Donald Trump didn't get the reaction 20 years ago when he stepped before a camera that he gets now. When Ben Stiller was making Zoolander, he was filming at the VH1 Fashion Awards when Trump and his wife, Melania, arrived for the show, the New York Post reports. "As people were coming up the red carpet, we pulled them aside and asked them to talk about Derek Zoolander," Stiller said on a Daily Beast podcast. Trump's cameo made its way into the comedy, but not everyone wants it to stay there. "I've had people reach out to me and say, 'You should edit Donald Trump out,'" Stiller said. But he said he won't. "There were so many movies that had a silly cameo from Donald Trump," Stiller said. "He represented a certain thing."
Matt Damon has said he knows another reason for all the cameos. "The deal was that if you wanted to shoot in one of his buildings, you had to write him in a part," Damon said, per the Hollywood Reporter. That happened with Scent of a Woman, for instance, the actor said. "Donald Trump walks in and Al Pacino's like, 'Hello, Mr. Trump!'—you had to call him by name—and then he exits," Damon said. "You waste a little time so that you can get the permit, and then you can cut the scene out." The scene sometimes stayed, however. Trump also has bits in Home Alone 2, Two Weeks Notice, and a string of TV shows before he broke into reality TV, and then, news programs. (A Canadian network did once cut Trump out of its film broadcast.)