Ben Stiller Reprises Zoolander Role for Pepsi Super Bowl Ad: I Have 'a Long History with Him'
Ben Stiller is back as Derek Zoolander!
The actor, 57, reprises his iconic Zoolander role in a new Super Bowl 2023 commercial for Pepsi Zero Sugar above. The spot, titled "Great Acting or Great Taste," encourages fans to discover if the new taste of the brand's zero sugar option is "like really good," as Stiller suggests.
In the ad, Stiller shifts through various movie scenes as different characters, including Zoolander, a heroic creature-slayer, and a hopeless romantic whose proposal to his girlfriend (played by Rachel Dratch) goes wrong.
"The real is real," Stiller, as Zoolander, says, pouting his lips after turning around in a makeup chair.
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"But it's not real, it's acting," says Stiller, back as himself, while taking a sip from a can of Pepsi Zero Sugar. "Wow! It's like really good," he adds, before then turning to another camera and asking viewers watching: "Or was I just acting? Only way to know is to try it for yourself."
"This is really, really ridiculously good tasting," Zoolander concludes the ad.
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Stiller's ad is one of two Pepsi commercials airing during Super Bowl LVII on Sunday evening. Steve Martin also stars in a similar spot about the difference between real and acting.
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Speaking with PEOPLE about his 2023 Super Bowl ad, Stiller details that getting to reprise his Zoolander character once again, even if only for a brief moment, is something that is "always fun."
"Anytime I have a chance to go back to doing it, it's feeling this reconnection," he says. "[I have] such good memories over the years of working on the movies, going all the way back to when we first did the character."
"It's been a long history with him, so it's great that people still want to see Derek in their lives," he adds. "I think he represents something for people in terms of a sweet vapidity that's very endearing."
A Zoolander trilogy is not in the works, says Stiller, so a commercial was the best place to get his character back in the spotlight.
"If there was a story that came up that was a great idea for movie, we might try to figure it out. But I thought actually him doing an ad for a product just really made sense, because that's what he does as a model, he sells things. He represents things and he glams things up. So, it felt very organic to do this spot, and it's kind of a fun way to do it without having to really worry about having to build a whole movie around him."
Courtesy of Pepsi
Overall, Stiller notes that working with Pepsi for the ad — the brand's first in three years, directed by Jorma Taccone — was a perfect match because he is "definitely a Pepsi drinker — I'm proud of it."
"I can tell you that it's definitely something that's always been a part of my life, since I was a kid," he adds.
Stiller also loved getting to work alongside fellow actor and comedian Dratch, 56, in their romantic comedy scene.
"She is incredible, she's so ridiculously funny," Stiller says of the Saturday Night Live alum. "She is just so specific and added so much because of her physicality in the way that she really went for it. I mean ... even the way she flips over in the chair. Her foot acting is so funny too."