Brilliant businessman and none-too-shabby actor Ben Stiller, a man whose come a long way since playing second fiddle to his dad in ’80s action-comedy “Hot Pursuit”, follows up his bravura turns and bonadfide box-office beasts “Meet the Parents”, “Zoolander”, “Starsky & Hutch”, “Night at the Museum”, and the “Madagascar” trilogy with the new science-fiction comedy “The Watch”. The film reunites Stiller with friends and occasional contributors like Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill.
This is the third or fourth time you’ve worked with Vince. Does that make it easier to work together?
Jonah and I did a scene in the Night at the Museum together, which is we had so much fun doing that. We were really looking forward to working together again. But yes, I love working with these guys. It’s great to work with the people who make you laugh and who are funnier. Vince and I had a really fun time working on Dodgeball together and it was exciting to have a chance to do something…it had been a while for us…so it was exciting to have a chance to do something new together – and being in a totally different kind of relationship, too. I’m just a fan of these guys and Richard [Ayoade]…I met a little bit because we had been able to be executive producers of Submarine.
You get around, mate. Each of these characters doesn’t change that much compared to a lot of modern comedies. Is it nice to lock into a character or a group like that and stick with it?
I think the fun thing for me is to be a part of a movie where you don’t have to worry about…being in R-rated film, you can have a lot more freedom. In terms of the structure, I think that these characters were who they were, and I don’t think it was about having it all sort of tied up in a bow. It was more about, again, these guys hanging out and how they affected each other, but it wasn’t like about teaching lessons or anything. I do think there is sort of, you know, an emotional connection these guys do have by this ending up being together and do show up for each other again.
Ask Sherilyn Fenn, Hollywood likes to put actors in boxes. Is it nice to make people laugh while also fighting off aliens?
I feel like first and foremost the movie is a comedy, so the action in the movie has to be believable. You should believe the aliens, but just enough that you can have the fun of the movie. Because I feel like when people come to a movie like this, they want to laugh and they are not necessarily looking for us to be these sorts of kick ass/bad ass hero guys. They want to feel like it makes sense for the movie and the comedy of it. So, I feel like just sort of finding that tone that makes it feel real enough to these real guys in that situation. And especially to the last part of the movie, we were trying to find as much humor within all this action moments. I feel like it’s still a part of the same movie.
This isn’t the first time you’ve channelled Tom Cruise. Noticed your style of running in the film isn’t unlike Ethan Hunt’s?
I think Tom Cruise’s running has a huge impact on the world. I mean, let’s face it. Culturally, everybody wants to run like Tom Cruise. I think Evan is probably a Tom Cruise fan, and when he sees his moment to run after the alien, he goes into his full Cruise-mode.
We know that Zoolander 2 is struggling a bit, but there’s an Anchorman sequel on the way. You had a cameo in the original, that mean you’ll be coming back for this one?
Yeah, sure. I would show up for that.