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Night at the Museum 2: Battle of The Smithsonian – The director and cast

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Shawn Levy ©: 20th Century Fox

In this sequel to Night at the Museum, Larry (Ben Stiller) has left his low-paying job as a museum guard, and has become a successful inventor, but he feels something is missing in his life. When he’s drawn back to his old haunt, the Museum of Natural History, he discovers his favorite exhibits have been deemed out-of-date and are headed to the vast archives of the Smithsonian in Washington DC, where he rushes to save his ‘friends.’

SHAWN LEVY (Director)

Shawn Levy &copy: 20th Century Fox
Shawn Levy ©: 20th Century Fox

We wanted everything we did in the first movie to be not only bigger by better in the second.

We wanted a journey for Larry that would be even more captivating, that would help him find his way back to the better self he got a glimpse of in Night at the Museum.

Ben Stiller and I had always agreed that we wouldn’t continue this tale unless we had a great new story – so when the idea came up of taking Larry and his friends to the Smithsonian, we knew this was it.

We couldn’t have been more excited.

BEN STILLER

Ben Stiller © 20th Century Fox
Ben Stiller © 20th Century Fox

I thought it was really important to have a way in to the second movie that was different from the first one, because we’d already done the idea of everything coming to life and Larry being amazed by it.

So to start the second movie I felt like we needed to have a new idea, and the idea of him being successful, and what he thought would make him happy not making him happy, just felt right to start the movie off with.

AMY ADAMS (Amelia Earhart)

Amy Adams © 20th century Fox
Amy Adams © 20th century Fox

We wanted the spirit of adventure and Amelia Earhart was somebody who could hold her own in a man’s world.

I loved researching Amelia but this is definitely not a biopic! I play a kind of dolled up version of who Amelia was with an emphasis on her coolest qualities.

Amelia Earhart is a true inspiration with her daring and her strength. She makes a perfect foil to Larry, because she pushes him to remember who he really is, to see what’s really important to him and to never let opportunities pass him by.

OWEN WILSON (Jedediah, the miniature cowboy)

Owen Wilson © 20th Century Fox
Owen Wilson © 20th Century Fox

This story is a continuation of all the character’s paths, but it’s also a much bigger movie. Jedediah is just a little cowboy who can barely be heard screaming against the injustices of the world.

What’s great is that you can’t be too over-the-top when playing a character this minute. And the boots that I wore I was able to take those home, they’re actually the same boots that I wore in Shanghai Nights, so that’s kind of funny.

RICKY GERVAIS (Dr McPhee)

Ricky Gervais, and Dexter © 20th Century Fox
Ricky Gervais, and Dexter © 20th Century Fox

I like playing awkward characters. The most fun for a comedian is a man without a sense of humor because it’s already funny. We know this man wants to be respected and articulate, but he just hasn’t got the tools.

The relationship with him and Larry is really sweet, because I think Larry likes him, he knows he’s not a bad person. I play a man who’s so out of touch with is feelings, he’s the English, suppressed person who can’t say anything nice.

ROBIN WILLIAMS (Teddy Roosevelt)

Ben Stiller and Robin Williams © 20th century Fox
Ben Stiller and Robin Williams © 20th century Fox

I’ve never done a sequel before so I saw it as a gift to have the chance to get back into character of this remarkable man.

I’m a pretty big fan of history – and of not repeating it. I love that this movie might get kids to ask who was Amelia Earhart or Teddy Roosevelt, and realize they’re not just statues but were real people with fascinating personalities.

The Smithsonian is the next step up in grandeur. The idea of all the stuff in there, from the paintings in the art gallery to the planes in the Air & Space Museum – all coming to life – gives you an endless canvas to play with.