The role of Hansel in Zoolander almost went to another "really, really, ridiculously good looking" actor, according to Ben Stiller.

Watching the 2001 cult classic Zoolander, it's hard to imagine anyone aside from Owen Wilson being "so hot right now." But Wilson wasn't always a shoo-in for the role of super hip model Hansel and in a new interview with Esquire celebrating the 20th anniversary of the film, Ben Stiller revealed a surprising big-name actor who almost took the part instead.

Stiller told Esquire that although Wilson was his first choice for the role, it didn't look like he was available to shoot, which meant that Stiller had to hold auditions. And none of those auditions were particularly memorable — save for one.

Jake Gyllenhaal, Owen Wilson - Zoolander
Jake Gyllenhaal auditioned for Hansel, the 'Zoolander' role that ultimately went to Owen Wilson.
| Credit: Amanda Edwards/Getty; Paramount Pictures/Getty

"The only one that I remember clearly was a young Jake Gyllenhaal doing this wide-eyed version of Hansel that was really funny," admitted Stiller.

At the time, Gyllenhaal had just broken out in the film scene with his role in October Sky and would go on to star in Donnie Darko the same year that Zoolander came out, building his way up to more high-profile roles over the years.

Ultimately, Wilson ended up securing the part and the rest of history.

Stiller also spoke of Andy Dick's audition for Zoolander's nemesis, Mugatu, which ultimately went to Will Ferrell.

"Andy Dick was supposed to play Mugatu," Stiller said, but the offbeat comedian ​​had a conflict with a sitcom. "Now it's impossible for me to picture anybody but Will doing it."

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