Ben Stiller thinks it's important to ''laugh'' when things are ''really not good''.

The 51-year-old actor has had a tough few years after having battled prostate cancer in 2014, and splitting from his estranged wife Christine Taylor - with whom he has daughter Ella, 15, and Quinlin, 12 - in May this year after 17 years of marriage.

But the 'Zoolander 2' star has insisted the best way for him to power through his rough patch is to put on a smile, and use the experiences to give him ''perspective''.

When asked how he copes when things in his life don't go as well as he'd hoped, Ben said: ''You laugh! When real life stuff happens to you, that's really not good, then it gives you some perspective. Real life stuff. That's when you go, 'Oh actually that's bad.' The movie not doing great, well, it's not great - but this person's gone or you have cancer or whatever. These are scary things that do give you perspective.''

The 'Night At The Museum' actor believes that ''humour is necessary'', and thinks everyone should be using it to help them ''navigate this crazy life'', as he says it certainly helps him ''get through''.

He added to the i newspaper: ''Humour is necessary in life for everybody to get through. I'm not talking about professional humour; just how we all as human beings figure out how to navigate this crazy life that we all are living that we don't understand really, ultimately. For me, that helps me get through it.''

Meanwhile, since undergoing his secret battle with cancer in 2014, Ben revealed last month that he is ''really happy'' to be celebrating three years free of the disease.

Whilst promoting the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test that helped to detect his prostate cancer, he said: I'm three years, now, cancer-free. And I'm really happy that getting the word out there, about the PSA test, has actually made a little bit of a difference, I think. A lot of people talk to me, and also the United States Preventive Services Task Force changed their guideline and recommended that you speak with your doctor about taking the test. So, I think it's a good move.''