If there's one thing we've learned during the lead-up to the release of "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," it's that it was a true labor of love for star and director Ben Stiller and that the finished product is a tribute to its source material, the classic James Thurber short story.
Also important to know, however, is that Stiller and co-star Kristen Wiig had a blast bringing their adaptation to life, particularly when it came to acting out Mitty's fantasy sequences — the cinematic versions of Mitty's daydreams wherein he envisions himself to be a more interesting, appealing person.
We see a few of these Mittys in the trailer, but there is one especially humorous sequence that you can only see in the film which involves a brief reenactment of "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," but with Stiller playing the Brad Pitt as a baby role and Wiig playing an elderly Cate Blanchett.
"I enjoyed the Benjamin Button sequence just because it was so strange," Stiller told Yahoo Movies of his favorite fantasy Mitty. "It was fun to do with Kristen, she's very good at acting like a distinguished older woman. ... I had to nestle up to her in this schoolboy outfit, then we replaced my body with that of a 7-year-old girl."
"There were so many different contraptions [involved] because we had to shoot it with a child, then Ben, then Ben's head through a thing, it was like, 'What are we shooting right now?'" Wiig recalled.
Speaking to the film's message about taking action in life rather than daydreaming it away, both Stiller and Wiig agreed that everyone should daydream, but in small unobserved doses.
"I guess it depends when you do it, I zone out all the time," said Stiller. "My daughter will say, 'Hey dad, hello, we're here,' and I don't even think I'm zoning out, I think I'm pretending or that I'm faking it well but I'm not."
"Sometimes I smile," Wiig said of her preferred facial expression for zoning out. "It's good if you have your phone on because it looks like you're talking to someone but really you're zoning out."
"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" opens nationwide on Christmas Day.
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