Ben Stiller Says ‘Zoolander 2’ Flop Was ‘Blindsiding’ and ‘Freaked Me Out’ Because ‘I Thought Everybody Wanted This’: ‘I Must’ve Really F—ed This Up’

Ben Stiller has said in the past that “Zoolander 2” flopping at the box office was “not a great experience,” but he now admitted on an upcoming episode of David Duchovny’s “Fail Better” podcast (via People) that he was blindsided by the disastrous results that met his 2016 sequel. After all, the original “Zoolander” became one of his most beloved and quoted movies in the years after its 2001 theatrical release.

“I thought everybody wanted this,” Stiller said of the “Zoolander” sequel. “And then it’s like, ‘Wow, I must have really fucked this up. Everybody didn’t go to it. And it’s gotten these horrible reviews.'”

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

Stiller is now able to take a glass-half-full mentality to “Zoolander 2” flopping, as it reset his career priorities away from potential cash-grab opportunities and head first into rewarding directorial opportunities such as “Escape From Dannemora” and “Severance.”

“The wonderful thing that came out of that for me was just having space where, if that had been a hit, and they said ‘Make “Zoolander 3″ right now,’ or offered some other movie, I would have just probably jumped in and done that,” Stiller said. “But I had this 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.”

“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,” Stiller added. “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.”

Stiller’s acclaimed Apple TV+ series “Severance,” in which he directs several episodes and serves as an executive producer, recently completed production on its highly anticipated second season. Head over to People’s website to read more from Stiller’s interview on the “Fail Better” podcast.

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