Jason Bateman Couples Retreat Interview

Jason Bateman Couples Retreat Interview


Q. What was your reaction when you were offered to be in Couples Retreat?

Jason Bateman: Accepting a role in this film was an absolute no-brainer for me. Never has there been an easier decision inmy life! Think about it -we were in one of the most beautiful places in the world, and we even got to make afunny movie. I am so grateful to the studio and to Vince Vaughn, Peter Billingsley and Jon Favreau forasking me to be in this movie. It was a dream.

Q. And Bora-Bora seemed to provide the perfect location to shoot it!

Jason Bateman: Bora-Bora is every bit as beautiful as it appears to be on screen. They didn't have to add or tweak anything.

Q. How would you describe the couple that you and Kristen Bell form?

Jason Bateman: Jason and Cynthia are two people thoroughly convinced that the best way they can get through life is withdeep analysis, pragmatic responsible decisions, and by staying within the lines marked by rules. Ultimately Ithink it has all contributed to a very stagnant relationship that has lost a lot of its spontaneity, so they needto loosen up before they decide to do anything about it. And what better place to loosen up than on atropical island, surrounded by your best friends.

Q. What is Kristen like?

Jason Bateman: Kristen Bell is a great friend of mine and we had an incredibly good time working together on this film, andalmost more fun off set than on it!

Q. What kind of fun did you have off set?

Jason Bateman: As it was an ensemble cast and we were all on this island, we could actually see the crew working from therestaurant while Kristen and I were maybe eating or playing Scrabble during our down time or our day off. Itwas like being in camp, with different people doing different activities -some of which are work and some ofwhich are fun.

Q. And what was the energy like during the shoot?

Jason Bateman: At times it almost felt as if we were making a movie out of a vacation. I think we all worked together reallywell, and Vince established a sort of "there are no bad ideas" tone on set -which made us all contribute. Butevery single day, on a movie like this and with such talented people, you have to be 100% ready becauseanything can take off if the opportunity comes up.

Q. Vince is known for being a master at improvising.

Jason Bateman: Vince is a master at keeping the dialogue very loose and appropriate to whatever the mood of the film is,and as a result of that he changes the words to whatever the rhythm of that specific take is. So, you have tobe ready, flexible, and really know what your character is supposed to be doing in the scene. It's a veryhealthy exercise after which I think you become a better actor.

Q. It must have been difficult to keep a straight face at times?

Jason Bateman: Yes, especially when the camera is on Vince, because after doing his scene a couple of times the way it iswritten he will go off and do four or five takes with made-up words. And each one of them is different andjust as funny or even more than the last. It is really remarkable to watch this guy do what he does! I wouldcrack up with each one of his takes; but he is smart enough to make you laugh when he knows the cameraisn't pointing at you, so you don't ruin it. You just have to kind of turn your face to avoid him seeing youlaughing, as you don't want to distract him.

Q. There must have been a lot of footage to pick from in the end...

Jason Bateman: Yes, and I don't know how the editor managed to do it, especially when you have so many funny momentsto choose from. I am sure that Vince and Peter were in constant communication about what would make it inand what would not.

Q. Did you swim with sharks?

Jason Bateman: Luckily the sharks that are in the scene where they surround Vince and I are fake, but during our free timewe did swim with real sharks, as it's one of the things you can do in Bora-Bora. The first time you see onecoming at you is really frightening, but as there is nowhere you can go you just hope they show no interestin you and swim away, and they do. It's actually scarier when your head is above the water and you can'tsee them, because you imagine where they could be, which is worse. I prefer to have the mask on andwatch them in their own environment. It's a cool experience; but believe me, there is a transition period fromfear to enjoyment.

Q. Jean Reno plays the director who orchestrates this peculiar retreat, and he is in the scene whereyou and Vince are circled by sharks. Did he surprise you with his talent for comedy?

Jason Bateman: I don't think it would be fair to say that he surprised me, because he is so talented, though I was very takenby how classy and nice he is. But that is many times the case with veterans, as you find that people thathave been doing this for a long time are usually the nicest.

Q. Couples Retreat marks Peter Billingsley's debut as a director, though he has been in thebusiness for years.

Jason Bateman: This was quite a big project for him to take on -being shot on an island with 8 main characters. So, Peterhad a lot of stuff to figure out, but knowing Vince and Jon as well as he did helped him understand that theywere capable of changing things last minute. He was very well prepared, stayed light on his feet, and at theend of the day did an incredible job.

Q. Would you like to be directed again by Peter in the future?

Jason Bateman: Of course! We actually started working together when we were very young (he was eight and I was ten) asactors on The Little House on the Prairie. Peter is such a sweet and decent man, and he is incredibly goodat his job. I honestly don't know what else you could ask from a director.

Q. What did you think of Couples Retreat when you saw it completed?

Jason Bateman: I just couldn't stop laughing! It was everything I thought it could be.

Q. But many say comedy is a tough genre, if not the toughest of them all.

Jason Bateman: And it's probably true, because not only do you have to be believable -like in drama- but also funny.

Q. And this is a comedy that works on different levels, for both male and female audiences.

Jason Bateman: Jon and Vince were always very clear about wanting to make a film for everyone: men and women; youngand old. It is a very relatable topic with a bunch of relatable characters.

Q. And the fact that there are four different couples helps extend its universality.

Jason Bateman: You have four couples, so you'd like to think there is enough in there for everybody.

Q. How important is humor in our lives?

Jason Bateman: I think we all go through challenging periods in our lives, but we have to enjoy the day!

Q. What does a comedy like Couples Retreat have to offer then?

Jason Bateman: It doesn't give you a History lesson, but if you are looking for a couple of hours of fun it is well worth themoney.

Q. Has this film put into your mind or taken away the idea of maybe going on a retreat with yourcouple one day?

Jason Bateman: It has actually destroyed it for me, because I don't think I could ever afford to go to a place this nice againand spend so much time there!

Kristen Bell Couples Retreat & Astro Boy Interview

Couples Retreat

Cast: Vince Vaughn, Kristen Bell, Jason Bateman, Malin Akerman, Jon Favreau, Kristin Davis
Director: Peter Billingsley
Classification: M
Genre: Comedy

Sit back and enjoy the hilarity of Couples Retreat on DVD and Blu-Ray in time for Valentines Day. Share in someunconventional marital therapy as dysfunctional couple Jason (Jason Bateman) and Cynthia (Kristen Bell) convincetheir friends to join them on a tropical island holiday, with a catch!

Couples Retreat follows the story of a two people who, struggling to cope with the pressures of marriage, agree to a vacation promising radical new techniques in counselling for a reduced rate. Keen to share the offer with friends, Cynthia and Jason invite three other couples to enjoy the sun, sea and sand on the beautiful island resort.A series of laugh out loud moments happen when the holiday-makers realise counselling is mandatory for allcouples. Circling sharks and couples yoga with French instructor Fabio are some of the awkward situations thecouples are faced with while working through their therapy.

Couples Retreat is a funny look at what some couples will go through for a cheap holiday and possibly, a bettermarriage. Joining Vince Vaughn in this perfect his and hers date-night movie is Jason Bateman, Kristen Bell andKristen Davis.


DVD Bonus Content:
* Alternate Ending with Commentary from Director Peter Billingsley and Actor/ Co-Writer/Producer Vince Vaughn
* Gag Reel
* Deleted Scenes and Extended scenes with Commentary from Director Peter Billingsley and Actor/
* Co-Writer/Producer Vince Vaughn
* Therapy's Greatest Hits
* Paradise Found: Filming in Bora Bora
* Behind The Yoga
* Commentary with Director and Vince Vaughn

Blu-ray Bonus Content:
* U-Control {Video Commentary with Director Peter
* Alternate Ending - Back in Chicago
* Gag Reel
* Deleted &Extended Scenes
* Therapy's Greatest Hits
* Paradise Found: Filming in Bora Bora
* Behind the Yoga
BD-Live Features:
* Video Rotation
* On-Screen Ticker
* Social BLU

Couples Retreat
Available 4th February 2010.
RRP: $39.95
Blu-ray - $44.95

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