THE SWITCH Press Conference with Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, Directors Josh Gordon & Will Speck

     August 19, 2010

Last month I had the opportunity to attend the press conference for Josh Gordon and Will Speck’s The Switch, a movie that I liked much more than I ever expected. The film revolves around Wally (Jason Bateman) who “accidentally” hijacks his best friend’s (Jennifer Aniston) pregnancy by replacing her sperm donor’s “ingredient” for his own without telling her. It’s got much more drama then the ads lead you to believe and it’s ultimately a much better film then you’d expect. I was very surprised by how much I liked the movie.

Anyways, the press conference featured directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck (Blades of Glory) along with stars Bateman and Aniston. Topics for discussion included the notion of the modern woman, working with a child actor (Thomas Robinson plays Sebastian, the son of Aniston and Bateman’s characters), everyone’s original involvement with the film, and much more. Also, as to be expected, talk of Arrested Development and Friends movies was quickly deflected. To check out what Gordon, Speck, Bateman and Aniston had to say, continue reading. The Switch hits theaters August 20. Also make sure to look for my exclusive interview with the film’s directors later tonight or tomorrow.

And if you’d like to watch some movie clips from The Switch before reading the highlights from the press conference, they’re here.

Jason Bateman:

-When asked if the modern woman scares him, Bateman quipped “That’s why I stick to men”. He replied more seriously that he’s married to a strong, modern woman and he’s proud of the film’s depiction of women.

-Said it wasn’t tough to have chemistry with child actor Thomas Robinson (who plays his son in the movie) because he was so talented. Bateman also mentioned that his past as a child actor made it easy to bond with Robinson. He joked that he could also relate to Robinson because Robinson was 6 and Bateman is 14.

-When asked why he chose to play this role, which is similar to some of his other roles, Bateman joked that other, better actors were too busy for the role so he had to take it. Bateman said that the role was written slightly different but when he took the role he was able to infuse a lot of his strengths as an actor into the part so that it better fit him.

-After a surprising question about Jennifer Aniston’s tabloid articles, Bateman cut in to say that reading tabloids about Jen was like reading a good comic book.

-When asked if men and women can be just friends, Bateman said that woman can handle it but men can’t. He joked that most guys he knows will sleep with anyone and sleeping with your best friend is “a homerun”, so a friendship only works if one of the people is in a relationship.

-When asked what quality of his he sees most in his real life daughter, he said that she talks a lot and loves to make people laugh, just like him. He said as a child he was kicked out of a lot of schools simply for talking to much.

-One thing that drew him to this project was that the man in the movie was the “damsel in distress”

-Says he has nothing new to report on the Arrested Development movie.

Jennifer Aniston

-Believes that her character is representative of the new modern woman. She was proud to play that type of character and that she knows similar women. She said however that she doesn’t want to have a baby in the fashion that her character did (artificial insemination).

-Unlike Bateman, she believes that it is possible to stay close friends with someone of the opposite sex, even an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend.

-When asked about tabloids, she joked that it’s true that she’s had 13 children now.

-Says she first read the script 3 years ago before other sperm donor movies like The Back Up Plan or The Kids Are All Right.

-She picks her roles based on her gut reaction and nothing else. (The question was “I saw a tabloid that showed you with your hand on your stomach and it said you wanted to have a baby. Did you worry about what tabloids would say when you picked this movie?” The entire room scoffed.)

-Says there are absolutely no plans for a Friends movie at all.

Will Speck

-Joked that while Jason brings integrity and dimensionality to his role and is a great actor, his incessant modesty is very tiring.

-Like the story showed the whole journey of the characters, from friendship to insemination to 7 years later and dealing with the child. He “loved that it was outside of artifice”

-When asked about other films about sperm donors, Speck said a lot of stories can be told about this and felt that this movie’s take on it is unique.

-Decided not to physically age characters during the films 7 year jump because it would look weird and distract the audience. Instead, they focused on making the characters’ internal changes more apparent.

-Says that Jeff Goldblum (who is hilarious in the movie) was their first choice for the role and he elevated a stock character in romantic comedies (the main character’s best friend/advisor) into a 3 dimensional character.

Josh Gordon

-He liked that the damsel in distress in the film was Jason, not Jennifer. Says that most men he knows are damsels in distress.

-Like Speck, Gordon praised Jeff Goldblum, calling himself a life-long fan of his work. Says they were only able to cast him because he was filming a TV show in New York City (where The Switch takes place).

-Joked that Blades of Glory was such an accurate portrayal of figure skating that it was essentially a documentary.

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