There are few characters in literature whose names have become a kind of shorthand. If someone is a fantasist with grandiose daydreams, you might call them a Walter Mitty, based on the 1939 short story by James Thurber. Now Ben Stiller - who directed and stars in the film - takes on Mitty.
“I grew up in New York and skateboarded as a kid,” he says. Stiller does his own skateboarding in his new film, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
Ben Stiller talks about his film career and his role in John Guare’s “The House of Blue Leaves,” directed by David Cromer. He plays Artie Shaughnessy, a zookeeper and wannabe songwriter, who is trying to cope with a schizophrenic wife (played by Edie Falco), an impatient girlfriend (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and a visit from the Pope. Ben Stiller’s mother Anne Meara played Bunny in the original off-Broadway production of the play in 1971, then Ben made his Broadway and professional debut in the role of Ronnie in 1986, and he is now on Broadway for the first time, but in the exact same play. “The House of Blue Leaves” opens April 25 at the Walter Kerr Theatre.