Mario Testino on Zoolander 2: 'Fashion should be more fun'

Published 11th February 2016
Mario Testino on Zoolander 2: 'Fashion should be more fun'
Written by Neil Curry, CNNLondon, England
Fashion photographer Mario Testino immersed himself in the levity at the UK premiere of Zoolander 2.
Smiles and embraces were shared with the likes of Ben Stiller, Penelope Cruz, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell and Valentino.
There was plenty of laughter even before the audience took to their seats as Stiller broke the Guinness World Record for taking a snap with the world's longest selfie stick, boasting an impressive extension of 28-foot, 1-inch (8.6 meters).

A killer on the loose

The movie itself pokes fun at some of the more indulgent aspects of the fashion world. Stiller and Owen reprise their roles as male supermodels Derek Zoolander and Hansel, with Ferrell as the evil fashion mogul Mugatu and Kristen Wiig as his eccentric girlfriend.
They are joined by Penelope Cruz, playing an agent of Interpol's Global Fashion Division and frustrated former model.
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Penelope Cruz plays the character Valentina in Zoolander 2 Credit: RAFA RIVAS/AFP/GettyImages
Zoolander: "What do you know about fashion?
Valentina: "I used to be a swimwear model.
Zoolander/Hansel: "Oh my God. I'm so sorry."
Valentina: "I could never make the transition to your world because of these (indicating her bosom)."
Stiller/Willson: "Oh gross!"
This time around, a killer is targeting the world's most beautiful people, all of whom die in Zoolander's signature "Blue Steel" pose. (Cue a series of celebrity cameos, including Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato and Ariana Grande.)

Fashion photographer Mario Testino weighs in

The original film took an unremarkable $60m at the box office and was regarded with suspicion by many in the fashion world. Since then, it's taken on cult status, and the sequel had few problems persuading famous faces to take part (including CNN's own Christiane Amanpour).
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Ben Stiller's famous "Blue Steel" pose
Benedict Cumberbatch appears as an androgynous model known simply as "All", to the outrage of some members of the LGBT community, who started an online petition calling for a boycott of the film.
But the funny bone of fashion is definitely given a good tickle by the filmmakers and Testino for one loves it.
"You know it's so funny, this has become such a business that sometimes it's hard to have fun and be light and not calculated because everything is done with bearing in mind the cost, the needs, the expectations, the sales, so it's hard to. The business has become enormous you know we don't cater any more for countries, we cater for the world so you cannot any longer think, well it doesn't matter if it doesn't work because tomorrow it could work -- and it used to be like that," Testino says.
"The ridiculousness of the films, the exaggeration, I think it's the living. This character really lives a dream. In a way that's been my life, although not as exaggerated, not as extreme but I came here in the mid-70s to get into the fashion world and to actually get in and to make it is quite amazing, and you have to live it when it happens."

Cast members talk style

Actor Will Ferrell feels fashion and irreverence go hand-in-hand.
"I think the fashion world is fascinating to us mere mortals because we'll watch fashion on television, whether it's a fashion show, a runway show, an awards show. Half the stuff we look at we're in awe, and we're like 'God that looks great,' and the other we're like 'Who made that? Why did they make it? And who would wanna wear that?' Thus it presents such a great backdrop for a movie like this because we get to make fun of it and admire it all at the same time."
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Cast members of Zoolander 2
The rest of the cast contributed their thoughts on the subject of style.
Ben Stiller:
"Style to me means your own personal flair, what feels right for you and allowing a personal aspect of yourself, who you are to come out."
Owen Wilson:
"Well I don't know if I'm the person to be advising on that but I think good style is like a personal expression of your creativity and who you are and I think it's very good to be able to push the envelope a little bit and take chances."
Penelope Cruz:
"I don't like to label style -- what works, what doesn't - it could be anything. It depends on your mood, what you're doing that day. I used to be one of those women who wear high heels a lot but once you are a mother with two little children you only think about the shows in which you can run fast so priorities change! I love fashion, I'm a fan of fashion but it's not in my everyday life I don't have time to do it."
Kristen Wiig:
"Don't dress for other people. I've found that with my experience than whenever I've done that or worn something that someone else thought I should wear it doesn't work, you don't feel like yourself, you need to just wear what you think looks good."
We'll let the final word go to Testino.
Mario Testino:
"You know it's such a personal thing, style, but it's somebody who has a personal look at aesthetics and it is to do with how things look."