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©AP / Ben Stiller
© AP / Ben Stiller
Ben Stiller received apology from Roger Ebert over 'Zoolander' review


Funnyman Ben Stiller received a personal apology from Roger Ebert after the legendary film critic slammed his 2001 movie "Zoolander."

The late writer, who lost his battle with cancer earlier this month, published a scathing review of the comedy, which Stiller wrote, directed and starred in, branding the comedy "offensive" and "tasteless." However, Ebert eventually changed his mind about the film, and reached out to make amends when he and Stiller both appeared as guests on "The Tonight Show."

Bing: Remembering Roger Ebert

Speaking at a Tribeca Film Festival panel, Stiller recalls, "[The review] seemed rather harsh to me. To his credit, I ran into him like five or six years later backstage at 'The Tonight Show,' and he said, 'Hey, I just want to apologize to you. I wrote that about 'Zoolander,' and I [now] think it's really funny. Everything was a little crazy [back then]. It was September 11 and I went overboard.'"

Stiller admits he tries not to worry too much about critics' opinions, adding, "It's the old adage: If you believe the good ones, you have to believe the bad ones. I know people who like reading reviews, but, for me, you can always feel what's getting good reviews or bad reviews. People will let you know. For me, that metric is one you can't get wrapped up in. What do you do if they don't like you? I guess you can learn from them."

Apr 22, 2013 3:03PM
"Zoolander" suffered from being slightly ahead of its time.  Roger Ebert was such a great film critic, even to the point of re-examining his opinion of a film such as "Zoolander," and even apologizing to director/star Ben Stiller, who likely laughed all the way to the bank, but was just as gracious in accepting Ebert's apology.  While the movie is hardly a masterpiece or a classic, it's a very funny film!!!
Apr 22, 2013 2:47PM

Loved zoolander and it's social commentary. I actually watched it again 2 weeks ago. Very funny satire about certain american industries and beliefs.

Apr 22, 2013 4:40PM
Don't you know I get farty and bloated with a foamy latte?
Apr 22, 2013 1:47PM
I am one hot little potato right now (Will Ferrell's funniest line ever)
Apr 23, 2013 8:00AM
Ah, it was a cute movie.  Let's face it, Stiller is sterotyped and is pretty funny in all his movies.  Sometimes I cringe at the same time as laughing.
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