Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn are about to bid Atlanta farewell, but not before taking in an Atlanta Hawks game.
The two comic actors, who have been here filming “Neighborhood Watch,” sat courtside Wednesday night to cheer the Hawks on to victory over the Trail Blazers. We caught up with them during halftime.
“I’m having the Atlanta experience,” Stiller told us. “It’s been fun.”
In his downtime, he and his family have enjoyed Atlanta’s cultural amenities including the High Museum, where he toured the Picasso/Warhol exhibit the other day. He also said he was able to visit Atlanta’s historic Ebeneezer Baptist Church on the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
“It was amazing, just the history there,” Stiller said. “(King) has always been a hero of mine.”
He’s also spent quite a bit of time at “Church,” (actually a bar called Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium) where he has been honing his table tennis skills.
“I’ve really taken it up on this trip,” he said. “If I had started younger, I could have made something of myself.
“Neighborhood Watch,” also starring Jonah Hill, is science fiction bromantic comedy about a bunch of suburban dads who stumble onto an alien plot to take over the earth. Since work on the project is just about wrapped up, we asked Vaughn if he now believes there are aliens living in the suburbs.
“I can neither confirm nor deny,” he deadpanned.
Like Stiller he is here with his family and has enjoyed Atlanta in his free time. He and his wife enjoy bike riding and have visited the Georgia Aquarium and Center for Puppetry Arts with their daughter.
“It’s a great place for families,” he said. The last time Vaughn was here, promoting the movie “The Dilemma” with Kevin James, he and James stopped by the Varsity for some Atlanta cuisine. This trip Vaughn has stayed away from the FOs and chili dogs, opting for a mostly vegan diet.
“I picked a bad time to eat better, since there are so many great restaurants here,” he said.
Stiller and Vaughn attended Wednesday’s game with a number of folks from “Neighborhood Watch” including cast member Richard Ayoade and Stiller’s stunt double Greg Fitzpatrick. They greeted NASCAR driver Trevor Bayne, who was introduced courtside during a break in the action. As they headed for the VIP lounge underneath the stands during halftime, the “Neighborhood Watch” crew passed a group of youth athletes who were attending the game, and high-fived all the little fellas.
The guys say they would like to film in Atlanta again.
“I’m from New York,” Stiller said. “And the people there are not not friendly. There’s just so many of them. People here are very friendly.”
- Jennifer Brett/The Buzzfirstname.lastname@example.org