Tropic Thunder takes Best Comedy at Critics’ Choice

Ben Stiller accepts Best Comedy at Critics' Choice
Ben Stiller accepts Best Comedy at the Broadcast Film Critics' Choice Awards

With the new year upon us, Hollywood is gearing up for the awards season. At last night’s 14th Annual Critics Choice Awards, triple-threat writer/director/actor Ben Stiller picked up the Best Comedy for his latest hit, Tropic Thunder.

In the first award of the night, Josh Brolin and Kate Beckinsale presented the win over other comedy nominees Burn After Reading, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Role Models and Vicky Christina Barcelona.

Stiller, accepting on behalf of the cast and crew, said,

Thank you. Thank you, critics. That’s a phrase I don’t know if I thought I would ever utter. It feels good, though. It’s really an honor to have been recognized with all the movies that were nominated. And I’m just going to speak for all these guys– Justin Theroux, Stuart Cornfeld, Eric McLeod, producing partners, writing partners, Etan Cohen. It was a fully collaborative process, so this award is shared with the amazing cast who just showed up everyday and took chances and blew me away; an amazing film-making crew, that I just feel like I work with the best people ever. We were supported by a great studio, Dreamworks; Stacey Snider, Steven Spielberg, David Geffen, Adam Goodman, Rob Moore at Paramount. And all of our husbands, wives, children, parents. Lastly, I just want to say, there are a lot of awards out there, but this one really I think has the most meaning. And I’m not just saying that because it’s the only award our movie was nominated for [laughter] Ok, maybe that had something to do with it, but that makes it even more special. Thank you, very, very much. Thank you.

Watch the presentation at VH1’s site. The Best Comedy award comes at about the 8:10 mark.

Congrats Ben and the folks at Red Hour Films!

Ben Stiller Essay Contest Winners

I’m pleased to announce the winners of the Ben Stiller essay contest.blueribbon

The runner-up entry came from Jenny T. of La Palma, CA, who wrote about the Ben Stiller project that deserves more recognition:

“People always ask, ‘What’s the worst thing heroin drove you to do?’ I always answer, ‘showing up on Maury.’” This was the little-known and overlooked dramatic turn that Ben Stiller did back in 1998. This dramatic masterpiece shows just how much Ben can do. This is Permanent Midnight. People who have not seen the movie think that Ben is entirely incapable of acting in or directing any drama whatsoever. Several internet couch-potatoes are outraged after hearing that someone by the name of Ben Stiller, a comedy king, is going to direct The Trial of the Chicago 7 or star in Greenberg, declaring that he cannot pull it off. However, the few people who have seen the movie say that he portrayed Jerry Stahl perfectly. And in reality, no one could have done it better than Ben. He said himself that he lost weight for the role and ate dried sardines on the set so he would feel “sick to his stomach.” Some might call this method-acting, but there is one word that unquestionably sums it up: commitment. The gut-wrenching, tear-jerking, jaw-dropping scenes show that commitment and would positively change the opinion of anyone who thinks this comedy master is unqualified for drama because he’s “never experienced it.” Ben is a funny guy, for sure, but he is also an incredibly serious person who deserves to show off his skills in both comedy and drama. And Permanent Midnight is one sure example of his talent that was, unfortunately, unnoticed by audiences.

From Esther K. of Los Angeles comes the Grand Prize, in which she reveals “The Star-Crossed Adventures of Ben and Esther”:

Ben and I have a long and storied history. Although I missed most of his television exploits, once he hit the big screen, it was a done deal: our paths would intersect. I didn’t know how or where, but when I saw Reality Bites, I knew it would come to pass. I knew the writers wanted me (as audience member) to fall in love with Ethan Hawke, but there was “something about Ben” who seemed to have an appreciation for funny non-blonde females like Janeane Garofalo (and perhaps, me?) Why would Ben’s character in There’s Something About Mary waste time with perky, giggly non-Jewish Cameron Diaz when he could be throwing a super seder with me and his parents on the Upper West Side? I made a note to query his papa Jerry next time I saw him at the bagel shop we both went to.

When I became an extra in Keeping the Faith, I spent more than six hours waiting for a glimpse of Ben, who was starring in the film. Director Edward Norton told us Yiddish jokes to keep us entertained between takes, but I was waiting for Ben. When he showed up, I was amazed to see how diminutive such a large talent was. We were denied onscreen time together (as well as offscreen time), but I still felt that a convergence of destinies was approaching.

Perhaps I moved to California this October to be closer to Ben’s production company, or close to Hollywood. Or perhaps it is my destiny to win this contest. I guess the judges — or maybe fate — will decide.

Thanks to all the participants who sent in great essays — choosing the best ones was a challenge!

Ouch – Stiller takes header, breaks hand

ben-stiller-handAccording to the New York Daily News, Ben Stiller had a painful wipeout snowboarding this weekend, and was admitted to the Mount Sinai Hospital for treatment of a broken hand.

He stayed through the afternoon while his phalanges got patched up, and is expected to be fully recovered in time to promote his next film, Night at the Museum 2.

See: NY Daily News

Update: UK’s Daily Mail has a picture of Stiller with his new cast.

Tom Cruise hopes to revisit Grossman

Tom Cruise as Les Grossman
Tom Cruise as Les Grossman in 'Tropic Thunder'

Now that he’s gotten a Golden Globe nom for his role of Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder, Tom Cruise tells E! Online that we may be seeing more of his beefy-armed alter-ego:

“I’ve talked about doing different videos with the character. I’ve started working with Ben [Stiller] on it, and we’ve kind of talked about different things to do. We were gonna do some in our free time, but we haven’t found the free time…yet. “

Word is that the character may return in another film. Says Cruise, “I gotta talk to Ben, but there could be more to do with that guy.”

Stiller takes on ‘Greenberg’

Mark Ruffalo, Noah Baumbach
Mark Ruffalo, Noah Baumbach

Ben Stiller has been tapped to replace Mark Ruffalo in the upcoming film Greenberg, from writer/director Noah Baumbach.

Ruffalo has recently been dealing with the sudden death of his brother.

The project is being kept under wraps, but apparently is a relationship comedy/drama, according to producer Scott Rudin. Baumbach is known for his previous production, The Squid and the Whale, based on his childhood experiences.

Zoolander 2 still in development, unsurprisingly

Blue Steel, revisited
Blue Steel, revisited

Enthusiastic glee has spread across the Interwebs that Ben Stiller will shortly be revisiting the role of Derek Zoolander in a sequel. In a brief interview with The UK Sun, Ben said earlier this week, “I’ve been trying to get Zoolander 2 together and we’ve had a few scripts. I feel that is the sequel I really would like to do some day, because I like the original and I would make sure it was something new and worthy of it first.”

Most reports seem to clip out the critical part “some day“.

Not to throw cold water on the excitement, but it’s a long way from looking at a few scripts to shooting.

Continue reading Zoolander 2 still in development, unsurprisingly

Mo' Stiller, Less Filler