First Look: Buffed Up Stiller In TROPIC THUNDER

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.

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About Rich Drees 7174 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty-five years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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Mike Belgrove
Mike Belgrove
March 7, 2008 1:33 pm

One of the other writers on Highbrid Nation wrote about Robert Downy playing a black man in Tropical Thunder. He worries that Al Sharpton might have something to say about it, lol. Honestly as a black person I think it’s kinda cool that movie make-up has gotten to the point where you can make someone look like another race and if the pics I’ve seen of Robert Downy in costume are accurate than they did a really good job! Plus Robert is a very capable actor so I’m sure he wont come across as stereo typical or offensive. I could… Read more »