Jason Sudekis, Jason Bateman, and Charlie Day are back to their harebrained schemes in Horrible Bosses 2, and the hilarious trio assembled at Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theatre on Thursday night to celebrate the movie’s Los Angeles premiere. Joining them on the black carpet were returning favorites Jennifer Aniston and Jamie Foxx as well as several newcomers to the franchise, Christoph Waltz and Chris Pine.
“There’s something kind of relatable to these guys,” Bateman told The Hollywood Reporter of the film’s success, “We’re not very threatening because we’re dumb as hell and there’s something a bit empathetic about them. They’re living under the thumb of some oppressive superiors. Who isn’t in that situation? We all work for somebody.”
Horrible Bosses 2 sees Nick (Bateman), Kurt (Sudekis), and Dale (Day) transition from plotting murders to a slightly less egregious felony—kidnapping. After quitting their respective jobs, the sequel finds the trio taking control of their own lives and going into business together. Of course, their idealistic plans are quickly shot down after their investor, played by Oscar winner Waltz, screws them over. To get their money back and save their livelihoods, they hatch a half-baked plan—kidnap the investor’s rambunctious and petulant son (Pine) and hold him for ransom.
While sequel talks started early, the cast and producers acknowledge that it was a slow process getting the funnymen back on the screen.
“It was coming up with a situation that was both believable and engaging enough [that] you kind of appreciate these guys would dig themselves in a hole and get out of it,” explained producer Chris Bender (American Pie) who joined the second film after working with Sudekis and Aniston on We’re The Millers. “There was a lot of input about what the movie could be, getting it to a place where everybody was happy and a place where it was worth making.”
Sudekis echoed that sentiment, noting that the humorously-talented cast rarely even improv-ed. “90 percent was there on the page because we all, the three of us and [writer-director] Sean (Anders) and [writer] John (Morris) worked really hard.”
Of course, that doesn’t mean that the set was all business, all the time. When asked about his favorite moment on set, Star Trek star Pine fondly recalled one of those few improvised moments—a scene where Day and Sudekis continuously improvised behind him as he espoused a long monologue. “It was great,” he laughed.
With the rapport between the main three, and the standout supporting players—sexually insatiable Dr. Julia Harris (Aniston) and audaciously named Motherf****r Jones (Foxx)—already established, Pine had his own unique challenges jumping in on the tight set.
“They’re really good at what they do,” he said. “They already had a music established at how they worked. So for me, it was kind of just gauging the tempo of the song and figure out what instrument I can play.”
For Sudekis, Bateman, and Day, however, it was easy getting back into groove these few years later. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Day said ofreuniting with his Horrible Bosses co-stars, “It’s like getting back in the sandbox and being ready to play.”
Bateman, who recently directed his first feature film, Bad Words, added that the three have kept in touch over the years, so the decision to do a sequel was really a no-brainer. “Instead of picking up dinner tabs and costing us money to hang out, the studio paid us to hang out,” the Arrested Development star joked.
“They’re remarkable guys with very original comedic voices,” former SNL cast member Sudekis said of his co-stars. “I feel like if I’m making them laugh, I’m doing something right.”
He added, “If people enjoyed the chemistry between the three of us, they get it right off the bat,” laughing, “If not, then they should convince their enemies to come see it.”
Horrible Bosses 2 hits theatres nationwide on November 26.