Ben Stiller

Ben Stiller Reflects on ‘Zoolander 2’ Setback, Admits Feeling ‘Blindsided’

Actor and filmmaker Ben Stiller candidly shares the profound impact of the commercial and critical failure of ‘Zoolander 2,’ revealing that the setback left him feeling “blindsided” for an extended period.

In an upcoming episode of David Duchovny’s podcast ‘Fail Better,’ Stiller opens up about his experience navigating the aftermath of the 2016 sequel’s disappointment. Despite his multifaceted role in the production, which included writing, producing, directing, and starring, Stiller found himself grappling with self-doubt and uncertainty about his comedic instincts.

Reflecting on the reception of ‘Zoolander 2,’ Stiller expressed his shock and dismay at the lukewarm audience response and scathing reviews. He recounted feeling deeply unsettled by the realization that the film had failed to resonate as he had hoped, leading to a period of introspection and self-questioning.

Stiller candidly admitted, “I thought everybody wanted this. And then it’s like, ‘Wow, I must have really (messed) this up.'” The disappointment and self-doubt lingered, impacting his creative confidence and leaving him reeling from the unexpected setback.

Despite the challenging aftermath of ‘Zoolander 2,’ Stiller found solace in exploring new avenues and projects. He described how the experience provided him with the “space” to reevaluate his creative pursuits and embrace opportunities beyond the realm of comedy.

Transitioning to directing, Stiller found renewed fulfilment in projects like the crime drama ‘Escape at Dannemora,’ for which he received acclaim and accolades, including a DGA Award. His subsequent endeavours, such as producing and directing the Emmy-nominated series ‘Severance,’ underscored his resilience and adaptability in the face of adversity.

As he continues to evolve as a filmmaker, Stiller’s journey serves as a testament to the resilience and determination required to overcome setbacks and pursue one’s creative vision with unwavering dedication.

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