Like Ron Howard did as Opie on The Andy Griffith Show, Jason Bateman, 49, started out as a child actor on Little House on the Prairie and Silver Spoons. Ron produces Jason’s comedy series Arrested Development, and now the younger star is following in his idol’s footsteps again, signing a deal to produce movies and TV shows for Netflix.
“I’ve always admired what Ron did with his acting career, as he started to absorb how the sausage is made,” Jason said at a Television Critics Association event for his Netflix drama Ozark. “He wanted to have that chair and that privilege, that honor of overseeing the complexities of making fake life.”
Now Jason does, too. “I’m at the office every day,” he said. “I like to work really hard.” But this was not always the case. When Jason was working in the ’90s, he loved going to parties. In a previous interview with The Daily Beast, he said that not a lot of people know about his past even though it made him the successful actor that he is today.
“I think people maybe see me as someone they might be familiar with, and they’ve seen me in a couple of things, but I don’t think most people are aware that there was a period where I really enjoyed partying instead of working,” he said “And then I got a job that really allowed me a second shot and I didn’t throw it away, and I really tried to build on that new relevance and access. I really tried to keep that going so that, now that I’m an adult and need to provide for a family, I’ve got a job after the next one.”
He added, “We all have tons of sides to ourselves — half-dark and half-light,” which helps him portray Michael Bluth in Arrested Development. “So when it fits the project, I’ve got plenty in me that’s appropriate for that character.”
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