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Zoolander (2001) Poster

(2001)

Trivia

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Derek's repetition of the line "But why male models?" for the second time, in the cemetery scene, was an ad-lib by the actors; Ben Stiller forgot his line and simply repeated the earlier line again, and David Duchovny ran with it and gave him a straight answer.
Derek Zoolander's "Blue Steel" look evolved from Christine Taylor ribbing her husband, Ben Stiller, about the way he combs his hair in front of a mirror in real life.
Ben Stiller wrote the part of Hansel specifically for Owen Wilson and said that no one else was even considered for the role.
Ben Stiller wrote David Bowie's scene as judge of the walk-off into the script without knowing for sure whether he would agree to it.
Ben Stiller had several family members in this film: his wife, Christine Taylor (Matilda), his father, Jerry Stiller (Maury Ballstein), his mother Anne Meara (protestor who hits Mugatu with an egg), his sister Amy Stiller (one of Hansel's friends in his loft), and his brother-in-law, Mitch Winston (director of the infomercial).
The film has been banned in Malaysia because of the use of fictional Malaysian Prime Minister as the subject of assassination. It was originally also banned in neighboring Singapore, but the ban has since been lifted.
Owen Wilson, who plays Hansel, wore a wig for the entire movie. He was filming Behind Enemy Lines (2001) at the same time, and had to keep his hair short for the role.
Bret Easton Ellis, author of the 1998 novel "Glamorama," about a dimwitted male model who finds himself embroiled in a terrorist ring with roots in the fashion industry, sued Ben Stiller following the release of this film, citing copyright infringement. The case was later settled out of court.
Milla Jovovich, who plays Katinka Ingabogovinanana, based her performance on her own mother, Galina Jovovich.
Images of the World Trade Center towers were removed before the movie's September 28, 2001 release, only 17 days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks where the towers were brought down. They were edited out in one shot and obscured in another.
This is the first American movie Alexander Skarsgård ever starred in.
The non-graphic orgy sequence was originally longer, but shortened to obtain a PG-13 rating.
David Bowie made a cameo in this movie and would work with Ben Stiller again, twelve years later in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013), featuring his remastered song, "Space Oddity."
The part of Mugatu was originally written for Andy Dick, who couldn't play it due to commitments to Go Fish (2001). Instead, Dick was cast in the smaller role of Olga the masseuse.
Owen Wilson says, "Who you tryin' to get crazy with 'ese? Don't you know I'm loco?" These are the opening lines to the Cypress Hill song "Insane in the Brain."
Premiere voted this movie as one of "The 50 Greatest Comedies Of All Time" in 2006.
While trying to be farcical, the film is actually quite accurate regarding the modeling industry. Even the quick scene of the two sets of bunk beds at Derek's apartment is factual; Cindy Crawford and Jules Asner shared a similar bunkroom during the early days of their modeling careers.
The coal mining scenes were filmed at the Sterling Hill Mining Museum in Ogdensburg, New Jersey. It was formerly a zinc mine. Despite what the film suggests, there are no coal mines in New Jersey.
This is the first major film that Ben Stiller's wife, Christine Taylor, starred side-by-side with him. Stiller directed her in a film-short three years prior, called "Heat Vision and Jack" (1999).
The very first television coverage of the September 11 attacks, on the WNYW channel, interrupted a commercial for this movie.
Derek Zoolander is shown on a billboard modeling for Feria. Milla Jovovich (who plays Katinka Ingabogovinanana) modeled for Feria at the time.
DIRECTOR TRADEMARK: (Ben Stiller): [Star Trek (1966)]: Mugatu is named after Mugato from the Star Trek episode Star Trek: A Private Little War (1968). His costume is also modeled after the character.
The yo-yo scenes, as shown by Owen Wilson's character Hansel, were performed by professional yo-yo performer and Duncan Yo-Yo Company employee Steve Brown.
The voice heard saying, "Ooo, Maury!" after Maury delivers the tushy squeeze is actually the voice of Christine Taylor (Matilda Jeffries).
According to an interview with Ben Stiller, Zoolander started out as a character sketch for VH1 Fashion Awards. After several written scripts and over several years, the studio finally agreed to film Zoolander. The movie's release immediately following September 11th has been cited as a reason for its failure at the box office.
When Derek and Hansel are trying to turn on the computer, the whole scene is a reference to Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). (They are acting like monkeys, the same music plays, and Hansel grabs a bone just like in Kubrick's movie.
This movie marks the last on-screen appearance of renowned make-up artist Kevyn Aucoin.
When Derek first gets to Hansel's pad and Hansel asks Ennui to get him some of the special tea, there is a picture in the background of Hansel holding two tires. This is a copy of a famous Herb Ritts photo from 1984, "Fred with tyres."
Despite numerous instances suggesting that Derek has extremely low intelligence, he is somehow able to speak Malay, although he still makes malapropisms.
The names for the three facial expressions (Magnum, Le Tigre, Blue Steel) are the names of three of the sim server banks in Second Life.
Derek's cell phone has the Nokia ring-tone "Samba".
Trance artist BT was originally scoring the film in collaboration with Ben Stiller, but was replaced with composer David Arnold.
Milla Jovovich's character Katinka calls Mathilda "Kmart", in reference to her low fashion clothing from the store. In Jovovich's "Resident Evil" movies, there is a character named "K-Mart" (played by Spencer Locke).
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In the break-dance fighting scene, if you look very closely, you can see Owen Wilson has a silver tooth on the right side of his mouth.
Katinka Ingabogovinanana (Milla Jovovich)'s car is a Citroën SM, modified for the American market.
Filmed during the VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards in 2000 at the Madison Square Garden Theater.
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The massive video walls on both sides of the stage were provided by (now defunct) Mobile Wall One, Inc.
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Cameo 

Vince Vaughn: plays one of the brothers in the coal mine.

Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The club scene depicts (cameo) Winona Ryder's character giving Derek Zoolander advice to "lay low" in order to rebuild his modeling career. This scene foreshadowed Ryder's real-life experience with a shipwrecked career. Three months after the release of Zoolander, Ryder would be arrested for shoplifting clothes. Later, she self-imposed a six-year career exile to rebuild her reputation as a serious actress.
Saint Adonis Cemetery, where the three male models are buried after their "freak gasoline fight accident," does not exist; in fact, there is no such saint. Adonis is a young man in ancient Greek mythology known for his great beauty.
When Derek and Hansel disguise themselves and sneak into Maury's office, Hansel's jumpsuit has a name tag in which the name "Kumar" is printed. This refers to Kumar Pallana, who has appeared in all of Wes Anderson's films: Bottle Rocket (1996), Rushmore (1998), and The Royal Tenenbaums (2001).
Right at 10 min and 41 into the movie Donald and Melania Trump can be seen in the crowd at fashion award scene.
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In the Hansel apartment scene, Matlida (Christine Taylor) confesses she was bulimic as a child. Six years before Zoolander, Taylor played Marcia Brady in The Brady Bunch Movie. Maureen McCormick played Marcia in the original Brady Bunch TV series, who actually did suffer from bulimia.

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