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Why Ben Stiller Lost Encino Man To Brendan Fraser & How To See His Screen Test

After the public found out that Ben Stiller screen tested for the part of Link in “Encino Man,” Pauly Shore, who plays Stoney in the film, unearthed footage of the screen test from his personal collection and posted it to his personal YouTube account.

The screen test, it turns out, features full sets and costumes, to the extent it could almost be a scene from the final product were it not for a visible time code and its unique cast. As the caveman Link, Stiller is heavily made up to look like a prehistoric human. He’s in a suburban bedroom, presumably just after being unfrozen like the character is near the start of the actual film.

Meanwhile, it’s Jeff Maynard playing an early version of Stoney, alongside Keith Coogan portraying what would become Sean Astin’s character, Dave. Before the screen test ends, Link gets a makeover soundtracked by Red Hot Chili Peppers’ cover of “Higher Ground,” making him resemble the band’s vocalist, Anthony Kiedis, and his look from that era.

This footage doesn’t necessarily recontextualize “Encino Man” to any significant degree, but it does offer a glimpse of an alternate history in which one of┬áStiller’s first lead roles in a major comedy film would have come a few years before “Heavyweights” premiered in 1995 and almost a decade before “Zoolander” in 2001.

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