Yukking It Up at "The Pink Panther 2" Premiere
Wed Feb 4, 12:29 pm ET
Jenny Peters

New York – The giant furry Pink Panther walking the pink carpet on Tuesday night in New York was the first clue that this was one movie premiere that no one was taking too seriously. Celebrating the Feb. 6 release of "The Pink Panther 2," which is actually the eleventh comedic outing of bumbling Inspector Jacques Clouseau, the spotlight focused on Steve Martin.

Martin, who happily greeted his returning co-stars Jean Reno and Emily Mortimer, as well as the newcomers to part two, including Andy Garcia, Yuki Matsuzaki, and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, earlier compared Clouseau to another Hollywood icon.

"I think that he is a classic character that Peter Sellers really invented, fortunately for me," Martin told reporters at a press conference in support of the film. "I do believe that we've taken it somewhere else and in a sense made it our own. We haven't stolen anything from them. We view the character like James Bond, where other actors can play him. I have an interesting note. I'm the fourth actor to play this role. I keep thinking I'm the second but I'm really the fourth. Blake Edwards, the original director, did three of them."

Alan Arkin and Roger Moore also took on Clouseau, but it is Steve Martin that has made him into a new movie franchise. So what's so appealing about this silly character, that keeps people coming back for more?

"It's strange what film does," Martin mused. "The qualities of Inspector Clouseau, which are pettiness, egocentricity, lack of intelligence, and bumbling, those in a film are lovable. In real life you go, 'Get me out of here.' Oh, and arrogance, I forgot about arrogance!"

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