Jason Bateman's Second Wind

Though known primarily as an actor, Bateman would like to pursue other aspects of the business. "I wouldn't be upset if I never acted again," he said. "I do like doing it. I'm not announcing my retirement, but I can tell you that it is so much more complicated and interesting to contribute, participate in and guide multiple departments. I soak these things up when I'm lucky enough to be on the sets or when I'm watching the movies. I can't wait to have the opportunity to have that job and collaborate in more areas than just the acting.

"I'd love to do what my old boss Ron Howard has done with his acting career, or people like Tom Hanks or George Clooney or Brad Pitt," he continued. "They build these companies that are vibrant, product-generating entities, as opposed to ... sort of vanity labels, which are a result of some sort of contractual perk. These guys work really hard and just love the business. That's a wonderful position to have in a business that doesn't lend itself to longevity or consistency."

For now, Bateman keeps his aspirations level-headed. "I'm simply trying to work with people who are bigger, better, cooler and more talented than me," he said. "I don't really care what part it is or how far up the call sheet my name is -- I just want to work with people who are doing what I'd like to be doing and that I can learn from.

"I'm not really interested in making a whole lot of money or being super famous," he divulged. "I don't mean to be falsely humble there, it's really true. It's been 30 years now, and I'd like to have another 30. And there were 10 or so in there that were pretty quiet, and it's not great. I don't have a degree in anything. What else am I going to do?"

Bateman hopes that choosing the critical high road as opposed to instant celebrity has been key in his successes so far. "Being in a film that made the screener circuit ("Juno") in the Oscars exposes me to a bunch of filmmakers that are never ever gonna see "Hancock." Is Paul Thomas Anderson? Is Peter Weir?"

As for a movie version of the TV show that brought him back to the spotlight, it's been rumored and written about in blogs and newspaper stories for months. Bateman says the fate of the planned film still hangs in limbo, but he remains optimistic. "There is a will there," he said. "All of the creatives are on board and, hopefully, they'll work something out. I wouldn't be surprised if we could announce something in a month or a year."

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