to being surprised playing off-script opposite Galifianakis: "In the second movie, the whole thing in Alan's bedroom with his lunch, where his attitude toward me took a strange turn, was unexpected. He said 'mother' to me like I was a waitress and I treated him like he was twelve. That whole cupcake line – when I forget to bring his dessert and he admonished me, 'would a cupcake kill you?' that was all him."

Currie claims that in person, when the cameras aren't rolling, "Zach is a quiet, sensitive guy." Isn't that what neighbors always say about serial killers the morning after?

Alan's mom improvised an answer to the eternal question: "Will there be a 'Hangover 4'? "They say no," Currie echoed the company line. "Zach says we've done it already. Todd says the same. All the stories are wrapped up. I don't know anything about that because they changed the ending. They scrapped the whole final sequence and none of the rest of us knows what the ending is. But Zach's story isn't wrapped up…..who knows?"