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In a preview of their chat shared with The Hollywood Reporter, which will be available in full on Thursday, Stiller admits that he felt for the disgraced lawyer and one-time Donald Trump “fixer” when he played him as a caricature on the NBC sketch comedy series.
“I saw this interesting dichotomy of fear and a killer, too,” Stiller tells Cohen on his podcast, which launched in September. “So there was a sensitivity of a human being in there.”
Stiller, an SNL alum whose initial time on the show was short-lived, said he drew on Cohen looking like a “deer in the headlights” when the former personal lawyer for Trump testified before Congress in February 2019.
“But then I saw that inside, you were a guy who was just trying to stand up for who I am. So I felt like there was a humanity in there that I was trying to connect with,” Stiller said. “I related to my own fear of going on Saturday Night Live to play you for what it must have been like for you to go and testify in front of Congress.”
Stiller also said he knew Cohen was a family man, so he did not want the impression to be a “scathing, mean thing.” Still, he told Cohen he assumed Cohen would understand that satire would be an aspect of his bombshell situation.
In a previous interview, Stiller said he was asked by Lorne Michaels to play Cohen randomly after he reached out to the SNL creator-producer about a studio tour for his daughter.
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