Big Gay Following: Jason Bateman

Four years after his queer sitcom fizzled, Jason Bateman earned a Golden Globe award and an Emmy nomination for playing the quintessential straight man on Fox’s Arrested Development; even so, gays are still some of his best friends.

BY Brandon Voss

December 03 2007 1:00 AM ET

Now that you’re 38, the industry thinks you’re sexy enough to play the husband of Jennifer Garner in Juno and of Charlize Theron in next year’s Hancock.
Yeah, that’s not bad. I’ll take that. But listen, it’s not without tireless work. I run like a Kenyan every morning, and I haven’t had a loaf of bread in my house since the late ’90s, OK? I do all of that and I still look like some fat-faced teenager.

You must’ve been pretty comfortable with your body this past year to have done a nude locker room scene in The Ex and a scene wearing only ladies’ undergarments in Smokin’ Aces.
I was not happy about either one of those things. I was very fleshy for both. God, I wish we could do another take of those. Jesus, you should see me now. You could do laundry on my stomach!

So the undies bit was scripted?
Actually, it was a character choice. They said, “We need to come back and see you in this hotel room watching TV.” And I said, “Well, you left me a couple of hours ago, and I seemed weird, so I’m probably in the throes of something even weirder now. So let’s get some coke on the nightstand, and if wardrobe has a bra-and-panties set, let’s get it up here.”

Do you think Teen Wolf Too [1987] won you fans within the bear community?
[Laughs] Well, it’s not a group to sneeze at. Again, like the stupid sex-PSA thing, it seemed like a good idea at the time. But here we are, 20 years later, and it’s still haunting me, so I probably should’ve gone left instead of right.

Were you disappointed that you didn’t get to sing “The Penis Song” in The Sweetest Thing [2002]?
No, but I did get to sing that Bangles song, “Eternal Flame.” Love that. I actually put that on my wedding CD.

I haven’t seen Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, but I know it’s rated G. Does your character still get the girl?
No, he’s pretty neutered. Everything’s taped down in that one. In fact, Natalie Portman and I both look like teenage boys with our little hairdos. There’s a very subtle gay theme that runs all the way through it. You really have to look for it.

In Hancock you’ll play a PR consultant who attempts to repair a fallen superhero’s image. How much of your own image has been influenced by a PR team?
I don’t think very much of it. In fact, they get on me all the time about being too honest and disclosing too much. I got a speech from my stepfather the other day about how “some things are better left unsaid.” But people are going to think what they want, so you might as well paint as accurate a picture as you can, so that you don’t have misconceptions out there. I certainly don’t have anything to hide.

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