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Ben Stiller explains why he was ‘blindsided’ by Zoolander 2 failure
Featured Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

Ben Stiller explains why he was ‘blindsided’ by Zoolander 2 failure

Ben Stiller opened up on David Duchovny's new podcast by exploring the sequel to his 2001 hit

Following the success of the comedy Zoolander in 2001, Ben Stiller revealed why he was 'blindsided' by the reaction to the movie's sequel.

Stiller, the writer, producer, director and star of the 2016 sequel, recently appeared on the Lemonada Media produced podcast, 'Fail Better' with his former co-star, David Duchovny.

The actors began their long-lasting friendship in 2001, when they both appeared in the first Zoolander - a movie that remains a fan favorite.

The movie has an impressive Rotten Tomatoes score of 80 percent, and fans are still taking to X to describe it as 'hilarious' more than 20 years later.

However, its 2016 sequel wasn't so well received.

Despite the film starring major actors and celebrities including the likes Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, Penelope Cruz and cameos from Katy Perry and Justin Bieber, the film failed to breakeven on its $50 million budget, only making a domestic sum of $29 million.

Speaking on the Fail Better podcast, which is set to air on 7 May and explore the topic of failure, Stiller recalled how he thought the public wanted the sequel after the first film was such a box office success.

It was used for several famous memes and quotes - but when it came to the second movie, he told Duchovny: "And then it's like, 'Wow, I must have really f****d this up'."

Ben Stiller (Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
Ben Stiller (Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

Stiller expressed how he was 'freaked out' because he was unaware the sequel was 'that bad' - with the movie sitting at just 22 percent on Rotten Tomato's Tomatometer.

He continued: "What scared me the most on that one was l'm losing what I think what's funny, the questioning yourself ... on Zoolander 2, it was definitely blindsiding to me. And it definitely affected me for a long time."

When asked by Duchovny why he didn't want to create another comedy, Stiller responded with: "It was just hurt."

Owen Wilson, Ben Stiller and Penelope Cruz in Zoolander 2.
Owen Wilson, Ben Stiller and Penelope Cruz in Zoolander 2.

He added: "I always loved directing. I always loved making movies. I always, in my mind, loved the idea of just directing movies...and not necessarily comedies."

So, was this failure actually a new dawn for Stiller's production career?

Stiller says this period of reflection and introspection in fact, fueled new projects and allowed him to direct the crime drama Escape at Dannemora in 2018 (for which he won a DGA Award for Outstanding Directing – Miniseries or TV Film) as well as produce and direct the Emmy-nominated series, Severance in 2022.

Topics: Film and TV, Podcast, Celebrity, Entertainment