Jason Bateman On His Wild Early Days

Big star Jason Bateman stopped by this morning to promote his directorial debut 'Bad Words' which as one of the funniest trailers you'll ever see.

He sat down to talk to Howard about the movie, and all kinds of gems from his life.


Jason starred on many sitcoms as a teenager – Little House on the Prairie, Silver Spoons, and the Hogan Family.

Once the first wave of his career ended, he was left living on his own with a bunch of money in his early twenties. He lived it up as any young dude would – going out to bars, partying and hooking up with chicks.

He had a signature move where he'd party it up until the lights came on at the bar, then suggest they move the party to his house. If a girl said 'call me tomorrow' he'd say 'how about tonight?'

His other move was not to push for sex unless it was a chick he wanted to call the next morning. He'd do things other than intercourse, but if he did throw it in, he felt he would owe them at least a phone call.


Howard and Jason recently had dinner and – though Jason felt that his germ-phobic ticks and rituals were subtle – Howard spotted Jason right away as a fellow full-time hand-washer and he admitted that he was.

He detailed his eating out ritual which really kicks in after he places his order. He dashes to the men's room to wash his hands, making sure to scrape his palms with his fingernails, ensuring the soap gets under them. It's a trick he learned from the Howard Hughes biopic 'the Aviator'. When he's done washing, he leaves the water running and dried his hands. Then he uses a paper towel to run off the faucet, walks back out to his table, kicks out the chair, and sits down.

He then dives into the bread. Howard verdict: 'You have anger issues with your parents.'


Okay, so Jason didn't actually make out with his older sister, Justine, but he didn't seem opposed to the idea. Howard mentioned that Jason has suggested his sister for a role on Arrested Development and his character's love interest. She didn't take that role, but she did wind up playing a prostitute in the episode.

Howard asked if Jason would really do love scenes with his sister and Jason said yes, he would. It's no different than any other two actors acting. Jason used the analogy of playing gay and kissing a guy even though he's not sexually interested in guys.

Somehow, Howard didn't find the two situations parallel.

Howard called Jason a 'dark bastard' and Jason admitted Arrested Development was 'desperate for ratings.'

Jason and Justine Bateman in 2003

Here are the other highlights from Jason's interview:

* Jason smartly switched one of the two main characters in his recent movie Identity Thief - which was written for him and 'another big comedic actor' – to female once he saw Melissa McCarthy's brilliant performance in Bridesmaids. He advised the producers to grab her now, while she's still cheap, and they did.

* Jason's new movie 'Bad Words' is definitely what he calls a 'hard R comedy' and it's a little controversial because Jason is surrounded by kids for the length of the film.

The movie is about an adult who decides to conquer the world of children's spelling bees. He goes to great lengths to sabotage his pre-teen competition – he convinced one girl she's on her period and will have to walk in front of everyone with blood on her white pants, he gives another young boy a pair of panties and asks him to please give them back to his mom for him.

* Jason's other cultural touchstone – Arrested Development – recently came back as a Netflix mini-series and Jason dropped the bomb that that was only one act of a three act arc that creator Mitch Hurtwitz has planned. Jason doesn't know if the other two acts are more episodes on Netflix or an arrested Development movie.