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The Real Reason Ben Stiller Will Never Cut Donald Trump’s Zoolander Cameo

In Trump’s red carpet scene, then-E! News personality Steve Kmetko asks a number of celebs what they think of Zoolander, including Victoria Beckham, Tom Ford, Christian Slater, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Natalie Portman. Trump, as Stiller explained, serves to indicate the scope of Zoolander’s fame: real estate moguls have as much a stake in the guy as actors and fashion designers. Moreover, Trump had a vested interest in the intersection of money and, to quote Zoolander, being really, really, ridiculously good-looking: until his presidency, Trump was a longtime producer of the Miss Universe broadcast.

Despite only appearing in a few seconds of “Zoolander,” Trump kept his finger on the pulse of the film and its 2016 sequel, even chit-chatting with former MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews about its shortcomings. Amid a conversation about women’s reproduction rights and nuclear war, Trump switched topics to “Zoolander 2” during the commercial break. Matthews shared the details later on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” where Stiller caught wind of Trump’s criticism.

“Apparently Trump said it didn’t bomb because it wasn’t funny or anything, but because nobody cares about male models anymore in the zeitgeist,” Stiller said at the 2017 Nantucket Film Festival (via Page Six). “And all I’m thinking is … a) Trump’s right, maybe we should go a little easier on him on this whole Russia thing. And b) why are you doing this, Chris? Why are you dredging up my pain!?”

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