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Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman Discuss ‘The Switch’

Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston star in The Switch

Poster for ‘The Switch’

© Miramax Films

Off-screen friends Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman play best friends on screen in the comedy movie The Switch, an off-beat story of a woman who decides to take matters into her own hands when her biological clock tells her now’s the time to have a baby. Without any romantic prospects to fulfill half of the baby-making duties, Kassie (Aniston) turns to a guy she determines is the perfect sperm donor (played byPatrick Wilson) for assistance. Meanwhile her best friend, the neurotic Wally (Bateman), doesn’t think this is such a great idea. He was hoping that eventually Kassie would consider him more than just a friend – or at the very least consider using his sperm to get pregnant. And at Kassie’s ‘insemination party’, Wally makes a life-changing decision…

Based on the short story The BasterThe Switchwas directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck, the filmmaking team behind Will Ferrell’s Blades of Glory. In support of The Switch‘s release, Aniston and Bateman teamed up to talk all about the film, Kassie’s decisions, and whether men and women can be just friends at a press conference in LA.

Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman The SwitchPress Conference

Do you feel Kassie is the new modern woman who chooses her own fate when she wants it, how she wants it, and do you encourage women to step up to get what they want?

Jennifer Aniston: “Well, I think that’s what this movie is – the subject is definitely that. It supports that; it supports what’s currently happening in our world today, that we as women have the choices and options of when and/or how to have children, as we’ve evolved as a society.”

Have you learned something from Kassie?

Jennifer Aniston: “I’ve learned something from Kassie. I’ve learned something from every character I’ve played. Especially in this case, the women in my life who have gone through the struggles and heartbreak and frustration of fertility and adoption and all of that, I think that’s why it jumped out at me so immediately, the connection I had to it. I thought it was something very timely and progressive, that hadn’t been discussed, and to have a love story woven through it was just beautiful – and it’s hysterical. At least, I think.”

Jason Bateman: “I think we should charge more for the movie than $15. It sounds like a full package. I’ve gotta see this.”

Do modern women scare you?

Jason Bateman: “That’s why I stick to men! I’ve had it with them. The modern woman is exciting to me because I’m married to one.”

Jennifer Aniston: “I was just going to say you’re married to one.”

Jason Bateman: “I’m sure the old-fashioned woman would have been great too, but I’m living in the modern age. I like women. Just to be clear. This is something that I guess you would have to label as progressive, but it does seem to be a little overdue, because women have been making some of the better decisions for our planet for quite some time, and of course they can have a child without a clumsy man around. In this movie, she decides to have the kid first, and the guy second. Why not? There’s a lot of people doing that.”

Jason, one of the emotional cornerstones of this movie is your character’s relationship with the boy who plays Jennifer’s son, Sebastian. How did you go about working with Thomas Robinson, developing that relationship, and did your own experience as a child actor and a father come into play in that relationship?

Jason Bateman: “It wasn’t tough to get chemistry with him because he’s such a good guy and talented and kind. He’s got great parents. The experience that I had growing up, being a young actor, was helpful, because I remember that point of view, literally, from in front of a big, black camera, and a hundred people standing behind it, waiting to be released to lunch until you get your lines right. It’s nerve wracking. He was six. [Laughing] He’s 14 now, but getting the edit right on this movie was important. I don’t know how somebody who is, what, three years into the English language was able to take what was a new language to him and be able to manipulate it, find some nuance in the way that he delivers a sentence that he barely understands.”

Wally is very much a part of other parts you’ve had, these spiritually strangulated guys who eventually come around to the right thing. Why is it that you specifically are drawn to those roles?

Jason Bateman: “Well, I got this because a few other more talented, bigger, better names were busy, A). B), I don’t know. I don’t know how much of that was in the script and how much of that is just me being interested in that kind of character and me trying to cram that character into what was written. I think that what you’re describing is pretty much a part of all of us. I just find that an interesting character to watch on film currently, so I like finding that part of a particular character.”

Jennifer, in what ways do you relate to this character? Is it truly possible to stay friends with an ex?

Jennifer Aniston: “Uh, yes, it is. And in what way do I relate to her is, I relate to all women that I know, like I said before, that have gone through this choice, decision in life.”

Jennifer, what in a script does appeal to you? What do you look for?

Jennifer Aniston: “Well, it sort of comes from just having usually a gut reaction to the story, and also what Will [Speck, the director said] about having the story rooted in reality and jumping off from there is always more interesting to me, sort of in the vein of movies like The Break-Up or Marley and Me, where they’re true stories to life, and relatable stories. Then the comedy comes out of that. And if I’m moved…I usually need to have a moment where the story is poignant in some way.”

Do you think it’s possible for a man and a woman to be best friends without the physical part?

Jennifer Aniston: “Yes. I mean, I have.”

Jason Bateman: “No.”

Jennifer Aniston: “There you go… [Laughing] Well, look, I mean, that’s funny because – I think it’s hard. I think women have an easier time with it than men do. Don’t you agree?”

Jason Bateman: “Yeah, because – I don’t want to make a horrible generalization, but a lot of the guys that I’ve met will sleep with pretty much any girl they meet. And if you actually are really good friends with that girl too, well that’s a home run. How can you resist that? In other words, the first part you really can’t shut off. I don’t know, I feel like a guy and a girl can remain best friends and not have something happen, as long as one of them is in a relationship. As soon as both are single, you can just start the clock. Then you just soak it in booze, and things happen.”

Your character Wally and his son have all these things in common, whether it be yum-yum noises or hypochondria. What do you see in your daughter that’s like you?

Jennifer Aniston: “Besides your face?”

Jason Bateman: “Yeah, she’ll grow out of that. She does enjoy a good carbohydrate. The baby trainer – she’s so expensive, but she’s gonna drop the weight. We get a twofer from this guy. I got kicked out of a couple of schools because I liked the sound of my voice, as you can tell, and she’s got some of that. But maybe that’s just being three and a half. I don’t know. She seems to really like to make people laugh, and she likes playing with different voices, different faces; again, I don’t know how much of that is three and a half, but if she’s still doing that at 35, we’ll call a doctor.”

Jennifer Aniston: “You’re okay.”

Jason Bateman: “Yeah, I’m all right, but I’m a guy.”

In the film seven years pass and you guys don’t change.

Jason Bateman: “I had gray temples.”

Jennifer Aniston: “I had longer hair. We should have done age face.”

But there’s reality to the film and that feels like Hollywood.

Jennifer Aniston: “Can I just say, I have to say something. This man, I’ve known him for 15 years. He doesn’t look any different.”

Jason Bateman: “Ultimately, it’s sort of distracting, I think, to the audience. At least for me, if I’m sitting in the theater, I’m like, ‘You didn’t need to do that to let me – – just put the chyron on, ‘7 Years Later’, and let me enjoy the story. Don’t remind me with some cheap makeup appliance in every scene. I want to be in the story.'”
Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman in The Switch

Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman in ‘The Switch.’

© Miramax Films

Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman The Switch Press Conference

Having played a mother in this movie, do you want to be a mother yourself?

Jennifer Aniston: “Yeah.”

Jason Bateman: “Are you hitting on her right now?”

Jennifer Aniston: “Yeah, I’ve said it years before. I’ve said it, I still will say it. That’s today, yeah.”

Will you do it like in the movie with a donor?

Jennifer Aniston: “I don’t know. I don’t have plans on that, no.”

Do you think the character in this movie, doing everything by herself, is the example of the modern woman?

Jennifer Aniston: “I think women are realizing… Well, more and more I think women are knowing they don’t have to settle. They don’t have to just settle with a man just to have that child. I think they’re realizing if it’s that time in their life and they want this part they can do it, with or without that. I think it’s just sort of happening more and more. People aren’t having kids in their 20s, so times have changed. And that’s also what I think is amazing, that we do have so many options these days as opposed to in our parents’ generation which when if they were told, ‘You can’t have children,’ or ‘You’ve waited too long,’ that’s it. Their only option was adoption.”

What’s the role of the boyfriend or husband if the woman can do everything herself?

Jennifer Aniston: “Oh, I don’t know. I mean, I don’t think it’s about the handyman or the electrician. I think it’s about really finding that person that means something and not settling. We know a lot of single people are happy as a lark. We know a lot of married people pretty much not as thrilled as they would like to be.”

Jason Bateman: “There are a lot of things in life that are no longer going along the sort of boring, traditional path. This is just one of them.”

Are the men in the movie the damsels in distress?

Jason Bateman: “Again, another sort of fresh, very realistic take on not everything is just cut and dried. We’re damsels in distress sometimes.”

Jennifer Aniston: “Thank God.”

Jason Bateman: “I guess if you would have to categorize this thing as a rom-com, I guess as far as genres go, but hopefully there are plenty of examples of a very sort of atypical route that we take in this. We start with the poster. ”

Is Kassie being selfish with her decision to have a child?

Jennifer Aniston: “Oh, I just don’t see it that way. I really don’t. Because I really believe, I have friends who I think the love of a mother and the love of… This is what a lot of the point of the movie is, is what is it that defines family? It isn’t necessarily the traditional mother, father, two children and a dog named Spot. Love is love and family is what is around you and who’s in your immediate sphere. Wally, whether he was the father or not, was the family.”

“My favorite moment in this movie is after he’s confessed to Kassie and he goes to Jeff Goldblum and Jeff Goldblum finally says, ‘Wally, just go home.’ And he says, ‘But they are my home.’ That’s what I love about this movie is that it’s saying it’s not the traditional sort of stereotype of what family is that as a society we’ve been taught. It’s evolved. I don’t think it’s selfish. I think it’s actually quite beautiful because there’s children that don’t have homes that can have a home and be loved and that’s extremely important.”

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August 21, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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