I knew I liked Jason Bateman as soon as I was introduced to him and the cameraman in the room said, "McWeeny?  Hard childhood, dude."

Bateman looked at me, shook his head, and said, "I was Master Bateman until I graduated high school.  My sympathies."

Jason Bateman is having one of the great second acts in Hollywood right now.  He was a precocious child actor, always playing great assholes, and then at a certain point, he did a fade.  Probably right around the indignity of "Teen Wolf, Too."

BTW -- quick aside, but is it just me, or should all sequels use that as the template for the title?  "The Godfather, Too."  "Jaws, Too."  "Batman, Too."  You hear me, Hollywood?  Make it happen.

Bateman's made a huge comeback in the last few years, and he's able to shine equally in small roles like in "State Of Play" or as a lead on a show like "Arrested Development."  He was one of the people I had hoped to interview when I was on the set of "The Invention Of Lying," but evidently he was in and out on that one weeks before I was there.  It was last weekend when we finally sat down at The Four Seasons here in LA for a few minutes to talk about Mike Judge's "Extract," a shaggy, amiable little film that absolutely fits into the filmography that Judge is building.  Bateman proves to be a nice addition to the Judge-iverse, and it was good to finally chat with him, albeit briefly:

[more after the jump]

 

 

Next up was Mila Kunis.  I met Mila on the set of "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," and the thing that struck me there was just how relaxed she is in her own skin.  I can't tell you how often I get the hard-sell when I meet someone on a set or at a press event.  And I get it... this is a town that is built largely on the idea of selling yourself as a product, and the people who succeed are, largely, the ones who master that skill.  With Kunis, though, I get the sense that she's got a grounded life away from Hollywood, and it makes her seem more sedate and relaxed than most of the young actors I meet.  It suits her.

I was also charmed by the fact that she had her parents with her at the press day, and during our conversation, both mom and dad were sitting about ten feet away, proud as parents can be:

 

 

Thanks to Miramax for putting us together with the two actors, and next week, we'll have our Mike Judge interview for you as well, along with a full review of "Extract."

 

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