The late comedian had a tight bond with Ben and his family, especially his parents, Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller. While chatting with ET's Rachel Smith, the actor recalls Bob's "warmth" and how he was there for him when his parents died.
"Bob was incredibly respected in the comedy and acting world. He was just one of the funniest people ever," Ben shares while promoting his new Apple TV+ series, Severance. "But what I really remember about him is his energy, his warmth and his outgoing, just, love that he had for people, and he was always reaching out."
"He was there for our family. He loved my parents, my parents loved him over the years," he continues. "And that's what I take away, is the heart that he had and the way he touched so many people, which I think you felt when we lost him. Just a genuinely good person."
Ben's sister, Amy Stiller, paid tribute to Bob when he died, sharing a photo of the actor at her mom's service. In the caption, she wrote that the Stillers specifically chose Bob for the honor, and were captivated by his "perfect and beautiful" tribute for their mother.
Ben, as well as Adam Scott, spoke with ET about their new Apple TV+ series. Ben directs, while Adam stars alongside Christopher Walken and Patricia Arquette. The show follows Mark Scout (Adam), a man who leads a team at Lumon Industries, whose employees have undergone a severance procedure, which surgically divides their memories between their work and personal lives.
"Mark is someone in the outside world and not aware of what his job is, and then at work he has no idea who he is and what his life is like on the outside world," Adam tells ET. "As an actor, it's hard to separate work and life because it's not like I can put down my briefcase and go out into the world. You're constantly reminded of what you do for a living and who you are if you're at all recognizable."
"I certainly see the advantages and understand why my character wants to do this," he continues. "So he doesn't have to feel anything for eight hours a day. It's understandable, but its seems a little dicey to me."
Ben adds, "It would be weird not to know a whole section of your life that's happening. But also, I think the part in your life, the work part, would become so simple and straightforward because you wouldn't have any baggage there. But if you're a creative person, actor, filmmaker and using any part of yourself in your work, it would be hard to draw an experience because you wouldn't have any. I don't know if it would be practical for a creative person."
For Ben, he was excited to work on this project "because it did have all of these different influences and it felt like a very unique and original tone."
After a lengthy Hollywood career, one has to wonder, has Ben found the perfect work-life balance?
"I’m getting closer. I think it's hard where you get into production on something like Severance, where it did go on for a long time and we were dealing with the pandemic," he notes. "So the hours became long. And overall the decision-making process of when I work and don’t work, I think, has become much more deliberate for me over the years of wanting to have time with my family and our kids are now much older. So it’s kind of like it all flies by, so you wanna value that time and I think the pandemic also, sort of, put a new lens on that for everybody, and looking at priorities and just what’s important in terms of the time that we have together."