Former child actor Jason Bateman had a surge in his career ten years ago when he played the lead in the television comedy “Arrested Development” (and some serious scene stealing in comedies like Dodgeball), but things have just steamrolled for him since then as his transition to movies led to a number of huge hits including Jason Reitman’s Juno, Hancock, Couples Retreat and last year’s Identity Thief.
Now, Bateman is making his feature film directorial debut with Bad Words, in which he plays Guy Trilby, a surly 40-year-old who finds a loophole in spelling bee bylaws to make his way through the system to the Golden Quill National Spelling Bee where he encounters a young competitor named Chaitanya (Rohan Chand), who seems to be an annoying distraction from Guy’s ultimate goal until he starts warming up to the boy. The movie also stars Kathryn Hahn, Philip Baker Hall, Allison Janney and Ben Falcone.
ComingSoon.net and CraveOnline teamed up when we sat down for an interview with Bateman at the Four Seasons in Austin, Texas where Bad Words played on Friday night. We spoke with the actor-turned-director about what it was about the script for this dark spelling bee comedy that not only made him want to direct but also star in it, what it took to find Rohan Chand to play Guy’s friend and foil and get some of the other actors on board. Bateman also told us he’s ready to start directing his second feature The Family Fang in May with Nicole Kidman and talked about reuniting with Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis for the upcoming comedy sequel Horrible Bosses 2.
Bad Words opens in select cities on Friday, March 14.