In the seven years since directing Zoolander, Ben Stiller has had a lot of time to decide the next ego-driven profession to lance with the blunt skewer of broad comedy. With Tropic Thunder, Stiller transitions from male models to the realm of self-important actors, and has replaced the intense model-stare he so frequently employed with a new face: blackface. Yes, if the black man in above image looks familiar, it's because that's RDJ:
Robert Downey Jr. plays Kirk Lazarus, a very serious Oscar-winning actor cast in the most expensive Vietnam war epic ever filmed. Problem is, Lazarus's character, Sgt. Osiris, was originally written as black. So Lazarus decides to dye his skin and play Osiris, um, authentically.
It's obviously dangerous territory, but Stiller assured Entertainment Weekly that he "recently screened a rough cut for African-Americans, and was relieved at the reaction." Stiller also informed the magazine that he's now allowed to use "the N-word" because he's got this black friend, and he's totally cool with it.
Does Jack Black look like a fat version of the villain from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? to anyone else?
Stiller's new comedy [EW]