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Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted - Ben Stiller DVD interview

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

Preview by Jack Foley

BEN Stiller talks about why he loves making animated movies and why revisiting the role of Alex in Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted was so much fun. He also discusses maintaining a good balance of work and play in his life. (which is released on Blu-ray and DVD on Monday, February 11, 2013).

Q. Do you enjoy doing animated movies like Madagascar?
Ben Stiller: Yes, I truly do. I feel like any time you are doing something you enjoy doing it’s easier because you enjoy doing it.

Q. How is animation different from live action as an actor?
Ben Stiller: As a voiceover actor you don’t have that much responsibility, which is really great. It’s really free. You come in and you have fun. You get to improvise and give it life. I love it.

Q. You have directed live action before. Do you think it’s easier to direct an animated film?
Ben Stiller: No, I don’t. Actually, I think as a director it’s probably more complicated and more difficult to direct an animated film. That job is harder than directing live action. You have to keep the movie in your head for a very long time. Keeping the whole thing in your head as a director is very, very hard.

Q. So, tell us, what’s Alex up to this time?
Ben Stiller: He’s the de facto leader, but not really a natural leader. He loves New York, and he’s still trying to go home.

Q. And what happens to the gang in Madagascar 3?
Ben Stiller: They stowaway with a circus. And they break into a casino in Monte Carlo. An animal control officer comes after them. And she’s very tough. There are all sorts of crazy chases through Monte Carlo. We get away on a train. And we learn that circus animals look down on zoo animals.

Q. And Alex faces his own personal rivalry this time, right?
Ben Stiller: Yes, he does. Alex has to confront Vitaly. And that guy is very angry, he doesn’t like Alex. There are a lot of cat-to-cat showdowns between them.

Q: What makes Madagascar 3 a film worth watching?
Ben Stiller: This far into the series, there is more freedom to try out new things. I really enjoyed the whole new setting; this movie to me feels very different than the other two. And I find that appealing as well. That was exciting for me. All the new circus animals really give it a certain freshness.

Q. Did you ever think of not returning to this franchise?
Ben Stiller: It’s never been a question for me to walk away from this. I loved the movies. Let’s keep it going if people want it and if there is a story to tell.

Q. You seem to be working all the time. Are you a workaholic?
Ben Stiller: I figured out how to manage it better. I try to find a balance in life, see what works for me and what doesn’t.

Q. Do you make animated films, so your kids can watch you?
Ben Stiller: My kids aren’t that impressed in terms of me being in these films. They just enjoy the movies. I selfishly like to make movies that I can share with my kids.

Q. You have done a lot of movies over the years. Which is the one where you still get a lot of fan response?
Ben Stiller: Zoolander. And that really surprises me. People still come up to me and tell me what a great film it was.

Q. How do you manage your family life when you are working?
Ben Stiller: When I am away, I try to come home every weekend. I don’t want to pull the kids out of school to come to the set. I try to be home as much as possible. We know as a family that we need to be together as much as we possibly can.

Read our interview with David Schwimmer

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is released on Blu-ray and DVD on Monday, February 11, 2013.