Jason Bateman Discusses His Directing and Acting Process for 'Ozark' | Drama Actor Roundtable

"It changed the way in which I performed the character, because I knew I would just be noting myself," Bateman told the Drama Actor Roundtable.

Jason Bateman discussed his triple role as lead actor, director and executive producer for Netflix's Ozark with The Hollywood Reporter's Drama Actor Roundtable, telling THR, "By doing more than the acting, it allows me, I hope, to hit this tonal target that I wanted to when I read the first two episodes, which were the ones that were written."

"I wanted to direct a 600-page movie. I said, 'I'll do it if they let me direct all the episodes,' because I just love this world. I wanted to be able to figure out what it looked like, what it sounded like, and I knew that by playing the central character, by having two hands on the wheel, one in front of the camera, one behind, it might increase my odds of hitting that little target."

"It changed the way in which I performed the character, because I knew I would just be noting myself," Bateman told the roundtable.

When it comes to saying no to projects Bateman tends to pass on, "The real low hanging fruit that seems like a big payday," or "a sprinter project. They just want a big splash, big opening, and they're not really too concerned with the merits of it."

"The things I'm drawn to say yes to are less about the role," Bateman told THR, "even the script as a whole, it's about the people who are doing it. When I feel like I really want to work with someone, it's usually pretty indicative of the quality of the projects, the people that you associate yourself with. I don't care if I have three lines to say in it or 30, it's more about who's directing it, who are the other actors, what's the studio, and is it something that I would want to go see as a viewer just because of its quality or its ambition."

Jason Bateman has earned a Golden Globe for his leading role in Arrested Development. He has two additional Golden Globe nominations and two Emmy nominations for his acting work in Arrested Development and Ozark.

The full Emmy Roundtables air every Sunday on SundanceTV beginning June 24 and on THR.com the following Monday. The full Drama Actor Roundtable starring Matthew Rhys, J.K. Simmons, Darren Criss, Michael B. Jordan, Jeff Daniels and Jason Bateman airs Sunday, July 8, on Sundance TV. Tune in to THR.com/roundtables for more roundtables featuring talent from the year’s top shows.

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