Ben Stiller expresses regret over failed audition for big 1990s film that ‘still haunts’ him today

Actor almost appeared in 1992 comedy film

Jacob Stolworthy
Friday 12 August 2022 05:54 BST
My Cousin Vinny trailer

Ben Stiller has revealed regret over ruining an audition for a 1990s film role.

The actor and director launched to fame in the late 1980s after securing a role on Saturday Night Live, which led to his own series in 1992. Two years later, he made his lead film debut in Reality Bites, which he also directed, and went on to direct Jim Carrey film The Cable Guy (1996).

While his other 1990s credits include Flirting with Disaster and There’s Something About Mary, there’s another film that Stiller was close to adding to that list: 1992 comedy My Cousin Vinny.

Speaking during a Q&A panel for TV show Severance, which he directs, Stiller revealed that he auditioned for the film, presumably for the role that went to Ralph Macchio.

However, according to Stiller, he “tanked” it.

Film journalist Will Mavity, reporting from the Q&A, shared Stiller’s admission on Twitter, quoting him as saying: “I tanked my audition for My Cousin Vinny. It still haunts me to this day.”

Marisa Tomei won an Oscar for her role of Mona Lisa Vito, the fiancée of Joe Pesci’s unlikely lawyer, Vinny, in the acclaimed Jonathan Lynn film.

Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei in ‘My Cousin Vinny’ (Allstar/Cinetext/20 CENTURY FOX)

Stiller had a small role in Steven Spielberg’s 1987 war drama Empire of the Sun, and recently explained why the filmmaker was forced to tell him off on set in what the Zoolander star described as “the mosty embarrassing thing ever”.

Apple TV+ series Severance, which stars Adam Scott, will return for a second season in 2023. It marks Stiller’s first TV project since Escape at Dannemora.

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