Onscreen chemistry came natural to Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston, the two stars of the new romantic comedy “The Switch.”
“Doing a full film with [Aniston] was as great as I had hoped it would be,” says Bateman, noting that the pair previously appeared together in a few scenes of 2006’s “The Breakup.” “We used every part of our familiarity and, hopefully, that is seen in the film. I think it is.”
Aniston says that she first met Bateman when she was 25 years old and the actor was starring on a television show with one of her friends.
“He was in a much different mental space back then, but still lovely and great,” she adds. “I’ve always adored him. He’s just delightful. There’s just nothing about him that isn’t squeezable.”
In “The Switch,” Aniston plays a 30-something-year-old single woman named Kassie who decides to have a baby by artificial insemination.
“She’s at a time in her life when she’s just ready to have a child and she’s not in a place where she feels that she needs a man to do it,” explains Aniston, noting that the concept fascinated her. “I don’t know if I would do it that way. But she does and there are a lot of women out there that do.”
Enter Bateman’s Wally, Kassie’s best friend whom she asks to help her in finding the the ideal willing sperm donor. Kassie does does not consider Wally a potential candidate due to his own self-proclaimed neurosis.
“I’m a guy who is a little complicated and a little in his own head and is not the most free-spirited, fun-loving kind of guy,” Bateman says. “He’s got some challenges to get to happiness. He’s a little more of a girlfriend to Kassie than a potential boyfriend.”
But, as the title suggests, an intoxicated Wally accidentally spills the eventual sperm donor’s “offering” and replaces it with his own “ingredient.” It is an act that he does not even remember, much less tell Kassie about. Seven years later, Wally meets Kassie’s son Sabastian – a young man with whom he is oddly familiar.
Bateman says that working with Thomas Robinson, the 6-year-old actor who plays Sebastian in “The Switch,” was a great experience.
“Thomas was amazing in doing his work,” explains Bateman, noting the difficulty he had when he started acting at age 10. “I have no idea how he got it done at 6. That was pretty cool. It could have been a lot more difficult with somebody who wasn’t as talented as him so we got really, really lucky.”
Bateman also enjoyed working with Jeff Goldblum, who plays Wally’s friend and boss in “The Switch.” He notes that he has always wanted to work with the actor, whose previous performances he believes have been an influence on his own technique.
“He’s got a very unique style and rhythm that is very anti-acting,” Bateman says. “It’s very free-formed and sort of conversational. He’s famous for it. He was one of the first to really sort of introduce that to a current style, at least as far as I can remember back.”
Goldblum shares a similar admiration for Bateman – one that mirrors the one Aniston has for him.
“Jason Bateman is fantastic,” Goldblum says. “He was not only funny and sweet – you know, he’s adorable – but very supportive.”
“The Switch” (PG-13 – 101 minutes) opens Friday at movie theaters throughout the Valley. Visit NCM.com for specific showtimes and locations.