He’s the writer behind hilarious comedies including Tropic Thunder and now Zoolander 2, but Justin Theroux is under no doubt about who the funniest person in his marriage is.
Theroux, who wed Jennifer Aniston last August, admitted to Loaded in our exclusive video interview that his A-list actress wife regularly has him on the floor with her one-liners.
“It’s a laugh a minute. When we get on a run, it’s pretty fun,” Theroux says of his life in LA with the former Friends star.
“There’s been a couple of times when she has brought me to my knees laughing and me her. Literally, there was one time and she did something so funny and I was literally on my knees. So yeah, it’s a fun house.”
Theroux starred in the first instalment of Zoolander back in 2001 as the evil DJ who challenges Owen Wilson’s Hansel to a dance-off, and he admitted he’d been plaguing the film’s director and lead actor Ben Stiller to make a sequel ever since.
“I loved the first Zoolander so much,” he says.
“Not only did I have a small part in it, but I also was a huge fan of it. I had just come off a movie with Ben and asked him was he ever going to do a Zoolander 2 – and if that was going to happen, that I would love to do it.”
Stiller eventually gave Theroux a call and told him he wanted him to write the script for the film, which follows the life of male models Derek and Hansel years on from when they originally stormed the catwalks. The evil Mugatu returns in the form of Will Ferrell, alongside new cast members Penélope Cruz and Kristen Wiig.
“Ben eventually picked up the phone and called me and said ‘Yeah, I think we are going to roll around some ideas’,” 44-year-old Theroux recalls. “We agreed that we only wanted to do this if it was going to be funny and there was a reason for it and it makes sense.”
Zoolander 2 sees a who’s who of the fashion world pop up in various scenes, but it’s the opening segment that results in the bloody demise of Justin Bieber that has people talking – before the film has even been released.
“He didn’t go down easy, man. That Bieber, you know, he’s a fighter. He’s a a grizzly bear.”
For Theroux and Stiller, the scenes based around Bieber were a long time in the pipeline.
“That idea came very early on,” Theroux grins.
“Once we had our plot, we reverse-engineered it. We knew we were going to start the movie on this mystery death and we knew it was going to be a pop star. Then we struck on Justin Bieber, and we thought it was fantastic.
“We had written the joke about six or seven years ago. The joke was originally that we were killing a thirteen-year-old or something. He’s a man now, so the joke evolved and the more famous he got, the funnier the joke became.”
So was Bieber easy to kill? “He didn’t go down easy, man. That Bieber, you know, he’s a fighter. He’s a a grizzly bear.”
Vogue Editor Anna Wintour also has a speaking part in the movie, and despite public perceptions of her as a stiff-lipped fashionista, Theroux found she was certainly up for a laugh.
“You sit there and you go ‘I can’t believe we are going to get Anna Wintour to say this – is she going to say this?’ But then you realise that she’s got such a good sense of humour. Everyone did and it wasn’t isolated to her,” he stresses.
“A lot of cameos that we had, they were all massive fans of the first one. I think they were very giddy about being involved.
“Ben is very good about making everyone feel welcome and we’re not trying to bounce basketballs off their heads and make fun of them. It’s all aimed at making fun of Derek and Hansel. We just couldn’t believe how blessed we were to have all those people to come play.
“It was an inconvenient place to go. We were shooting in Rome, so it wasn’t like they could just pop over in a cab. They weren’t kicking down doors to be in the first one, but back then they didn’t really know what it was.”
See it first – special previews for really good-looking people Feb 6 & 7. In cinemas everywhere February 12.
Loaded’s entertainment editor Jennifer O’Brien is an award-winning journalist who has written extensively about popular culture as a national newspaper columnist and author. Follow her on Twitter at @Jen_OBrien1