Entertainment Movies Jake Gyllenhaal Auditioned for the Role of Hansel in 'Zoolander' Before Owen Wilson Was Cast On the occasion of Zoolander's 20th anniversary, Ben Stiller recalls how Jake Gyllenhaal tried out for the 2001 film By Dan Heching Dan Heching Digital News Writer, PEOPLE People Editorial Guidelines Published on September 28, 2021 07:15 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Mark Sagliocco/Getty Jake Gyllenhaal was almost part of an iconic comedy that premiered 20 years ago. The Donnie Darko star, now 40, was mentioned as part of a retrospective on the movie Zoolander published in Esquire on Tuesday, in which the film's director and star Ben Stiller discussed some of the actors who auditioned for various roles. Gyllenhaal was at one point considered for the role of Hansel, which ultimately went to frequent Stiller collaborator Owen Wilson. Paramount/Nvp/Red Hour/Village R'Show/Kobal/Shutterstock Jake Gyllenhaal Raves About Being an Uncle to Sister Maggie's 'Most Incredible' Daughters Due to some potential scheduling conflicts with Wilson, Stiller and his team held auditions for the role of super-cool model Hansel, and Gyllenhaal's tryout stuck out in his mind. "The only one that I remember clearly was a young Jake Gyllenhaal doing this wide-eyed version of Hansel that was really funny," recalled Stiller. He also mentioned another star who almost made it into the film. RELATED: Jake Gyllenhaal Reveals He Wears 'Nothing' to Bed and Which 'Avenger' He Thinks Is the Hottest Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. "Andy Dick was supposed to play Mugatu," he said of the villain role that was ultimately played by Will Ferrell. "Now it's impossible for me to picture anybody but Will doing it," Stiller added. Zoolander, a mash-up fashion and spy movie satire, premiered in theaters on Sept. 28, 2001, to mixed reviews. In the years since, however, the star-studded comedy has gained a devoted cult following. Jake Gyllenhaal and Girlfriend Jeanne Cadieu Walk Tony Awards Red Carpet Separately Enthusiasm for the movie eventually gave way to a sequel in 2016, Zoolander 2, which featured many of the same cast members along with Penelope Cruz.