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Tina Fey and Jason Bateman give us the scoop on playing siblings in their new movie
By SP_COP on October 11, 2014 | From
Tina Fey and Jason Bateman give us the scoop on playing siblings in their new movie In their latest movie This is Where I Leave You, Jason Bateman and Tina Fey play siblings.

Based on the book by Jonathan Tropper the story tells of four siblings who return to their childhood home after their fatherís death.

Forced to live together for a week they confront their history and work on their failing relationships.

In this exclusive interview Tina Fey and Jason Bateman give us the scoop on the movie, what it was like working with each other and why you shouldn't miss this film.

What brought you to this project?

Tina Fey (TF): I came in through the door marked Shawn Levy because I had worked with him before and he was the one who brought the script to me. What about you?

Jason Bateman (JB): There was a version of it that was close to getting going at one point, and then that didnít come together fully for a bunch of reasons, and then, thank God when Shawn came on board he kept me a part of it. So basically through the same door after lunch, and him saying that Tina was going to do it. It was very exciting.

So what appealed to you about the story?

TY: I like human stories about human people that never turn into cars no matter what happens. I loved the premise, basically, of this ensemble of people being stuck together. I really love Wendyís story in particular. I think itís very sweet and sad, and hopefully relatable.

JB: I think whatís kind of interesting about it for me is that thereís not some big, high concept story. Itís just about a family getting together and talking about stuff. For us as actors, thatís what you want. Just try to be believable with it. Thereís great writing in it. People talk good in this movie. Thatís about it.

Do you think that having a dysfunctional family is a required element to tell a story?

TF: I think the term Ďdysfunctionalí is like a buzzword - a pop psychology term. All families function because theyíre forced to. I think this, for a lot of people, will be a recognizable set of family dynamics.

JB: If there are no problems, thereís nothing interesting, funny, or dramatic about a family that works perfectly well.

So you need something there?

JB: Yeah, it would be tough to charge $14.50 for a family that behaves themselves.

TF: See, if the family is getting along, then you need the robots to turn into cars to attack that family.

JB: (Laughter) Yeah, right, or at least the family pet needs to turn into a scooter.

You said that Shawn Levy was what brought you to the film. Did you come aboard without knowing who the rest of the ensemble is? Were you two the first on board?

JB: For me it is important, because while there are many great actors, there are many different kinds of great actors. With something as low concept as this, you can do many, many different versions of it. There are a bunch of different tones of this movie, and depending on how you cast it, it makes it one flavor or another. There are some things that I just donít do very well, and I don't know if I would do real well with a certain flavor of this movie.

Jason, are you coming at movies differently now that youíre directing?

JB: If I do, I hope it is not noticeable, and also I hope that those things are ultimately beneficial to me in that I am much more appreciative and respectful of how difficult it is to make a movie. And the acting is just one part of it, so the least I can do is not be a pain in the ass....
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