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2018 Actors on Actors

2018 Actors on Actors


About[]

Jason Bateman had a full Actors on Actors discussion with Bill Hader for Variety during the press tour for Arrested Development Season Five and OZARK season two.

Synopsis[]

'Bill Hader and Jason Bateman are familiar faces to TV fans — from their days on “Saturday Night Live” and “Arrested Development,” respectively, and so much more. This season, both stretched their creative muscles with their off-camera work: Hader co-created HBO’s “Barry” with Alec Berg, while Bateman served as an executive producer and director on “Ozark,” for Netflix. In their conversation for Variety, they shared tips about juggling all of their responsibilities, directing other actors — and what they find funny themselves.' - Debra Birnbaum (Variety)

Jason Bateman[]

Did you find that hard to do? Was that a thing when you were doing “Ozark”? Because you have so much going on in that.
Bateman: We wanted to make a 10-chapter movie and find where in this beginning, middle and end, the natural chops would be. The original goal, intention, was for me to direct all of them. That’s why I wanted to do it — call me a glutton, a masochist, depending on how you look at the role of directing, I wanted to take on that challenge. And then as we got into budgeting and scheduling, we couldn’t really create enough time to prep them all. So I ended up just directing the first two and the last two. But in that EP position, as you know, you’ve got that privileged oversight that a director has in film, where you can satisfy that creative challenge, if you want to. For you, being the lead on the show, and trying to manage all that the apparatus behind the scenes as well, and keep all the trains running and hire the directors and the actors, and making sure the scripts are what you like, do you find that that’s more challenging than you thought? Or does it just make it even more fun?

Hader: What’s the difference for you between doing comedy and drama?
Bateman: I’m not trying to be falsely modest, but I don’t do real funny stuff, or real drama stuff with the characters that I play. I’m usually the guy standing next to the very funny guy, or running away from the very scary guy. So there’s not much of a big change for me and what I’m doing. What I really like to do is kind of be us. Be the audience. And so I’m really attracted to characters that are sort of the everyman, or the straight man, or the sane guy, or really just a proxy for the audience. And it’s probably why I’m drawn to directing as well, because that lane is sort of where the audience has their in to what’s going on. As you know, as a director, you’re kind of pulling all those levers, and deciding what the audience is seeing, and feeling and hearing. But I do get what people mean when they say that comedy’s harder than drama, I feel like when I am asked to do something that’s wacky, that you have to still be believable. And it’s harder to be believable when your character is crazy. I think it’s simpler to just be real, to react to a situation, as opposed to reacting in a real way to a situation if you’re bats—. That’s harder to do.

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