Actor Ben Stiller may have revived his famous male model character, Derek Zoolander, but there was one moment in Zoolander 2 he couldn't bring back.

Most fans of the first comedy will remember that moment as the "walk off" between Zoolander and Hansel (Owen Wilson) with a very special cameo from the late, great David Bowie.

Stiller asked many celebrity friends to take up a cameo role in the upcoming sequel but he didn't ask Bowie to come back.

"I didn't, because I didn't think we could ever top that moment with David," Stiller told AAP in Sydney.

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When Stiller made the first movie, nobody really knew what it was about so to bag a Bowie cameo was a really big deal.

"The fact that he even did the first movie was amazing because nobody knew what we were doing at that point, and I don't know why he said yes," he said.

Having a star like Bowie on board actually gave the movie strength, according to Stiller, and made people sit up and take notice.

"He (Bowie) legitimised us and I just felt like there were certain scenes that I couldn't really top from the first movie so I didn't even want to try to attempt to do that," Stiller said.

Zoolander 2 opens in New Zealand cinemas on February 11.

- AAP