Ben Stiller said he received an apology from Roger Ebert for his review of Zoolander.
The late film critic wasn’t exactly impressive with the flick when it arrived in theaters in 2001. However, Stiller explained that Ebert had a change of heart several years later.
Ben Stiller talked about his encounter with Roger Ebert during a Tribeca Film Festival panel on Sunday afternoon. The actor and director said the critic had become a fan of the comedy in the years following its theatrical release.
Still said of Ebert’s apology:
“I ran into him like five or six years later backstage at The Tonight Show, and he said, ‘Hey, I just want to apologize to you. I wrote that about Zoolander, and I [now] think it’s really funny. Everything was a little crazy [back then]. It was Sept. 11 and I went overboard.'”
Stiller said that reviews pretty much come with the territory in the movie business. If you believe the good ones, then you have to treat the bad ones just as seriously. In regards to the Zoolander write-up, the actor said Ebert’s words were particularly “harsh.”
“I know people who like reading reviews, but, for me, you can always feel what’s getting good reviews or bad reviews. People will let you know. For me, that metric is one you can’t get wrapped up in. What do you do if they don’t like you? I guess you can learn from them.”
Roger Ebert’s review of Zoolander is pretty hardcore, especially for those folks who enjoy the movie immensely. The critic gave the film one lone star when he saw it for the very first time.
His write-up included this opening passage:
“There have been articles lately asking why the United States is so hated in some parts of the world. As this week’s Exhibit A from Hollywood, I offer ‘Zoolander,’ a comedy about a plot to assassinate the prime minister of Malaysia because of his opposition to child labor. You might want to read that sentence twice.”
Are you surprised that Ben Stiller received an apology from Roger Ebert?