In the upcoming action-comedy Tropic Thunder, Ben Stiller leads a group of actors (whose number include Jack Black and Robert Downey, Jr.) working on an epic Vietnam War film who so infuriate their director (Steve Coogan) that he drops the cast into a real jungle. The oblivious prima donnas think that this is some form revolutionary new Method filmmaking and don’t realize that they may be in actual danger.
In this picture (Click to make bigger), which appeared on Entertainment Weekly‘s site earlier today, Stiller appears to have bulked up a bit for the role, while Black has obviously bleached his hair.
But perhaps the most interesting change a cast member has gone through for a role is Robert Downey, Jr.’s. Take a look at the picture again. Yup, that’s him under that makeup in the middle. It turns out his character is such an intense actor that when he learns that the part he has in the film was originally written as an African-American character, he dyes his skin.
This is a project that Stiller has been developing for almost as long as he has been an actor, so I’d imagine that there are more than a few jokes and incidences that are drawn from real life. This is also the first time Stiller has directed a film since 2001’s highly underrated Zoolander. Expect to see a trailer on March 17.