The last decade has not been easy on Ben Stiller, to put it plainly.
In 2014, Ben Stiller was diagnosed with a “mid-range aggressive” form of prostate cancer. Three months later, he had a prostatectomy and is currently cancer-free. He lost his mother, Anne Meara, in 2015. In 2017, he and his wife, Christine Taylor, announced their separation, after 18 years of marriage. In 2020, his father—famed comedian, Jerry Stiller—passed of natural causes, at the age of 92.
Still, despite it all, Stiller has made time for a resurgence.
He and Taylor reconciled in 2020, crediting the pandemic for bringing them back together. Stiller told Esquire, “We were separated and got back together, and we’re happy about that. It’s been really wonderful for all of us. Unexpected, and one of the things that came out of the pandemic.”
Since the pandemic, Stiller was forced to reevaluate his life, according to a greater context. He and Taylor referenced their work schedules as an issue in their relationship. After he moved back into the family home to spend time with his children during the Covid-19 lockdowns, he gained context, saying “What I’ve learned is that your kids are not keeping score on your career.”
Now, the family man has a few projects on deck, including a documentary of his famous parents’ life and relationship, as well as season 2 of his successful AppleTV+ show, Severance.
All in all, Stiller credits his character and career to his trailblazing parents, who taught him how to exist in the industry. In Lufthansa, he said,
“[It’s] important it is not to take yourself too seriously. You didn’t stand a chance in our family if you did: My parents could smell self-important bulls**t a mile off. Another piece of advice they gave me was never to change who you are just to please other people.”