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Ben Stiller's Daughter Called Him Out For 'Not Being There' During Childhood

Jake Massey

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Ben Stiller's Daughter Called Him Out For 'Not Being There' During Childhood

Over the past couple of decades, Ben Stiller has kept himself pretty busy.

He was in all three Night at the Museum movies, three Meet the Parents films, Anchorman, Dodgeball, Tropic Thunder, as well as seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Arrested Development, and much, much more.

He's also done plenty of writing, producing and directing.

All of this is time-consuming - and it came at a cost that is hard to accept.

On top of all of this, the 56-year-old is a dad-of-two, and his eldest - 19-year-old Ella - has held him to task over his absences during her childhood.

Ella has held Stiller to task over his absences. Credit: Alamy
Ella has held Stiller to task over his absences. Credit: Alamy

Stiller said it is difficult for him to hear, as he had vowed to me more present than his parents - actors and comedians Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara.

Speaking to Esquire, Stiller said: "She's [Ella] pretty articulate about it, and sometimes it's stuff that I don't want to hear. It's hard to hear.

"Because it's me not being there in the ways that I saw my parents not being there. And I had always thought, 'Well I won't do that.'

"But then it's that thing that, like, I was trying to navigate my own desire to fulfil the hopes and dreams I had, too. And that doesn't feel great, but it's important to acknowledge."

It seems then that even Hollywood stars are confronted with the difficulty of choosing between furthering their career and being around to raise their kids.

Nowadays, Stiller is trying to strike more of a balance.

He said: "What I've learned is that your kids are not keeping score on your career.

"It would be solipsistic to think that my kids actually care about that.

"They just want a parent who's emotionally present and supportive of them. That's probably what they want more than for me to be going off and pushing the bounds of my creativity."

Recent years have been tough for Stiller. In 2014 he was treated for prostate cancer, and the following year his mum died. In 2017 his seventeen-year marriage to Christine Taylor fell apart and they separated, and in 2020 his dad passed away.

The pandemic did have an unanticipated positive impact on Stiller and his family, though.

Stiller and Taylor married in 2000. Credit: Alamy
Stiller and Taylor married in 2000. Credit: Alamy

Lockdown restrictions meant he would be unable to see his kids, so they agreed he would move back into the family home. Now, Stiller and Taylor are back together.

"Over the course of time, it evolved," he said.

"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."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Celebrity

Jake Massey
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