Ben Stiller admits “freaking out” after major movie became his biggest flop

Ben Stiller admits “freaking out” after major movie became his biggest flop

Ben Stiller was left “blindsided” after directing a sequel to one of his most beloved comedies — and it flopped harder than any movie he’d done before.

Two things can be true: Zoolander is one of the most beloved films of Stiller’s career, still quoted and referenced today (especially with Hansel and Derek’s red carpet face-off becoming a meme) — but its sequel was notoriously terrible, rejected by critics and fans alike.

Zoolander 2 was a disaster, flatlining at the box office with a meager $56 million worldwide, and that’s before we get to the reviews: it has a 22% score on Rotten Tomatoes and an even lower audience rating of 20%.

While Stiller has experienced other box office bombs (Mystery Men, Envy, and The Watch are notable examples), the sequel’s reception particularly “affected” him, especially since he directed it.

During an appearance on David Duchovny’s upcoming podcast, Fail Better (via People), he explained: “I thought everybody wanted this. And then it’s like, ‘Wow, I must have really f**ked this up. Everybody didn’t go to it. And it’s gotten these horrible reviews.

“It really freaked me out because I was like, ‘I didn’t know it was that bad?’ 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.”

There was a silver lining: without the freedom its failure afforded him, he may never have created Severance, which recently wrapped filming on Season 2. “The wonderful thing that came out of that for me was just having space… to kind of sit with myself and have to deal with it and other projects that I had been working on — not comedies, some of them — I have the time to actually just work on and develop,” he continued.

“Even if somebody said, ‘Well, why don’t you go do another comedy or do this?’ I probably could have figured out something to do. But I just didn’t want to… it was just hurt. Finding yourself in terms of what creatively you want to be and do, I I always loved directing. I always loved making movies. I always, in my mind, loved the idea of just directing movies that since I was a kid, and not necessarily comedies. And so, over the course of like the next like, nine or 10 months, I was able to develop these limited series.”


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In the meantime, find out what we know about Severance Season 2 and check out other new movies to watch this month.

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