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Starsky & Hutch - Ben Stiller Q&A



Compiled by: Jack Foley

Q. You have been talking about this project for some considerable time and, in fact, you really immersed yourself in it - watching take after take in your trailer because you wanted to be in that world?
A.
Yeah, I was more just kind of trying to figure out a way of trying to play the character. I didn't really know what to do, so I just watched Paul Michael Glaser, because he was so cool, and he was really.. for me, that was the reason for doing the movie, because as a kid, I was such a fan. So I just watched many of the episodes and tried to get a feeling for what he was doing. Then I realised quickly that I couldn't do what he was doing, so I just sort of tried to run like him, and then Owen and I tried to develop whatever our relationship was, that would work.
I think that's why the show worked so well, because these two guys were just so great together. When you watch the episodes, you see that a lot of it is really just about them, and they're attraction.

Q. Have you started a trend where grown men hug in the street?
A.
I think it's good for grown men to be able to hug each other, either in public or in private. That's kind of what I like about the relationship, is that they're kind of emotional guys, who aren't afraid to be themselves with each other.

Q. At what point did you want Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul to be a part of it?
A.
I always wanted them to be a part of it. I just felt it was really important to give a nod to them, because that's the reason the show was successful, and the reason we were making the movie.
I got to meet them before we started shooting the movie and it was just so exciting. Because he is Starsky, he really is that naturally cool guy. When we had lunch together, that's the way he was with the waitress - cool and flirtatious. It was sort of not forced.
And he was very supportive, and kind, sort of like saying 'hey go ahead, go out there and do your thing and have fun'. I think he knew we'd have to live up to something.
But the day they came to the shoot was kind of well into it, which was good, because we'd had some time to be doing it. But it was definitely strange, and a little bit intimidating. We just did it, we just went into it without talking about it, but it was a little bit weird, but fun.
Owen Wilson: I said to David before the premiere, 'don't expect too much', as I was very nervous. Actually, he was very generous after the movie, and gave me a hug. I think he realised I wasn't a threat.

Q. What was it like driving the car?
A.
I loved driving the car, it was really fun. The car is so cool, but I had to learn to drive a little bit, as I'm not an expert driver. The stunt drivers took me out into the parking lot and taught me how to do a couple of things. I got to do some of the stuff in the movie, the simple things, but it was fun, really fun.
Todd: It was fun for Ben, Owen didn't really have as much fun...
Owen: Ben doesn't have very good reflexes, or hand co-ordination, so Ben would come on set and say, 'today we're going to do a powerslide, or a 180', but what he had to learn was what the rest of us call fenderbenders, I think is the technical term.
Ben: I don't know why you're lying. I never crashed the car once.

Q. We see you dancing again in this movie, following your dance in Along Came Polly. Are you trying to get a dance routine in every movie you do now?
A.
No, I never dance, it was purely coincidental. I actually talked to Todd about that...
Owen: Yeah, it was like, I did it in Polly and would love to do it again!
Ben: I never said that!
Q. Ben, you seem to be the victim at this press conference?
Ben: Oh no, no, no... with friends like these! It really was coincidental and I really did talk to Todd about it. But he said this was a totally different context. You're on cocaine, so we just went along with it.
But it was strange because I really never dance, I'm not a good dancer, I'm not inclined to do it, it's so hard to remember all the moves. I find that if you watch breakdancers, they make it look so effortless, but if you look at my eyes, you'll see a glazed look, as I try and remember the next thing I'm supposed to do. I'm not very co-ordinated.

Q. What about the wardrobe, and the tightness of the jeans? How did you feel about that?
A.
They were worn, and we were trying to get the wardrobe exactly the way it was in the show. You know the SL76 Adidas that they stopped making? I kept those sneakers. Oh, and the cardigan sweater. Just for fun.

Q. You've worked with Owen on a number of occasions now, what do you get out of your working experiences with him?
A.
I think for me it's working with someone that I can rely on. I always know what the experience is going to be. He always makes me laugh.

Q. Has playing such legendary sex symbol characters increased your own sex symbol status?
Owen:
I don't know. It's so early in the process [laughs]. I'm going to New York City next so I'll give you a report.
Ben: Owen likes to go out and sample it, and see, on a case by case basis. Personal surveys.
Q. Do you have more gay fans?
Ben: More gay fans? Do I have gay fans?

 

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