In 2011, “Horrible Bosses” made $209 million nationwide and gave audiences a new triple threat that proved to be funny, improvisational and likable. After the film, Jason Bateman would go on to film the fourth season of “Arrested Development”‘ and his first film, “Bad Words.” Jason Sudeikis got married, had a child and starred in last year’s “We’re the Millers.” Charlie Day found himself in the middle of the battle for Earth in “Pacific Rim” and went back to”It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”
In one week’s time, these three comedy kings will reunite on-screen, but this time they’re the bosses. In a conference call with college journalists, the trio showed their chemistry and humor.
Re-teaming and Reevaluating
“As actors, it was really fun for the three of us to get back together again because we enjoy each other’s company, and we had such a great time with the first one,” Day said.
“As characters, it’s a terrible thing for these three guys to get back together again because they get themselves into some serious shit.”
He’s not wrong. These guys were associated with murder, robbery, break-ins and ruining a marriage. That being said, they certainly made for a hilarious trio that wouldn’t stop delivering the laughs.
“We certainly felt some pressure amongst ourselves on behalf of fans of the movie, but that pressure gets relieved the second you start working,” Sudeikis said.
“The harder you work, the luckier you get, and we just had a good time making each other laugh and trying to make sense of everything.”
Achieving comedy gold one time is hard enough, but it’s difficult to imagine how hard it must be to attain that a second time. Most comedy sequels are flops that attempt to recreate the successful element of the first film.
“You know, it would be pressure-packed if we were doing the same material. I don’t think that we can do that first film — I don’t think that we’d be able to repeat that performance in that film again,” Bateman said.
“But, this is all new material, and we haven’t seen it done before. Basically, we get a nice free shot at it.”
It’s pretty safe to assume that most people have worked for one or two pretty awful bosses, and that goes for actors as well.
Horrible Bosses Off-Screen
“I started acting so young that I never really had a traditional boss but I’ve certainly worked for some prickly directors, movie stars, producers (and) studio heads. I have no horrible stories that I can think of,” Bateman said.
“But my knees are bent — I’m waiting for a real son-of-a-bitch to come my way. I’m prepped.”
Charlie Day and Jason Bateman also had something to say about being horrible bosses themselves.
“No, at least I don’t think so… I’d like to think that I’m a pretty fair guy. Pretty nice guy… We may have to twist some arms here and thereby but no one has filed a complaint yet that I know of,” Day said.
“I threw my two-year-old into the car pretty quickly this morning, and I think she’d probably tell you that I’m a real asshole. In my defense, we were late for school.”
From this conversation, it’s clear that these are good guys, but “everyone has their moments,” Bateman joked. At the end of the day, no one likes being late for school.
New Director, New Film
“It was great. (Sean Anders) and his writing partner, John Morris, are two of the best script/comedy writers in Hollywood right now. At least I think so. They did a great job with the re-writing of “We’re the Millers” so it was like having two other writers on set with us,” Sudeikis said.
Anders has experience in writing for comedies like “We’re the Millers,” “Hot Tub Time Machine” and “She’s Out of My League,” but his directorial efforts have missed the mark. “Sex Drive” and That’s My Boy” missed the mark greatly, but perhaps that was due to Anders trying to make the comedy so slapstick.
“There’s a whole chunk in the middle where it almost looks like a Stephen Soderburgh film that he had in his head. Even the stuff of us starting the business — all these visual elements of it feels like a Fincher movie. It’s like something right out of “Fight Club,” Sudeikis said. Day agreed.
“He walks a really good line of not completely reinventing it so that you don’t know what movie you’re watching, and yet when it makes sense for the film to get a bit more stylized; he threw some style in and it fit the story. I think that he did a really great job with it,” Day said.
From what they say, this film sounds different than the first already and it certainly boasts some intriguing comparisons.
Working With Acting Greats
With the likes of Kevin Spacey, who’s taken the world by storm with his portrayal of Frank Underwood in “House of Cards” and two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz (“Inglorious Basterds” and “Django Unchained”) on set, everyone must have been feeling pretty special to be in their presence.
“It was pretty cool. When you can — this is a big kind of silly commercial studio comedy and when you can class it up with some Oscar winners, it becomes a really nice balanced cocktail. Everyone loves a properly mixed cocktail. Don’t want anything too straight. It was really cool to work with all those people. Everyone really seemed to understand what we were making and it made for a good time,” Bateman said.
Seeing predominately serious actors do comedy is either more hilarious than it should be or it’s painstakingly awful. If Spacey’s performance is any inclination, it seems like things will go well this second time around. Then there’s also the supporting talent that people will recognize.
“It’s really flattering when you can make the first one, have it exist,and then when you’re making the second one have people say “Oh yeah, I want to be a part of that,’ ” Sudeikis said.
“It’s so great of you to mention Keegan and someone like Jonathan Banks, who’s been in one of my favorite movies of all-time, ‘Beverly Hills Cop.’ So to be in a movie with him is amazing. I’ve known Keegan forever and there’s a lot of second city people in this movie and you love the fact that they want to come on board.”
You also can’t forget everyone’s Star Trek celebrity crush, Chris Pine.
“He brought a lot of hotness,” Sudeikis sighed.
“Someone had to do it,” Bateman added.
What The Audience Can Expect
“I’m pretty fair about being objective, and I really enjoyed the first one as a viewer,” Bateman said. “I watched this one with that same perspective and I genuinely liked it even more than the first. So I’m actually feeling kind of fullish. If people see it the way I see it, they’re going to be very happy with this one. I’m feeling good.”
It’s always fun to hear the actor’s thoughts, and Bateman seemed really proud of this work. He’s not the only one.
“I’m hopeful that they’re going to like it. I expect people to be skeptical, and I hope that they’re pleasantly surprised,” Day said.
Everything these men have to say makes this film all the more appealing, and given the cast and the first film’s reception, I expect “Horrible Bosses 2″ to open to a big crowd who will be even more amused than the first time around.
“Horrible Bosses 2″ opens nationwide on Nov. 26.