Like so many of us, Ben Stiller recognized something familiar in Donald Trump’s most recent tweets Saturday morning.
The president’s use of the phrase, “my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart”—an attempt to defend himself against allegations that suggest otherwise by some of his closest advisers in Michael Wolff’s new book—sounded a lot like one of Derek Zoolander’s most famous quotes.
“I'm pretty sure there’s a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking,” Stiller’s character said in the original 2001 film. “And I plan on finding out what that is.”
In the exclusive audio below, Stiller did us the favor of reading Trump’s latest string of tweets aloud as his dim-witted male model character, and the result is actually pure “genius.”
“I wish he had said ‘like, really, really smart,’” Stiller wrote The Daily Beast in an email, explaining that the 45th president of the United States “has a weird thing with Zoolander,” after all, “he was in the first one.”
Yes, one of Trump’s many odd cameos from his pre-political career was in that cult-hit movie. With then-girlfriend Melania Knauss by his side—less than two years after his second divorce, from Marla Maples—his five-second appearance consisted of the line, “Look, without Derek Zoolander, male modeling wouldn’t be what it is today.”
Stiller and his Zoolander co-star Owen Wilson returned the favor in February 2016 when they stopped by Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” in their characters to promote the film’s long-awaited sequel and tell some jokes about Trump’s fashion sense while they were at it.
“Donny’s just like us. He has the classic male model looks,” Stiller’s Zoolander said at the time. “Orange Mocha Crapaccino” and “Hot Mess” as the Trump versions of his “Blue Steel” and “Magnum.”
“And finally,” he added, “after Iowa, he has a new signature look: ‘Second Place.’”
A little over a year later, billionaire Mark Cuban was publicly referring to Trump as “the Zoolander president.”
Now, we no longer have to imagine what Trump’s words sound like coming out of Derek Zoolander’s mouth.