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Along Came Polly - Ben Stiller Q&A



Compiled by: Jack Foley

Q. Could you describe the character that you play?
A.
He's a guy who has a really clear idea of what he thinks his life is going to be, a sort of set plan, who is forced to rethink what was his life, when he catches his wife with the naked French man. And then he meets this girl, who he thinks couldn't possibly be the woman for him, and she turns out to be wonderful.

Q. What is the riskiest thing you've ever done in your life?
A.
Gosh, I don't know. I've done some weird things, like I've jumped out of an airplane with somebody attached to my back. It was sort of fun, and I had actually just broken up with a girlfriend and was trying to discover myself, I guess. I took flying lessons... about five hours worth.

Q. Can you describe your worst ever first date?
A.
I don't have a worst one, no, I just hated dating. It took so much energy, and that idea of putting a front, or the idea of putting the best possible version of yourself, takes a lot of energy to keep up. I always used to look forward to the time where you don't have to do that anymore. So I got married.

Q. What do you think of London?
A. I'm very happy to be here; I wish it was a little bit longer, but I'm coming back in a couple of weeks. I love British humour. I'm a big fan of what you do on television. The comedies here are much more interesting!
[Jennifer frowns and laughs]
But I'm a big fan of Steve Coogan and Ricky Gervais.

Q. Will you be attending the Oscars and have you made any preparations?
A.
I am going, but that's because I'm presenting a very prestigious award... best animated short [laughs]

Q. You said in the production notes that you couldn't think of anyone else to play Philip Seymour Hoffman's character? Did he see that as a compliment? And have you ever had a friend quite like that?
A.
I've never had a friend whose like the guy you can't really take anywhere. But I've a lot of friends who wouuldn't mix with other friends, but never the friend who wouldn't mix with anybody.
But I was very happy to work with Phil Hoffman, because I think he is an incredible actor, and I think it's great for him to be doing something that's light and funny. I thought seeing him in a different light was cool.

Q. You helped to turn Robert DeNiro into a comedian with Meet The Parents? Are there plans for a sequel?
A.
Yeah, John's writing it right now, and we're going to be shooting it in the spring.
But I don't think I turned him into a comedy actor; I think he's always been funny and I think his work has a sense of humour about it. I think every dramatic actor has a sense of humour.

Q. How many takes did it need to finally get Hank Azaria's comedy French accent right, without too much inuendo or laughter?
A.
Hank is just one of the funniest people there is, and that was one of the fun things about doing the movie, just trying not to crack up while he did that. And Hank, I think, kept on doing what he was doing to make it his goal to try and make us crack up.
Jennifer: I don't think there was ever a clean take!

Q. The premiere is tonight. Will you be doing a Tom Cruise-style walkabout?
A.
Well, I don't have an hour's worth of fans!

Q. I hear you didn't get on too well with your ferret co-star. Can you elaborate on that?
A.
I was fond of the ferret, because I got bitten by the ferret at one point. So I had to get like a rabies short, or a tetnus shot, and I talked about it. I jokingly said it on a chat show and the ferret people wrote me like a thousand emails about how ferrets shouldn't be in the movie. I have no problem with ferrets; it's the ferret owners I have a problem with!

Q. Have you had any feedback from David Soul and Paul Michael Glaser about Starsky and Hutch?
A.
They make a cameo in the movie and they're both into it.

Q. Are you more of a pre-planner, yourself, or a bit more like Polly?
A.
I like to have a plan, in terms of my life, but I'm not really that connected to it. I like to do things a little bit loose. I'm not that rigid.

Q. Were you nervous about showing your bottom?
A.
It was very quick... John promised me that he would cut it out of the movie if it didn't get a laugh, right? But I don't know if it gets a laugh. However, I was told later on, that I could have got a double [says looking at director, smiling].

Q. What did you like most about filming Along Came Polly?
A.
I liked everybody in the cast and John was a great director to work for. He creates a really good atmosphere, a genuinely good atmosphere, and you feel appreciated.

Q. And any favourite scenes?
A.
I have a couple. I really enjoyed having the opportunity to work with Alec Baldwin, so the scene we had in the bathroom together was really fun, because I never really had a chance to work with him.
And then working with Jennifer was consistently fun, every time that we would do a scene. She's so there in the scene and there's so much coming back and forth.

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