Jason Bateman Steps Into Director's Chair, Overcomes 'Hedonist' Past

The "Arrested Development" star realizes life-long goal by directing "Bad Words."
3:00 | 03/28/14

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Transcript for Jason Bateman Steps Into Director's Chair, Overcomes 'Hedonist' Past
And -- -- many friends. Telling the real loser but -- expressed -- though right -- make -- where would the women. No girlfriend for you can't find one little. She can TK. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Felt like he did tell. -- telephone calls. Look -- -- they'll have -- Yeah. They do. -- -- -- -- -- -- I don't know Iran has said. Look at their shirts. And thinking -- little -- approving a case that is happening. -- -- By -- bad this hi everybody I'm Peter Travers and welcome to popcorn where we tell you what is happening at the movements and there's a movie now called bad words that stars Jason Bateman it's directed by Jason Bateman. He's so annoying he was in every area. It's about a spelling bee. And about a forty year old guy. Who goes with these preteens and tries to basically revenge himself on children obviously this is it deep rooted personality defect and Jason. Hence he's here to that song welcome. Well thank you this that this will be somewhat therapeutic. I think should be -- that's what we're here for you have some mortar have somewhat okay with a quick getting counting here replays and -- -- comes later. -- toward the end the program. But in the beginning it's it's a movie that made me laugh and then disturbed me and it disturbed me. Most about you. What's inside of -- that -- view to make this new feature -- -- did -- Well it is. First of foremost. Extremely funny. In script form it made me laugh a lot because I have a bit of a dark sense of humor in them. And it all so. What out what really excites me about. About what some of the directors that I love what they do is that they they build an aesthetic and it hone. In in individual components of musical component that. That helps. Frame the eccentricities of the story or the characters from -- -- some of the threat Paul Thomas Anderson or. Spike Jones David O. Russell or. Alexander Payne Coen Brothers -- mean these guys they they are they're building. The building environments for you to to be in for a couple of hours and they shape your experience through using. Every single department at their disposal. -- the stock -- that. Did you want to thank speaks more in our sisters them and and and a -- control finally. You know I had to go through all of them on the couch to sleep because I feel the tears and it's an axis. Exit the I took I took a couple of big swings that had a couple of actors to play this guy guy trophy. Because I just wanted to have as much of the directing experience possible -- in one act of them but these guys. Did not want to -- movie for various reasons and the total loser number. Before I went to choice 345 and six I thought. -- I might lighten my workload if I don't have to direct the lead actor. And be good I'm attracted to a very specific tone and I thought may be -- I would increase my odds of hitting that. Target if I was in front of the camera and behind the camera and and not to say that my target is the best target it just. My own personal taste I was increasing my -- -- -- that if I was there and here. In the material and I -- you do this but continued to set up a little about who you're playing who -- -- attributes and and what's going on in them. The -- I play is someone who has recently had his feelings hurt -- deeply. And he's not fully equipped to manage that. Like you might or -- migrants sane person would. He ends up doing something -- impulsive and petulant. And that the results of that are what make it comedic. It is certainly not funny to him he is he is acting out the but he -- it is deeply trauma to him and that's kind of what makes it funny. He's acting out -- Insisting he's going to participate IQ yes he's he he -- crashing a kid's spelling -- he's he's intelligent enough to find a loophole that he exploits. He joins. National spelling B and he dominates and -- -- -- these little kids up because he hates children or anyone. He just lacks the necessary social skills to. Act like someone that would be in a drama or and something that is not. -- A comedy so. He obviously he's mean to -- he's mean to them but it -- you know a -- in fifth grade two poles a girl's hair to tell her that he likes her is not being mean to her -- just that's his skill set. And so my guy is he's very under developed in a lot of areas and hopefully the audience sees some cracks in his prickly -- the -- And starts to empathize a little bit with him because you see his soft -- middle. And that's what you called foreign your own mind you yes it's -- -- We all lead with a tough but please let me feel safe enough to show that I been nice guy little -- back to admit that there yet. But you've done something even more you are in doing this feature directing debut you -- working with children. Which people say don't do it don't -- to children don't do animals and yet you -- Well I started when I was -- kids they used this kid the movie was incredible wrong on chance he's. Just amazing and animal -- lead -- he was nine -- ten I started when I was ten. So I remember what it was like to be -- edit that agent how scary sometimes it can be here how boring can be -- -- -- you go through. A real -- there and and so by. Look to make that a great experience for them so we can get a great performance out of them and so he could have a good time and enjoy possibly this business as much time. Did you feel manipulated. When you were a child and you were doing this did you feel this was a scary world that you now. The blue my first big experience was doing a year on little house the prairie when I was ten -- -- Michael Landon was the leader over there and he was. Co actor in the scenes with me as well as the writer and the director and the producer and he just knew when to be my -- friend or my colleague or the director or a father figure and I found myself. Accessing a lot of that memory. As I tried to make this experience school for this kid and we that it did seem to work as we got along really really well. When you look -- yourself as a child actor do you criticize it are you critical of yourself. Even as this tender child -- yeah. Yeah of the -- -- -- I think I think most people who do anything creatively do -- better deals that they get because they get a little bit more. Nuanced with the way they execute what they do they -- on the wouldn't think it'll smaller and just gets a little finer aegis trust a little bit more that people might be watching you know need to show tone was much. And so I see that a lot with so my earlier stuff -- you know that's how I get to bed every night and there's there's. -- -- of all money. All my best moments I have that he didn't see them there childhood through try to keep my are leveled off and punches -- -- to. And then I dream please call me do this if all of us could only do it our own -- free to put us. Into the arms of more -- wonderful wonderful thing to -- you don't wanna know my alarm clocks that was -- I don't know how I'm. You want me to -- that but I took I don't have a joke -- just have the -- it's just said cliff thank you for known as the best fighting like this. What's -- thing is that you seem eager to do this again. I've talked to a lot of first time feature director -- six Judy you know OK I did nobody can say that I didn't to -- this -- That you seem like you wanna get back on that horse and on getting back -- I can't I can't wait I mean I'd -- it. What is Woody Allen does a film a year -- -- that's. Would be ideal. I if I could work out the way to balance family life and work life I would. I would I would work as often as -- family. -- did like the two greatest things in the world and and -- he'd missed by nature I don't drink anymore but you know -- you do both 24 hours a day. I would love to him and directing people -- gets -- elected to do that and drinking -- to -- Take them to do all those things -- well it well indeed you well the my prop. With drinking was -- he'd -- -- like you know what's better than five drinks you know 67 and AMP. So with a with a directing you know actor and actor usually works about fifteen minutes an hour. -- and as a director you're working. For those 45 minutes you're making the movie and then. The eighty goes kid goes gets actor other -- say it's time if you come on talk now until you go when you do you're acting in the great you're done and you go back -- -- and and then the crew makes the rest of the you know the next shot and then you come up big again not to be little acting but it is. Is a very small piece of the process and as a director and -- the actor I got to work sixty minutes and that was. Recent addictive. Oh -- because when you make the connection to do this addiction drinking can be an addiction drugs -- -- -- anything but working can be tea in I'm my dad was a workaholic as a workaholic and and I got that from now. This is that time in the show where we end it and we -- What I've always I've always -- to you can pretend that I've never asked you -- you have -- for me. But you've never done one of your father in -- Sox of this no pawing through song but -- that look because going on -- on board whose catalog right now are you really it shouldn't be hard they're a lot of hits. There does he ever stinky at this point -- at -- saying my away at our wedding when I married his beautiful daughter Amanda that's equivalent to indicating that the father of the bride is singing do it might. But he changed it to his way of his what. Oh yeah that -- -- legal standing to media was saying that I that Jason did it his way it was this and that and the other in the it was it was pretty cool I'll take a little of that. I I don't know the word I'll come -- it's all right and you want teen years you want. 21 -- one of his -- yes. This isn't hard have been the idol tonight shows on my favorite the -- -- the. And -- that. It is an independent permanent. I'm not a singer and and I don't -- he view. I know that Stephen Sondheim haunts you can't be -- and one of his conflict with him and get a -- That that you do but it's great that you've given me the Tonight -- me. Put your head on my shoulder -- my baby would have taken. What else -- -- I mean come on. Give me something I don't -- -- I'm I don't know -- I don't I should know but I don't know had a here. It is that that's just wrong I don't know. -- I don't I don't. You're sad said managers -- bring home next time would you yeah and in May would you add the dew wet and I could join in overall this place -- will rocket do you hear that people this is what we'll do it will -- -- popcorn sit. Jason thanks Peter thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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