Fifteen years after Ben Stiller directed and starred in the first Zoolander movie, he is back with Zoolander 2, a laugh-out-loud comedy about the further misadventures of dim-witted supermodels Derek Zoolander (Stiller) and his buddy Hansel (Owen Wilson). The movie hilariously skewers fashion designers, narcissistic rock stars, James Bond movies, capitalism and other targets ripe for parody.
Zoolander 2 is in many ways Stiller's valentine to his beloved mother, actress-comedian Anne Meara, who died in May 2015. The humor in the film, with its raillery against stupidity and pomposity, its jabs at phoniness and its mockery of self-importance, very much reflects her comic sensibility. Stiller's mother and his dad, actor-comedian Jerry Stiller, performed as the very popular 1960s–'70s comedy team of Stiller & Meara. Jerry went on to star in movies and the hit TV series Seinfeld and The King of Queens. They were married 61 years.
Stiller and his sister, actress Amy, were raised on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. As a boy, he became interested in making movies. In 1994, Reality Bites, the indie movie he directed and starred in with Ethan Hawke, was a surprise hit. Four years later, he played the lead in There's Something About Mary, with Cameron Diaz. A box office smash, the movie made Stiller a major star and paved the way for his other hits, The Heartbreak Kid, Tropic Thunder, he Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Night at the Museum and its two sequels, as well as a trio of Meet the Parents flicks.
Stiller, 50, and his wife, actress Christine Taylor, with their two children, Ella, 13, and Quinlin, 9, recently moved from Los Angeles back to the Manhattan neighborhood where he grew up. On a cold winter day, Stiller arrives at a French cafe a few blocks from his apartment and settles in for his Parade interview.
What do you miss most about your late mother? Honestly, it happened so recently that I'm still processing it. It affects me constantly. You know, you're going through your life, everything is great and then like, Pow! She's not here. It's hard for me. Obviously, my dad is a