Jason Bateman known for his comedic roles plays against type in his new thriller, The Gift. Written and directed by Australian actor Joel Edgerton (who also stars) The Gift will have you looking over your shoulder long after you leave the theatre.
In the film, when married couple Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) unexpectedly encounter Gordo (Joel Edgerton), an acquaintance from Simon's past, little do they know that their perfect lives will be thrown into a terrifying tailspin. At first, Simon doesn't recognize Gordo, but after a troubling series of uninvited encounters and mysterious gifts, a horrifying secret emerges. As Robyn learns what really happened between Simon and Gordo, she begins to question how well she knows her spouse.
Bateman says he was looking for something he could sink his teeth into as an actor and boy did he get his wish with The Gift. Bateman has a flare when it comes to playing creepy and thinks most actors who have a background in comedy are usually ready to unleash their dark sides.
In addition to writing and directing The Gift, Joel Edgerton also cast himself in the role of Gordo. Producer Jason Blum admits that before the start of filming he was worried the Australian was taking on too much. “I was concerned about it,” he says. “A first-time director and being in the movie, I thought it was a lot. We talked about it a bunch of times until finally he got me comfortable. In fact, he was right and I was wrong to be worried about it. It was something I didn’t need to be concerned about, which became clear once we started shooting.”
As for Bateman, who recently directed his first film, Bad Words and will be premiering his second directorial effort The Family Fang at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival, loved working with Edgerton but admits the director in him was hard to suppress.
I spoke with Jason Bateman in Los Angeles about working on this amazing thriller, finding his dark side and how he's going to teach his own children about bullying.