“I’m assuming they’re doing the best job they can. I’m assuming that they’re playing the part the way they want to play it.” – Jason Bateman
Audiences have seen Jason Bateman on screen from when he was a child actor on The Little House on the Prairie, and he’s been directing TV and film since he pulled double-duty as an actor and director on Valerie. Despite his list of directing credits over the past three decades — including the new Netflix series, Ozark — Bateman reveals to The Hollywood Reporter that he thinks he’s “the worst” when it comes to directing actors.
Being an actor himself, Bateman says that it makes it harder for him to critique actors that he is directing. He confesses, “I might be the worst at directing an actor. I just have so much respect for the actors’ right to play the character the way they want to play it. I have a very, very light touch when directing an actor. I’m assuming they’re doing the best job they can. I’m assuming that they’re playing the part the way they want to play it.”
So what does Bateman say if he wants something different from a performance? He explains, “I’ll very rarely criticize something or someone because there really is no wrong way to do anything. What they might be doing might feel right and look right at the time, but I know what I’m going to be doing downstream. It’s always about taking what they’re doing and trying to encourage them to do it a slightly adjusted version so that it fits in with the whole.”