Ben Stiller was 'blindsided' by Zoolander 2 flopping

Ben Stiller has admitted the critical and commercial failure of his movie Zoolander 2 "affected (him) for a long time".

The 58-year-old actor, who co-wrote, produced, directed and starred in the 2016 movie, didn't expect the follow-up to flop because he thought audiences were clamouring for a sequel to 2001's Zoolander.

"I thought everybody wanted this," Stiller said on an upcoming episode of David Duchovny's new podcast Fail Better, reports People. "And then it's like, 'Wow, I must have really f**ked this up.' Everybody didn't go to it. And it's gotten these horrible reviews."

Stiller admitted the flop "freaked (him) out" and made him doubt his comedic abilities.

"What scared me the most on that one was I'm losing what I think what's funny, the questioning yourself... on Zoolander 2, it was definitely blindsiding to me. And it definitely affected me for a long time," he confessed.

Stiller reprised his role as dim fashion model Derek Zoolander alongside returning cast members Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell and Milla Jovovich. The comedy was packed with A-list cameos, including Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Katy Perry.

Despite fans waiting for 15 years for the sequel, the film only made $56 million (£45 million) at the global box office against a $50 million (£40 million) budget.

Although he was "hurt" by the failure, Stiller noted that it led him to pursue more dramatic projects, such as directing TV shows like Escape at Dannemora and Severance.

"If that had been a hit, and they said 'Make Zoolander 3 right now,' or offered some other movie, I would have just probably jumped in and done that," he explained. "But I had this space to kind of sit with myself and have to deal with it and other projects that I had been working on - not comedies, some of them - I have the time to actually just work on and develop."

Duchovny's Fail Better podcast premieres on 7 May.