Anthony D’Alessandro is Managing Editor of AwardsLine.
The growing pain of a child actor eventually building their career as an adult is often a gamble, potentially taking a toll on their personal and professional lives. But then there are triumphs such as Jason Bateman. Once a centerfold in teen magazines for his pungent personas on such NBC ‘80s sitcoms Silver Spoons and It’s Your Move, Bateman transformed into a bankable leading man in feature comedies such as Couples Retreat and Horrible Bosses, thanks in tremendous part to his role as Michael Bluth, a decent, single father who is surrounded by the idiocy of his conniving, affluent family on the Fox millennial sitcom Arrested Development. Netflix revived the show this spring with a fourth season to mixed reviews and a moderate bump in subscribers. Nonetheless, 2013 is shaping up to be a banner year for Bateman: Not only did he earn his second Emmy nomination as lead comedy actor for Arrested Development, but his first production under his Universal label Aggregate Films, Identity Thief, was a solid winter hit ($174 million global B.O.). Next week, he’ll premiere his feature directorial debut, the dark comedy Bad Words, at the Toronto film festival, in which he also stars. And in two months, he’ll begin production on Horrible Bosses 2. Bateman spoke with us about the challenges with the fourth season of Arrested Development as well as his multi-hyphenate career as a producer and actor.
Related: EMMYS: Comedy Lead Acting Handicap
AwardsLine: Why did you decide to return to Arrested Development? It’s not common for a marquee box office star in your position to return to a TV show he once headlined and make a 15 episode commitment. If you said ‘No’ the whole show might not have occurred.
Jason Bateman: Well, it’s not lost on me that this show was a rebirth for me. Without that show I’d be parking cars somewhere. There was a certain sense of wanting to do it out of loyalty as well as the fact it was one of the best jobs I ever had. So, to be able to work with all these people again and in the same capacity, it was a no brainer for me. So, I had no trepidation about it whatsoever, except for the format we were going to do. (Arrested Development creator) Mitch (Hurwitz) explained to me that it was going to be one episode per character and I thought, ‘I’m not sure that people are going to really love that.’ I’m willing to offer my services to be in every episode if you want, and if that seems budget-arily impossible, let’s not worry about that and I’ll make it work. (more…)