The late writer, who lost his battle with cancer earlier this month (04Apr13), published a scathing review of the comedy, which Stiller wrote, directed and starred in as a male model, branding the comedy "offensive" and "tasteless".
However, Ebert eventually changed his mind about the film, and reached out to make amends when he and Stiller both appeared as guests on U.S. Tv series The Tonight Show.
Speaking at a Tribeca Film Festival panel, Stiller recalls, "(The review) seemed rather harsh to me. To his credit, I ran into him like five or six years later backstage at The Tonight Show, and he said, 'Hey, I just want to apologise to you. I wrote that about Zoolander, and I (now) think it's really funny. Everything was a little crazy (back then). It was September 11 and I went overboard.' Thanks for telling me backstage at The Tonight Show!"
Stiller admits he tries not to worry too much about critics' opinions, adding, "It's the old adage: if you believe the good ones, you have to believe the bad ones. I know people (in the industry) who like reading reviews, but, for me, you can always feel what's getting good reviews or bad reviews. People will let you know. For me, that metric is one you can't get wrapped up in. What do you do if they don't like you? I guess you can learn from them."