Splitsider

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Jason Bateman: The Consummate Straight Man

In addition to proving that Kirstie Alley should be involved in every conversation on the planet for eternity, Jason Bateman's New York Times profile makes a strong argument for Bateman's true calling as ensemble player, best as a supportive straight-man to Charlie Day's wild card or the ravening Bluths. “He’s a great audience barometer. If a character’s going off the rails, it’s funny to check in with Bateman, who’ll be waiting patiently, listening, and know exactly when to drop in the perfect one-liner," says Horrible Bosses' co-star Charlie Day. "I don’t look for Jason Bateman vehicles,” Bateman himself admits. “I played a ton of team sports growing up, and team wins are just incredibly gratifying. Guys like Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, Sacha Baron Cohen, they do things you love to watch. I like to do the other half.”

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  • http://twitter.com/joshung Joshua Ungerleider

    Some of my favorite parts of Arrested Development was when Bateman subtlely stopped being the straight man and acted kind of prickish, like anytime he spoke to George Michael about his girlfriend.

  • NickySquicky

    I'm fine with this description of Bateman's work and am glad to see he enjoys it. I became a fan of his after Horrible Bosses, I've since begun watching Arrested Development and I've more recently enjoyed — last night, in fact — his performance in Identity Thief. I'm not super well-educated in theater or film, but based on my limited perspective, I think Bateman has been perfect for the straight man role and hope to see more of such work in the future.