Model Xiao Wen Ju, escorted by friend and designer Phillip Lim, joined Laverne Cox and Andreja Pejic at The Center dinner in support of LBGT awareness Thursday night. But, the event wasn't Ju's first high profile fashion-meets-Hollywood moment this year.
The Chinese model, who's graced the runways for Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Lim and more, enjoyed the privilege of providing backup to Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson after the duo pulled the best stunt in Fashion Month history by resurrecting their "Zoolander" characters on the Valentino fall 2015 runway. Along with Tilda Lindstam, the real-life model joined Stiller and Wilson, er, Derek and Hansel, for an Eiffel Tower-backed Valentino photo shoot following the epic show.
Despite all the presumably meticulous planning that went into pulling off the "Zoolander 2" runway coup, casting Ju and Lindstam for the shoot sounded kind of last minute. "I just woke up and my agent said, 'you go,' and I went there," she told Fashionista. "I didn't know anything [about it]! I go there and I met Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. They're in character, so they are acting, so I was like, 'Okay, I'm acting, too. I'm acting!'"
Lim pointed out that Ju is a "natural actor," which we can totally see considering her arty-fun Instagrams. But, it did take her a moment to get in the groove with Stiller and Wilson going completely method. "Ben Stiller, you know, he's looking at you," she said, while gesturing to show that classic Zoolander "Blue Steel" gaze. "Yes, he was always doing that. I was like, 'okay... what should I do to be funny?'"
Challenging Derek and Hansel to a walk-off would have been an idea (or maybe seeing if Derek's left-turn phobia reappeared?). But copying Stiller and Wilson's, continuous jumps — minus any assists from a trampoline and in Rock Stud heels, mind you — made for a good option. "Yeah, I was just jumping," she said. "Jumping, jumping."