Jason Bateman: Actor lobbies studio for image ‘Change-Up’

Comedy Impact Report 2011: Bigscreen Bigshots

Jason Bateman doesn’t field many offers for the antagonist role, so when he caught wind of Universal comedy “The Change-Up,” he began bombarding studio toppers Adam Fogelson and Donna Langley via email for the part. “I asked them, begged them and pleaded with them to point in my direction,” recalls Bateman. “I got really excited at the opportunity to play both sides of the coin. I haven’t had a lot of chances to play that other side.”

Before taking on “Change-Up,” Bateman shot “Horrible Bosses,” another comedy. “?’Horrible Bosses’ felt more like a fun summer-camp romp — the three of us kind of being jackasses, with (director) Seth Gordon doing a great job of corralling us and turning that into something workable,” says Bateman of his rapport with co-stars Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis.

The two summer pics, combined with a small part in the March “E.T.”-style laffer “Paul,” meant the thesp has been on the bigscreen for much of the year. While “Horrible Bosses” broke out of the pack, raking in $212 million worldwide, “Change-Up” and “Paul” were modest hits, bringing in $68 million worldwide and $98 million worldwide, respectively.