LOS ANGELES -- The “Secret Life of Walter Mitty” director/actor told CBS News that he’s sticking to traditional filmmaking techniques
Known for bringing in the laughs, Ben Stiller is instead taking a more dramatic approach with his latest film, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.”
Stiller plays the title role and also served as the director of this latest adaptation of James Thurber’s 1939 classic short story, which has left a resounding impact on pop culture over the decades—although Stiller has said his film is more of a remake of the 1947 version starring Danny Kaye than the actual story itself.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a “Walter Mitty” is “a commonplace unadventurous person who seeks escape from reality through daydreaming,” which certainly sums up Stiller’s character.
The 48-year-old actor plays a Mitty for the modern age—a mid-level employee at a fictionalized version of Life magazine who can’t catch a break in his personal or professional life. He has a crush on one of his colleagues, Cheryl (Kristen Wiig), but can only seem to connect with her in his surreal fantasies. Mitty’s mother (Shirley MacLaine) also grows concerned over her son’s wild imagination.
But that all changes when a new manager (“Parks and Recreation” star Adam Scott) wreaks havoc in the office, forcing Mitty to go on a search around the world for a famous photographer, played in a cameo appearance by Sean Penn.