News Article

Sensitive Issue

Starsky & Hutch's macho cops have a softer side. Why director Todd Phillips wanted the duo to be tough, but tender

They had the hot car, the hot girls, and the hot threads. But mostly, the 1970s' coolest TV cops had each other. Along with corralling nine Ford Gran Torinos -- and that trademark belted sweater -- Starsky & Hutch director Todd Phillips made sure his big-screen update kept the series' tough-and-tender buddy relationship intact. Calling the interplay between Ben Stiller's Starsky and Owen Wilson's Hutch a ''romantic comedy between two straight men,'' Phillips notes that the film's sensitive moments take their cue from the show's frequent touchy-feely scenes. ''We never talked about pushing the homoeroticism further,'' says Phillips. ''You just take what's in the show, and we're making a comedy, so we're playing with that. But it wasn't a conscious decision.'' What was a conscious decision was one of the flick's funniest images: the chummy crime fighters sporting barely there towels and shoulder holsters. When Phillips saw a similar poster from the original series, he said, ''We have to make that a scene in the movie.'' Two straight macho softies with a thing for tiny towels -- you got a problem with that, punk?

Originally posted Mar 12, 2004 Published in issue #755 Mar 12, 2004 Order article reprints