Is Ben Stiller Secretly Kinda Jacked?
When you hear the term “swole celeb," you typically think of people like Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, the Chrises, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
But what about the fit guys who aren't regularly posing shirtless on magazine covers and on Instagram? Where's the recognition for all their hard work? We're starting with a guy who’s been bringing it for decades without getting much attention: Ben Stiller. That's right—when he's not shooting us Blue Steel, the funnyman is clearly getting ripped as hell.
"But hold on," you might be saying. "Ben Stiller? Sure, he's funny, but I've never thought of him as a fitness icon." If we were in Swole Court right now, this is the point where you’d bang your gavel and threaten to hold us in contempt.
Fortunately, we have proof. After conducting extensive research (a.k.a. ruining our search history by Googling various permutations of the term "Greg Focker shirtless"), we have concluded that Stiller is indeed swole, and has been for decades.
Exhibit A: Heavyweights (1995)
In the Disney movie Heavyweights, Stiller plays Tony Perkis, a sadistic fat camp counselor who wants to turn a group of “husky” pre-teens into lean, mean muscle machines. Upon re-watching the film, it's hard to ignore the then-30-year-old’s impressive physique: Stiller's biceps bulge out of his skin-tight shirts, to the point that you wonder how this passed muster in a children's movie.
Exhibit B: Meet the Parents (2000)
Stiller’s made a ton of movies, but because he frequently plays the schlubby everyman, you’d be forgiven if you hadn’t really thought much about his physique. That’s why the water volleyball scene in Meet the Parents, where Stiller's Greg Focker is forced to don a tiny Speedo, was such a huge surprise. While Greg is clearly embarrassed about having to walk around with his junk out, he shouldn't be: The dude’s clearly in great shape. You see the way he’s cut in the hips? That doesn’t just happen.
Exhibit C: Tropic Thunder (2008)
In 2008, Stiller played former A-list action star Tugg Speedman in Tropic Thunder, which he also directed. While Tugg's career is on the decline in the movie, his upper body certainly isn't. Dude is jacked. Check out Stiller's pythons while he's gunning his way through the jungle.
Verdict: Is Stiller still swole?
Although he’s traded in his Lycra T-shirts for a suit and tie in more subdued recent roles, like his latest turn in Netflix's The Meyerowitz Stories, it’s easy to tell that the 52-year-old Stiller is still fit AF.
So how does Stiller keep in such good shape? While he hasn’t revealed his workout in the pages of muscle mags, he’s been snapped playing tennis and paddle boarding, both of which can be incredibly challenging.
"Regular Joes can’t just run out and play tennis and paddle board whenever they want. It takes ridiculous endurance and lateral quickness to thrive on the tennis court, and paddleboarding will challenge your balance more than you think," says Men's Health fitness editor Ebenezer Samuel. "Translation: Ben Stiller is no gym slouch."
Stiller's diet also clearly plays a role. While Stiller reportedly was a vegan for some time, in 2012 he told Conan O'Brien that he considers himself a pescataria —and if there's one thing we know about the Mediterranean diet, it's that it's great at keeping the pounds off.
So that’s the verdict: Ben Stiller. Jacked. Hard. Fitness icon for a generation. Case Closed. Swole Court dismissed.
From: Men's Health US
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.