So why did it take so long for Ben Stiller to return to one of his most beloved, iconic characters? "We probably would have made a sequel the year after the movie came out," he says, "but nobody came to see the first one in the theatre really, so no one wanted it."

Penelope Cruz joins Wilson and Stiller in Zoolander 2

Of course, the film is considered a cult classic around the world. So the time finally seemed right for the actors to revisit the characters. "Comedies don't always translate cross-culturally," says Owen Wilson, who plays Derek Zoolander's fellow supermodel Hansel. "But the characters of Derek and Hansel have a level of ridiculousness I think people appreciate. And a kind of following developed. I noticed when I was travelling that there were a lot of people who came up to me quoting Zoolander."

Re-entering that pastiche fashion world wasn't easy. "The more time went by the more I was, 'Wow, how do we do this?'" says Stiller. "We are getting older, and people really seemed to love the movie. Then in writing the script, I got excited about what it could be."

Stiller found it tricky to re-inhabit the role until he teamed up with Wilson and recaptured the familiar rhythms. Wilson agrees, even as he struggles to explain it. "I'm always nervous on the first couple of days of filming," he laughs. "And I remember getting the direction from Ben to 'be more Hansel'. I didn't know what that meant! I just kept doing what I was doing and I eventually said, 'Did you see more Hansel?' And he was like, 'Yeah, perfect.' I didn't even know what I was doing."

Stiller also enjoyed packing nearly every scene with big-name cameos. And he has a favourite. "Benedict Cumberbatch is great," he says. "He was so game and so excited. I felt really fortunate that people who were fans of the first movie wanted to come on board and be a part of it. There are definitely a few surprises in there, some just really funny and sort of odd ones too."

And he's reluctant to judge the sequel quite yet. "The first one came out and critics didn't like it," Stiller says. "Nobody went, but then they finally found it 10 years later. So I'll say this one will be a classic in 10 years!"

Watch the trailer for Zoolander No 2: