Paramount’s “Zoolander 2” hosted its world premiere in New York at the start of Fashion Week on Monday night, at a glitzy screening at Alice Tully Hall that mixed top celebrities in film and fashion.
Those in attendance included Vogue editor Anna Wintour (who pops in the film), Susan Sarandon, Penelope Cruz, Naomi Campbell, Sting, Jennifer Aniston, “View” co-hosts Raven-Symone and Michelle Collins, and three A-list designers who also make their acting debuts, playing themselves: Marc Jacobs, Tommy Hilfiger and Alexander Wang.
Ben Stiller, who directed and stars in “Zoolander 2,” reprising his role as the shallow male model from the 2001 comedy, talked about the 15 years it took to get the sequel to the big screen. “It’s been a long road to making this movie,” Stiller said in a sprawling eight-minute speech that singled out all the people (from Wintour to former Paramount head Sherry Lansing to his co-writer Justin Theroux) who helped champion Derek Zoolander over the years. “I think we probably would have made a sequel right after the first one came out, if anybody had wanted it. Nobody went to see it.” Although the first “Zoolander” grossed only $45 million at the domestic box office, Stiller reveled in the film’s cult-hit status, as it gained popularity on TV and DVD. “That usually doesn’t happen, but it happened with this one.”
Stiller added: “It’s very easy to make a sequel to ‘Transformers,’ to a movie that makes a gadzillion dollars, but it takes real cajones to make a sequel to a movie that grossed so little money the first time around. That vision is Brad Grey,” he said nodding to the chairman of Paramount Pictures.
“Zoolander 2” marked the first high-profile premiere in New York following the Jan. 28 closing of the Ziegfeld Theatre, which was the venue of choice for the cities’ sparkliest movie events. There were signs of some growing pains at Alice Tully Hall, which hosts screenings during the fall’s New York Film Festival but doesn’t normally offer food for patrons to take inside the theater. The venue’s bar, which had been turned into a makeshift concession stand, ran out of popcorn and the crowds caused a traffic snarl at Lincoln Center.
“Zoolander 2” opens on Feb. 12.