As Ben Stiller sits to talk to Movie Fanatic about his experience making The Watch, it is clear that the comic camaraderie with his co-stars was the biggest joy. “I love working with these guys,” Stiller said of his The Watch cast: Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade.
“It’s great to work with the people who make you laugh and who are funnier. I’m just a fan of these guys.”
Stiller reported that although they worked on a certain 2004 gymnasium game comedy classic, it was time to reunite -- and this time as comic compatriots instead of rivals.
“Vince and I had a really fun time working on Dodgeball together and it was exciting to have a chance to do something... It had been a while for us, so it was exciting to have a chance to do something new together and being in a totally different kind of relationship, too.”
The actor said he hopes that the fun the actors were having making the film comes through onscreen. “They are all just really funny guys, and when you’re a fan of somebody that really helps, especially a movie like this. I felt it was going to have the ability for us to have fun with each other and feel like you want to hang out with these guys,” Stiller said.
If The Watch trailer is any indication, their joy comes across loud and clear. “We were actually enjoying it, the process. I hope that will translate.”
Vaughn, Stiller, Hill and Ayoade star as a suburban Ohio Neighborhood Watch. The group is formed when a security guard at the Costco that Stiller manages is murdered in the most unusual of ways. Feeling that the cops are clueless, the quartet head into action… and what they discover is that the death was not a murder at all -- it’s the beginning of a full-on alien invasion.
Stiller believes at the end of the day, The Watch is just a comedy about four guys and their interpersonal relationships. “I think this film is more about these guys hanging out and how they affected each other,” Stiller said.
“I do think there is an emotional connection these guys do have by this and end up being together. They show up for each other over and over again, but it’s not too sappy in that way or anything.”
Although The Watch could be seen as a combination of sci-fi and comedy, a la Men in Black, Stiller only sees it as a singular sensation: One funny film.
“I feel like first and foremost the movie is a comedy. The action in the movie has to be believable -- and you should believe the aliens, but just enough that you can have the fun of the movie,” Stiller said.
“I feel like when people come to a movie like this, they want to laugh and they are not necessarily looking for us to be these sorts of kick ass/bad ass hero guys. They want to feel like it makes sense for the movie, and the comedy of it. Especially the last part of the movie, we were trying to find as much humor within all these action moments.”
One of the most hysterical scenes involves Stiller’s Evan sprinting towards a potential suspect. It’s a running style that recalls a certain superstar. “I think Tom Cruise’s running has a huge impact on the world. I mean let’s face it, culturally, everybody wants to run like Tom Cruise,” Stiller said and laughed.
"I think Evan is probably a Tom Cruise fan, and when he sees his moment to run after the alien, he goes into his full Cruise mode.”