Charlie Day’s directorial debut, Fool’s Paradise, is a film about a mute man who falls into acting. Think Charlie Chaplin’s “The Tramp” character with the eccentricity of a Wes Anderson movie. But every actor needs a publicist — perhaps the most under-appreciated part of the Hollywood industry — and luckily for Day’s character, he has Lenny (played by Ken Jeong).

Lenny is a down-on-his-luck publicist who loses his only client within minutes of Fool’s Paradise’s runtime. He’s in luck as he encounters a man who was released from a mental health facility (Day) and just so happens to look like a method actor who won’t leave his trailer (also played by Day). The man, now dubbed Latte, becomes a huge star and it appears that he has found his first big client.

Publicists, in many ways, are the backbones of the industry. They’re like the offensive line to a quarterback, and every actor needs one to handle everything from putting out publicity fires or getting films featured on various outlets. It’s a role that Jeong likely knows about to some degree, but that didn’t stop him from doing some research on the job.

“I actually talked to my publicists — shoutout to Michelle and Carrie — when I first got the role, and I would actually ask them [about] when they talked to press because we had a red carpet scene, and it is a tough job [laughs]. They’re managing so many things all at once. They’re managing so many demands and you have to kind of be on point and on time. You gotta keep the trains rolling and it’s an incredibly hard job.”

When it came time for Fool’s Paradise red carpet scene, Jeong attempted to replicate what he has seen and heard his publicists do.

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“I tried to mimic some of those movements [during] the red carpet scene. I do remember one of my favorite things — I don’t think they included [it] in the final cut — was when there was a whole photo of the cast [of] the movie within the movie with Kate [Beckinsdale], Latte, and Adrian Brody, and I’m in the shot and I remember [thinking] this is how publicists would act like.

“I remember Michelle one time being in the shot [and saying] like, ‘No, I’m not in the shot. You guys gotta do it without me,’ and I remember while we were filming [laughs], they’re like, boom, boom [snaps photos with his hands], and I literally would improv [things like] ‘You got to do it again — I’m in the shot,” and I kept improvising that [laughs] — it was a lot of fun. So every time my character was on a talk show or on a red carpet, I would get really, really shy and say, ‘Okay, please don’t put the camera on me. Please focus on Latte Pronto.”

Jeong concluded by calling the whole experience a “lovely thing” and called it a “shoutout to the hardworking people in this industry.” Hopefully, we’ll eventually see the deleted scene with Ken Jeong channeling his inner publicist, but he still did a great job acting as one of Hollywood’s most crucial pillars.

Fool’s Paradise will be released on May 12.