Stiller: ‘Watch’ is a ‘silly comedy’ unrelated to Trayvon Martin

Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, and Jonah Hill arrive at the premiere "The Watch" at Grauman's Chinese Theatre.
(Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Fearful that its movie “Neighborhood Watch” would be associated with the Feb. 26 Trayvon Martin shooting, 20th Century Fox in May changed the title of the comedy to"The Watch.”

However, the film shares little in common with the death of the 17-year-old at the hands of a neighborhood-watch volunteer.

The movie, which hits theaters Friday, stars Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade as fathers who decide to start their own neighborhood watch and subsequently take on aliens invading their town. But it’s possible the film’s lighthearted tone may have been overlooked by some potential moviegoers.

Asked what he hoped audiences know about “The Watch,” Stiller said he wants to convey the picture is just a “silly comedy.”

“The point of it was to go and make a fun summer comedy — kind of escapist — where people could go laugh and have fun,” the actor said on the red carpet at the film’s premiere in Hollywood on Monday evening. “That’s it. There’s no message or anything like that.”


Stiller, being peppered with questions about the Martin correlation on the carpet, said he understands why people were curious about the film’s title change.

“It’s a legitimate question, and I’m just trying to answer it as straightforwardly as possible,” he said.

Of course, the star was more eager to discuss how much fun he and his cast members had on-set, where he insisted everyone got along well.

“There was a lot of taunting and jibing and a lot of physical abuse,” joked Ayoade, widely recognized in his native Britain but still a newcomer in Hollywood. “That’s the main thing I remember.

“Just being locked in my trailer not being able to get out and pinned down by Vince. Them cutting my toilet paper vertically down the middle so you can’t even get a sheet off. Weird stuff.”


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Follow Amy Kaufman on Twitter @AmyKinLA. Follow the Ministry of Gossip on Twitter @LATcelebs.


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