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'Panther 2' director inspired by 'Tom and Jerry' cartoons

February 11, 2009 |  9:14 pm

Physical comedy is a huge part of Inspector Clouseau's awkward body of work. So when planning the pratfalls for Steve Martin's second turn as the clueless constable in "Pink Panther 2," whose work did director Harald Zwart build from? Peter Sellers? Buster Keaton? Charlie Chaplin?

"I'm inspired by 'Tom and Jerry' and cartoons like that. I'm inspired by the timing and the brutality," Zwart said.

Zwart said Martin, who was "a great part of writing the script and developing the project," did all but a few of his own stunts as the dunderheaded detective, including the movie's biggest wirework gag -- which appears only in the background of a scene.

"When he walks across the room, balancing on a globe, then goes through a chandelier, you just see it on a surveillance monitor," said Zwart, delighted with the detail. "That's all Steve Martin doing that."

-- Michael Ordoña