Jason Bateman appears in the April issue of GQ magazine with a little feature talking about how much he loves to swear. There’s a good reason for the focus of this interview. Jason is promoting his directorial debut, Bad Words, which combines the premise of Bad Santa with a spelling bee. He plays a 40-year-old “bitter genius” in the movie who finds a loophole in the competition’s rulebook that allows him to compete against children. It sounds bizarre and offensive and satirical.
Jason doesn’t seem concerned about the broad-base appeal of this movie. He recently told the Calgary Hearld how the film is “challenging to watch,” but it was a “privilege” to direct. My guess is that he gives Billy Bob Thornton (and Cameron Diaz in Bad Teacher) a run for their money in the bad taste department. The poor child actors in this movie must be scarred for life. Here are some excerpts from Bateman’s GQ talk:
What did you learn from the directors you’ve had? “I’ve got a pretty good idea about what kind of set you need to run to get the best out of everybody. And usually that’s a set that’s not being run by an a-hole. To put it bluntly.”
Do you actually swear anywhere near as often as your character? I tend to use as many as I can think of. I don’t do it around my 7-year-old, but I do around my 2-year-old, because she doesn’t know what the hell I’m saying yet.
What’s your go-to swear word? M-therf—er is pretty good.
Best way to insult a kid? Check the kid out and see what the quickest way to make them cry is. No, having two little girls now, I don’t know if I could ever insult a kid anymore. I’ve turned into such a softy. My daughters will never see this movie.
Was it hard to memorize how to spell all those words? I had all of them written on big whiteboards just off-camera. Yeah, I’m not that bright.
Ever compete in a spelling bee? I did–lost early on the word answer. I forgot the w. Not bright.
Any advice for a kid stumped by a word? Scream “m-therf—er.”
I wish Bateman plenty of success in this movie endeavor because it touches upon two important elements of my childhood: spelling bees and curse words. My dad swore like an Italian sailor (is there such a thing?) every time he made dinner. I won’t go into specifics on that one, but it was hilarious. I try very hard not to let such words fly in front of my daughter, but it happens. Spelling bees do not bring back such fond memories. Everyone remembers the word that put them out of the school spelling bee, right? Mine was “electricity.” I was so angry that they gave me that word as a 3rd grader. Then the 4th grader who won only had to spell “ladder”! Such injustice.
Anyway, Jason needs to be careful about swearing too much in front of his toddler. Kids pick up that sh-t so easily.
Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet & WENN
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Jason Bateman swears a lot in front of his 2-year-old: funny or bad dad?