Ben Stiller explains why Derek Zoolander, back for a new Super Bowl ad, is the supermodel for our time
Derek Zoolander is back and, yes, he remains “really, really, really ridiculously good looking.”
Ben Stiller — who first appeared as the vapid supermodel character in the 2001 movie “Zoolander” and the 2016 sequel — is blue steeling once again, this time for Pepsi’s new Super Bowl LVII ad, which was released on Wednesday.
Resurrecting the character came naturally to Stiller, who told CNN in an interview that the self-obsessed character would feel right at home in today’s me-focused zeitgeist.
“The idea of him staring at himself, at his reflection, and just being kind of enthralled by his own reflection is kind of probably a little bit indicative of where we are at as a society these days,” Stiller noted.
Perhaps, Zoolander is the original social media influencer?
“I think in the age of social media and selfies, and how people are kind of obsessed with their images, he makes sense now,” Stiller said of the titular character. The “Severance” creator added that Zoolander was likely “ahead of his time” in that respect.
TikTok certainly has fun with him. Stiller said his daughter recently showed him a trend that calls back to a scene in the first film, when Zoolander comes face to face with his nemesis Hansel (Owen Wilson) in a tense confrontation.
In the TikTok videos, Timbaland’s “Give It To Me” plays as users reenact the scene where Hansel bumps into Zoolander, to which Hansel replies, “Excuse me, brah.” Stiller admits seeing “Zoolander” — which was released over 20 years ago — speak to this generation, even in a silly meme, was “kind of cool.”
This, of course, begs the question: Will Zoolander ever have one last catwalk?
“You never rule anything out,” Stiller said, adding that there are in fact “no active plans right now” to add another “Zoolander” film to the franchise.
Luckily, Stiller embraced getting back into the “simple” mind of the character for the Super Bowl spot.
“I love doing it; it’s really fun,” he said.
For now, Zoolander’s cameo in the commercial, meant to promote Pepsi Zero Sugar, is a fun reminder that this beloved movie character remains hilarious. And Stiller agreed, adding that Zoolander “doesn’t really change, even though in model years he’s probably, like, 600 years old.”
Let’s hope that by now, Zoolander has least figured out how to turn left.
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