North Texas Daily

SXSW Interview: Actor-turned-director Jason Bateman says ‘Bad Words’

SXSW Interview: Actor-turned-director Jason Bateman says ‘Bad Words’

SXSW Interview: Actor-turned-director Jason Bateman says ‘Bad Words’
March 13
13:44 2014

Preston Barta // Film Critic

Former child star Jason Batman has maintained a rather impressive career over the past few years, reprising his role as Michael Bluth in the hit television comedy “Arrested Development” and sweeping in success with “Horrible Bosses” (2011) and “Juno” (2007).

Now, Bateman is making his feature film directorial debut with “Bad Words,” which had its regional premiere in Austin this past weekend at the South by Southwest Film Festival.

The film pivots around the character of Guy Trilby, played by Bateman, a 40-year-old genius who finds a loophole in the spelling bee rules to make his way through the system to compete in the Golden Quill National Spelling Bee.

Also starring Kathryn Hahn, Philip Baker Hall and Allison Janney, the film is a laughing riot from beginning to end. Bateman undoubtedly has a keen eye for comedy, so it’s no surprise that “Bad Words” is a winner.

The North Texas Daily sat down for an interview with Bateman at the Four Seasons hotel in Austin. We spoke with the actor-turned-director about sitting in the director’s chair for his first feature and juggling with the often-crude themes of the movie.

While there are “bad words” in this movie, I feel that it’s more about fathers and sons.


Yes, that’s actually something that I was curious about. There are so many wonderfully comedic moments in the film that are kind of raunchy and off-putting, but was the response to the film what you were expecting? Were people offended by something that you thought they were going to be offended by, or weren’t offended by something—?


What made you want to tackle directing and this particular project?


Do you feel like working in television for so long and working with so many directors through the course of your career helped you take on directing?


Where did you find Rohan Chand? He’s so great in the movie as the kid who you befriend during the competition.


Lastly, we know you mostly for your role in “Arrested Development.” I think both Michael Bluth and Guy Trilby have a great deal of emotional baggage that they bring to the table, but they manifest it in very dissimilar ways. Michael is very straight-laced, while Guy is kind of a renegade. Which of the two characters do you feel like you identify with more?


“Bad Words” opens in select cities Friday and Mar. 21 at AMC NorthPark.

Featured Photo: Jason Bateman directed and stars in “Bad Words.” Photo courtesy of Focus Features.

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