Ella Stiller Feels Her Father, Ben Stiller, Wasn’t Present Enough During Her Childhood

Ben Stiller has enjoyed an illustrious acting career over the past 36 years, but it has apparently come at a price – according to his 20-year-old daughter, Ella Stiller. It’s something he opened up about in a February 2022 interview with Esquire, where he spoke about his evolving relationship with his daughter. 

In the interview, Stiller expressed how his daughter feels he wasn’t nearly present enough during her childhood. “She’s pretty articulate about it, and sometimes it’s stuff that I don’t want to hear. It’s hard to hear because it’s me not being there in the ways that I saw my parents not being there,” he explained. 

ella stiller feels her father, ben stiller, wasn’t present enough during her childhood | in a february 2022 interview with 'esquire', ben stiller expressed how his daughter, ella stiller, feels he wasn’t nearly present enough during her childhood.
lev radin / Shutterstock.com

He went on to discuss how he felt the same way toward his parents, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, both of whom were actors and comedians. Ben always told himself he wouldn’t follow suit. “But then it’s that thing that, like, I was trying to navigate my own desire to fulfill the hopes and dreams I had, too,” he said.

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Ben Stiller and his wife, Christine Taylor, gave birth to Ella Stiller in 2002 – it was their first of two children together. The couple met in 1999 and got married the following year. While they temporarily went their separate ways in 2017, they later reconciled while living together during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In the two decades since Ella Stiller was born, Ben has seen his career skyrocket to legendary status. He appeared in some of the biggest films of the 2000s, including Meet the Parents, Zoolander, Starsky & Hutch, Dodgeball, Along Came Polly, Night at the Museum, Blades of Glory, Tropic Thunder, and more. 

“What I’ve learned is that your kids are not keeping score on your career. It would be solipsistic to think that my kids actually care about that,” said Stiller in his Esquire interview. His comments are something any parent can relate to, especially those that have busy schedules and are forced to work often. 

“They just want a parent who’s emotionally present and supportive of them. That’s probably what they want more than”—a deep, loud laugh—“for me to be going off and pushing the bounds of my creativity,” Stiller added, referring to his children’s desires. It’s something he’s more mindful of as he grows older. 

Ben Stiller and Ella Stiller Make Several Red Carpet Appearances

While Ben Stiller hasn’t considered bringing his career to an end, he has taken a stronger interest in spending time with his family and including them in his life more. This has been apparent with the multitude of red carpet appearances he has made with his daughter, Ella Stiller, in recent years. 

The two were most recently seen at the 74th Emmy Awards in September 2022, where Ben Stiller took his daughter as his date. He was nominated for several awards as the producer and director of Severance. But it was his dapper look combined with his daughter’s sleek appearance that turned heads.

The father-daughter duo were also spotted at the Apple TV+ Emmy party later that night, which was located at Mother Wolf in Hollywood, CA. They also made two red carpet appearances in 2019 – once at Rosie’s Theatre Kids Fall Gala in New York and again at the 2019 Golden Globes award ceremony. 

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Stiller has previously opened up about trying to avoid having his children watch his movies and trying not to force them into an acting career themselves. Of course, both Ella and her younger brother, Quinlin, appeared in Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and have since continued their acting careers.

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