Jason Kent Bateman (born January 14, 1969 in Rye, New York) is a prolific American comedy actor. Seriously, you might not remember them all, but you have probably seen at least eight movies with this guy. He began his acting career with a part in Little House on the Prairie. He came to prominence with a supporting role on the 1980s sitcom Silver Spoons and The Hogan Family and later as the star of Teen Wolf Too (which is something of an Old Shame).
His best-remembered roles are that of David Hogan, the eldest son on The Hogan Family, and as Michael Bluth in Arrested Development, the latter which set his persona as something of a quietly charming straight man. He has been playing largely similar resilient nice-guy roles in a myriad of comedies. In recent years audiences have had something of a "he really can act" reaction as he has managed to find a lot of range despite being largely typecast.
- The Hogan Family (1986)
- Some of My Best Friends (2001)
- Arrested Development (2003-2006)
- Ozark (2017- present)
- The Outsider (2020)
- Starsky & Hutch (2004)
- DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story (2004)
- Juno (2007)
- Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (2007)
- Smokin' Aces (2007)
- The Kingdom (2007)
- Hancock (2008)
- State of Play (2009)
- Extract (2009)
- Up in the Air (2009)
- The Invention of Lying (2009)
- Couples Retreat (2009)
- Extract (2009)
- The Switch (2010)
- Paul (2010)
- Horrible Bosses (2011)
- The Change Up (2011)
- Disconnect (2012)
- Identity Thief (2012)
- The Gift (2015)
- Central Intelligence (2016)
- Zootopia (2016)
- Office Christmas Party (2016)
- Game Night (2018)
This actor provides examples of:
- Butt-Monkey: His characters cannot catch a break and usually take shit from every side until the end of the story.
- Career Resurrection: Arrested Development solidified with Horrible Bosses.
- Deadpan Snarker: His other notable role. A writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram remarked that one of his films "only makes for more opportunity for Bateman to access his seemingly bottomless reservoir of put-out sardonic deadpan".
- Dogged Nice Guy: His role in Arrested Development and most of his films. Also, once his character was fleshed out and you got to know him, David Hogan on The Hogan Family. Touches upon Only Sane Man and The Woobie, depending on the role, in his movies.
- Dueling Works: Bateman's Office Christmas Party versus Bad Santa 2, although the latter is way more on the cynical side.note
- The Everyman: Many of his characters tend to be fairly normal and down-to-earth guys, often quite likeable, stressed-out, trapped in some kind of blandly soul-crushing office job and saner than everyone else around them.
- Manchild: In Juno, DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story and Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium.
- Playing Against Type: Nick Wilde is pretty much the opposite of Michael Bluth from Arrested Development. Michael is a beleaguered nice guy who tries to be a good person and does not think he has to be a crook just because the rest of his family are made up of crooks; however, he sometimes ends up stooping to their level to get what he wants (not that he particularly enjoys it). Nick, on the other hand, is an anthropomorphic fox that believes that he has no choice but to be a con artist just because of his background (living with the negative stereotypes about his kind), actually rather enjoying it. He learns, in the end, that he can be a better mammal, and his HeelFace Turn is so complete that he ends up becoming a cop (hey, it's Disney after all).
- Production Posse: With the Frat Pack particularly Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller despite appearing in the same film with fellow members Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell in Starsky & Hutch. He has also collaborated with director Jason Reitman in Juno and Up in the Air.
- Star-Making Role: Silver Spoons solidified with The Hogan Family as a teen idol and Arrested Development as a adult. For his film work he is known for Horrible Bosses a Frat Pack comedy inspired by his work with them previously.
- Typecasting: He is almost always the Straight Man, specifically being a stressed-out, under-appreciated businessman. Notable exceptions include Smokin' Aces, in which he plays an insecure and perverse attorney, and Zootopia, in which he plays a white collar con fox.