In a world where sequels and reboots seem to be the name of the game, not every one of them is going to be a winner. 2016’s Zoolander 2 certainly wasn’t. The comedy bombed at the box office, disappointed critics and audiences alike and offended the transgender community. Six years later, Ben Stiller, who starred n and directed the sequel, is sharing why he’s actually a-OK with Zoolander’s success not striking twice.
Zoolander 2 opened in theaters this time years ago to disappointing results. Ben Stiller admits it was “not a great experience” to watch a movie he helmed and led to fail all over the world. Here’s why he’s made peace with it:
Since Zoolander 2, Ben Stiller has made a very sharp turn from comedies to more gritty dramas, including Escape At Dannemora, a critically-acclaimed miniseries he made after returning for another Blue Steel. While speaking to Esquire, Stiller shared that if Zoolander was a big hit, he isn’t sure he would have had time to make the shift he has since in his career. He continued:
Perhaps Zoolander 2 gave Ben Stiller the kick in the butt he needed to go after different kinds of opportunities that are less commercial than the star-studded and cameo-filled comedy was in 2016. Escape At Dannemora is a biographical crime drama about a female prison employee in upstate New York (played by Patricia Arquette) who becomes romantically involved with two inmates (Benicio Del Toro and Paul Dano) and hatches a plan with them to help them escape.
Prior to Zoolander 2, Ben Stiller had directed another great project that skewed more on the dramatic side with The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and the failure of his comedy allowed him to branch out to that side of his interests. His latest project is a thriller series called Severance, starring an impressive cast that includes Adam Scott, John Turturro, Christopher Walken and Patricia Arquette.
Severance centers on Scott’s Mark, an employee of a company called Lumon Industries, who agrees to their “severance” program, which separates his non-work and work memories from each other. The show, which can be streamed with an AppleTV+ subscription, has been receiving great praise. While we don’t expect another Zoolander movie anytime soon, if at all, Ben Stiller has found a really intriguing new avenue for himself as a director these days.
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