Ben Stiller once had a female stalker.

The 'Secret Life of Walter Mitty' actor was left terrified by a bizarre encounter with an over-zealous fan who pretended to be a journalist in order to get closer to her Hollywood idol.

He told Shortlist magazine: ''I once had a strange, stalker-type woman. This was about 10 years ago. She showed up in our production office wanting to say hi, and I thought that was that.

''But then she showed up again, two weeks later, at a press conference, and she'd somehow got hold of a press badge. It was crazy. I felt like I was in 'Basic Instinct'. She ended up not killing me though, so that's good.''

Ben is a secret sci-fi nerd and is obsessed with cult show 'Star Trek', admitting one of his most prized possessions is headpiece with Spock's pointy Vulcan ears.

Asked who the most difficult person to buy Christmas presents for is, Ben joked: ''Probably me. I like silly things, such as 'Star Trek' memorabilia. For my birthday this year, my wife got me a fan guide from a 1975 'Star Trek' convention. That's exciting to me.

''I have Spock's ears at home too. I do not wear them around the house, because that would break down the foam latex. They're too delicate and precious to actually be worn.''

The actor - who has children Ella Olivia, 11, and eight-year-old Quinlin Dempsey with his wife, fellow 'Dodgeball' star Christine Taylor - says creative genes run in his family and he can already see signs his young son has inherited his comedic talent.

Ben said: ''It's funny, I watch my son now - he's eight - and hell do something funny and everyone will laugh and I can see that look in his eye, like, 'I like this!' because there's nothing like that feeling of making people laugh.''