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Q+A Ben Stiller The 38-year-old actor stars in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, which opens on Friday.

June 21, 2004
June 21, 2004

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June 21, 2004

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Q+A Ben Stiller The 38-year-old actor stars in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, which opens on Friday.

SI: Say we made you Secretary of Education. Would dodgeball be
part of your physical fitness curriculum?

This is an article from the June 21, 2004 issue Original Layout

Stiller: Probably not, since it is a sport of violence,
humiliation, exclusion and degradation. But that doesn't mean
it's not fun to play.

SI: How arduous was the dodgeball boot camp you and the cast
endured to prepare for this film?

Stiller: The camp was basically us at a gym a few times a week
playing dodgeball. It's a game for the young. It's one thing when
you're eight, but when you're 38, it gets really exhausting.
After three or four minutes, you're fried.

SI: Without naming names, are there people in Hollywood you would
love to drill with a dodgeball?

Stiller: I think any person who is on a reality show. For obvious
reasons.

SI: On Seinfeld your dad, Jerry, famously blasted George
Steinbrenner for trading Jay Buhner for Ken Phelps. Is he really
an irate Yankees fan?

Stiller: My dad is actually a Brooklyn Dodgers fan and always
will be. He never got over them leaving.

SI: What sporting events have being a celebrity allowed you to
attend?

Stiller: William Shatner has a cameo in Dodgeball, and he's a big
horseman. He invited me to his annual charity horse show. There's
probably no way in hell I would have ever gone except that I am a
huge fan of William Shatner and Star Trek.

SI: What's your proudest athletic achievement?

Stiller: I got second place in a judo competition in Teaneck,
N.J. I was 12. But I ate too soon before and got sick after, and
that turned me off sports.

SI: Were you ever much of a dodgeball player?

Stiller: In fifth grade we had our gym classes in the crypt of
the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, and we
played dodgeball when it was raining outside. That was Lord of
the Flies time. I think that's why adult dodgeball makes more
sense than kids playing. As adults we have a lot of that pent-up
emotion that we have to let out. --Richard Deitsch

COLOR PHOTO: RENA DURHAM/ZUMA PRESS, INC. (STILLER)COLOR PHOTO: TRACY BENNETT/TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX (DODGEBALL)

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