Jason Bateman – A Child Star Grown Up

Jason Bateman, now 39 years-old, turned his career around 5 years ago with the highly rated, TV sitcom Arrested Development. Jason proved to the industry that he’s more than just a child star, having recently appeared in films Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Juno and The Kingdom. His next big role is opposite Will Smith in Hancock. His only complaint is that his career is so hot that he’s rarely home to enjoy his 19-month-old daughter, Francesca.

On owing his comeback to two things: his happy marriage and Arrested Development: “A lot of people in America didn’t watch Arrested Development but folk in LA did and they’re the ones hiring.” Jason also attributes meeting his future wife Amanda Anka, daughter of Sixties pop idol Paul Anka, at a time when he was looking to change his life. “I made a very smart choice with my wife. I didn’t marry a ‘girlfriend’. I married a ‘wife’. I think my gender is known to pick women that make us feel good, and who are kind of subordinate to us. And I was guilty of that for a long time. I didn’t really have the balls to be with someone who was my equal and, as a result, a lot of those relationships were short-term. So I said to myself, ‘well I only want to get married once, so make sure I marry a friend that I’m really attracted to.’ She was a very close friend, and it’s worked because I don’t need to be in a certain mood to like her – she’s like a friend who you never tire of. And since then I haven’t been picking jobs that are frivolous and celebrity-making; they are jobs that are career-making. Hopefully I’ve made some decisions and I’ll reap the benefits. My wife is definitely responsible for a lot of that.”

On the problems faced by today’s young actors: “Quite frankly, they’re doing what a lot of people their age are doing, only they don’t have a flotilla of cameras documenting it. I’m glad I no longer drink. This would be a tough time to go out and try to have fun. I did all my misbehaving at a time when that whole side of the entertainment industry was in its infancy. It’s unfortunate for these kids who are trying to balance the books a bit as far as working hard during the day and then going out at night and having a social life.”

On his advice to children wanting to get in the business: “My own parents certainly helped me navigate some of the challenges of this industry, although I’d personally discourage any child from getting into this business. There was a lot of stuff I felt I missed out on during my childhood which is why I spent my twenties, when I wasn’t being invited to work that much, kinda catching up on that.”

On leaving his party lifestyle behind: “I’ve spent all my fun chips and now I’ve parked my drinking boots in the closet. I haven’t had a drink in four years. There wasn’t any real specific bottom to it. I was just ready to graduate from adolescence and try my hand at being an adult. And, quite honestly, the woman I was in love with was not really that tolerant of it, so I turned it off.”

Source: The Independent

Photo: FAME, June 16

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