Family Album

Name: Chas Tenenbaum, 
Son, Financial Genius 
Played by: Ben Stiller and Aram Aslanian-Persico
Characteristics: Obsessive Compulsive, Untrusting, Protective, Depressed
Closest allies:
Ari and Uzi

"I've had a rough year..." 
Ben Stiller seemed like the natural choice for Chas Tenenbaum. 

"Ben was one of the first people we heard from when we made 'Bottle Rocket, '" Anderson says. "He loved Owen in it, and he and Owen became good friends. He was really encouraging."

 "The anger in this character seemed like something Ben could really run with," he says.

Mendel agrees that Stiller excels at the "angst-ridden" element of the part. "Ben knows how to play that very well, where his character takes everything that is happening to him very seriously, but we can laugh at what the character is going through. I think that he is a very under-appreciated dramatic actor and that he gets a chance to show his stuff here."

 "I thought the script was incredibly emotional. I had never read anything like it, and I really connected to the father/ son theme," Stiller says. "I like those kinds of stories. But I thought this story was unique, a weird and original amalgam of New York. Having grown up in New York, I understood that this wasn't the real New York. But Wes had created this special world, and I felt really connected to it. 

"Chas is really angry, so my challenge was, how do I make it clear that he's angry -so angry that he has no problem telling Royal what he thinks of him -but still make it so that the audience can connect with him on some level. If he's just angry, angry, angry all the time, I think, people will just start to tune him out, because who wants to be around somebody that angry. So I've been concerned with trying to show where the anger is coming from."

Credit: The Royal Tenenbaums press kit

About Ben Stiller...
As an actor Ben Stiller might well attest, being the offspring of celebrity parents makes one an easy target for the entertainment industry's plentiful population of pundits. When The Ben Stiller Show premiered on Fox in 1992, longtime Washington Post critic Tom Shales quipped, "Who is Ben Stiller, that he should have a show?" Beating his peers to the punch, Shales concluded that the mastermind behind the patently irreverent sketch-comedy revue was merely a "well-connected Hollywood brat," and suggested that his material was perfectly suited to "that hard-to-fill 3 a.m. slot on the Home Shopping Network." For rude! Though Fox yanked the series off the air midway through its first season, Stiller enjoyed a measure of vindication when he shared a 1993 Emmy with co-writer Judd Apatow for the sharply satirical scripts that became the show's most distinguishing characteristic during its brief run. Undeterred by his decidedly perfunctory dismissal from the world of network television, the multi-talented Stiller went Hollywood, and almost immediately made his mark by directing and starring in 1994's Reality Bites, a benignly angst-ridden requiem for '90s-era college graduates.

The second of two children born to comics Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara (who, during their '60s heyday, appeared together over 30 times on The Ed Sullivan Show), the youngest Stiller grew up on Manhattan's Upper West Side, thoroughly immersed in his parents' show business lifestyle. Typically impressionable and imitative as children, young Ben and older sister Amy picked up acting osmotically by copying mom and dad; among other early endeavors, the siblings enacted scenes from Jesus Christ: Superstar and donned pairs of Amy's tights to recite Shakespeare. When he was just 10 years old, Stiller made his professional acting debut in a guest appearance on Kate McShane, a series that featured his mother in the title role of a ball-busting lawyer. That same year he got his hands on that most familiar of celebrity childhood relics, the Super 8 camera, and, enlisting Amy as his all-purpose production assistant, began making movies. Such activities provided both a creative outlet and a source of healing emotional catharsis for the oft-bullied adolescent; as Stiller later disclosed, "They all had the same plot—me being pushed to the ground and then taking revenge—and they had titles like They Called It Murder and Murder in the Park."

Though he eventually enrolled as a film major at UCLA in 1983, Stiller lasted just nine months before deciding the college scene had little to offer him. With no particular objective in mind, he hopped a plane to New York and moved back in with his parents. "I sat on my suitcase in my house," he has recalled, "and thought, 'Okay, what do I do now? I don't have to do homework ever again.'" Over the course of the next year, he mooched off mom and dad, applied himself to acting classes, and hired an agent. In 1985, he snared a role in a Broadway revival of John Guare's The House of Blue Leaves, an enormously successful production that ultimately garnered four Tonys. During the show's run, Stiller followed a whim and shot a short satirical documentary whose principal subject was fellow Blue Leaves cast member John Mahoney (who would later gain fame as Kelsey Grammer's cranky pop on Frasier). The finished product was so well-received by his castmates, that Stiller followed it up with a 10-minute parody of Martin Scorsese's The Color of Money, in which an obliging Mahoney played the Paul Newman character to Stiller's Tom Cruise characterization. A tape of that effort eventually wound up in the hands of the producers of Saturday Night Live, who promptly bought the rights from Stiller and aired it in 1987.

Also in 1987, Stiller made his feature-film acting debut in Steven Spielberg's Empire of the Sun and returned to television for the first time in 12 years to reprise his House of Blue Leaves role for an installment of the PBS-aired American Playhouse series. A season in the cast of Saturday Night Live followed in 1989, and shortly thereafter Stiller got behind the camera for an MTV comedy special, Back to Brooklyn. Network execs liked his work so much that they offered the journeyman comic a weekly show, and The Ben Stiller Show appeared in its original cable-access incarnation in 1990. Though MTV's interest proved passing, Fox picked up the show for its 1992 fall lineup, and Stiller revamped the cast to include then-unknowns Janeane Garofalo (whom he'd bumped into in a Los Angeles deli) and Andy Dick (who would eventually attain a modicum of notoriety on NBC's NewsRadio). Ultimately, Stiller's show met with the same fate at Fox that it had at MTV, though it did receive an unanticipated, if ephemeral, ratings boost when an episode that tweaked the Fox staple Beverly Hills 90210 incited the very publicly disclosed ire of TV titan and 90210 creator Aaron Spelling.

While he made a number of TV guest appearances during the mid-'90s, the commercially frustrated comic concentrated the lion's share of his post-Fox creative energies on forging a career in movies. For his Reality Bites breakthrough, Stiller willingly swallowed a large dose of irony by casting himself in the role of a shallow careerist yuppie on the corporate fast track at the MTV-esque In Your Face network, a role in which he somehow managed to appear both convincingly materialistic and endearingly sympathetic. Though box-office receipts didn't quite add up to prerelease expectations, the movie became something of a cult favorite at the video store.

The lingering buzz from this promising mass-market debut helped Stiller secure his next big job, as director of the darkly farcical 1996 Jim Carrey-Matthew Broderick starrer The Cable Guy. While Carrey's fans didn't get it, Stiller's direction won him critical kudos; he did equally praiseworthy work in front of the camera that same summer in the lead role of the indie hit Flirting With Disaster. In 1998, he pulled off another summer score, playing opposite Cameron Diaz as the long-suffering former prom date protagonist of the sleeper hit There's Something About Mary.

Offering conclusive evidence that time really does heal all wounds, Stiller signed an exclusive production deal with Fox in 1997 that calls for him to produce (and possibly direct) at least two films to be released by the studio's Fox 2000 division. The specific nature of those projects may remain up in the air for a while, however, since there are plenty of acting jobs vying for his attention. Fast on the heels of There's Something About Mary came writer-director Neil (In the Company of Men) LaBute's Your Friends and Neighbors, which also featured Jason Patric, Natassja Kinksi, and Catherine Keener; and Permanent Midnight, in which he portrayed heroin-addicted writer Jerry Stahl opposite Janeane Garofalo and Elizabeth Hurley. Stiller will also team with Garofalo and fellow yuk-meisters Margaret Cho and Mike Myers for McClintock's Peach; and dad Jerry will join him, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Amy Brenneman in the cast of The Suburbans, a comedy that chronicles the travails of a band of onetime teen rockers who reunite for an ill-advised comeback tour.

Credit: original source unknown, obtained from
PHANTOM: The Ben Stiller Fan Page.

About Aram Aslanian-Persico...
No information available.

Ben Stiller's Filmography
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) - Chas Tenenbaum 
Zoolander (2001) - Derek Zoolander 
Meet the Parents (2000) - Gaylord 'Greg' M. Focker 
Keeping the Faith (2000) - Rabbi Jacob 'Jake' Schram 
The Independent (2000) - Cop 
The Suburbans (1999) - Jay Rose 
Black and White (1999) - Mark Clear 
Mystery Men (1999) - Mr. Furious (Roy) 
Nobody Knows Anything (1998) 
Permanent Midnight (1998) - Jerry Stahl 
Your Friends & Neighbors (1998) - Jerry 
There's Something About Mary (1998) - Ted Stroehmann 
Zero Effect (1998) - Steve Arlo 
The Cable Guy (1996) - Sam Sweet/Stan Sweet 
Flirting with Disaster (1996) - Mel Coplin 
If Lucy Fell (1996) - Bwick Elias 
Happy Gilmore (1996) - Orderly in Nursing Home 
Heavyweights (1995) - Tony Perkis/Tony Perkis Sr. 
Reality Bites (1994) - Michael Grates 
Highway to Hell (1992) - Pluto's Cook and Attila the Hun 
"Ben Stiller Show, The" (1990, 1992) TV Series - Host 
Elvis Stories (1989) - Bruce 
Next of Kin (1989) - Lawrence 
Fresh Horses (1988) - Tipton 
Empire of the Sun (1987) - Dainty 
Hot Pursuit (1987) - Chris Honeywell

Aram Aslanian-Persico's Filmography
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) - Young Chas Tenenbaum

Credit: The Internet Movie Database




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