Sam Rivman ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Horrible Bosses, starring Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis, was a huge success back in 2011. The highly anticipated sequel, Horrible Bosses 2, is set to release in theaters across the country on November 26th.
Emertainment Monthly recently got the opportunity to join in on a conference call with the three stars of the film.
Horrible Bosses 2 was able to be made primarily due to its financial success in the United States. Do you believe that this is enough to warrant a sequel?
Bateman: Well, yeah, you get asked to do sequels when it makes enough money to warrant it. It did really well overseas, which is not terribly common for a comedy. So New Line and Warner Brothers wanted to do another one and we were certainly open to it because we had such a good time doing the first one. What we didn’t want to do was make a film that was not at least as good as the first film, and we worked really, really hard to attempt to do that. Hopefully you’ll like it as much, and hopefully more.
Day: Yeah, there’s the financial side of it, right, where if a movie studio doesn’t make enough money on the first one, well they’re not going to spend money to make a second one, because it’s a business. Then there’s the creative side to it, where it doesn’t make sense to do a second story, and Jason, Jason and myself had a lot of lengthy conversations about what the second story could be. We weren’t going to do a movie if we couldn’t find a story that, for us, made sense.
Do you find that you solely love acting comically or are you looking to expand into a different genre?
Sudeikis: It all feels the same, you’re lucky to get to do any of it, much less all of it. No complaints over here.
Day: I’ve met a lot of actors that really strongly prefer one thing or the other. Most actors, and I’m assuming you must have some interest in that if you’re a student at Emerson, feel lucky to get to do it. In terms of exploring other things, yeah, I think you always want to try new things, too.
In this film, you really expanded the cast. You work with Chris Pine for most of the film, Christoph Waltz, Kevin Spacey, Jonathan Banks and Keegan-Michael Key. What was it like working with all of these guys?
Bateman: Its pretty cool, you know this is a big, silly, commercial studio comedy, and when you can class it up with Oscar winners, it becomes a really nicely balanced cocktail. Everyone loves a properly mixed cocktail. So it was really cool to work with all of those different people. Everyone seemed to really understand what we were making, and it made for a good thing.
Sudeikis: It’s really flattering to make the first one and 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”. It’s really gravy to mention someone like Keegan or Jonathan Banks, who is in one of my favorite movies of all time, Beverly Hills Cop, and so to be in a movie with him is awesome. I’ve known Keegan for ever, there’s a lot of Second City people in this movie, and you love the fact that they want to come on board.
Day: Especially for a sequel, where a sequel can lack the “prestige” of the first movie. So to get actors of that caliber joining the movie is great.
Have you had any kind of horrible bosses in your lives that you’d maybe like to murder or kidnap?
Bateman: I started acting so young that I’ve never really had any traditional bosses but I’ve certainly worked for some prickly directors, movie stars, producers, and studio heads. But my knees are bent, I’m waiting for a real son-of-a-b***h to come my way.
Have you guys ever been a horrible bosses yourselves?
Day: Ummm… no! I don’t think so, I think we’re pretty fair guys. You know, we have employed some people here and there, but no one has filed any complaints yet that I know about.
Were there any pranks happening on set for Horrible Bosses 2?
Bateman: Well, I don’t know if there were any pranks. There was a lot of goofing around and making each other laugh both on and off camera. We were all chuckled out. So we didn’t have to try to keep it light, because sometimes you’ll have practical jokes when there’s a necessity to kind of lighten the mood on set. But we were actually trying to simmer things down and be serious and try to get some work done sometimes.
Day: There were not a lot of Whoopie Cushions on that set. We wanted to make sure that everyone got home to their kids. But, you know, we had fun making it!
Because of the great success of the first film, how do you expect viewers to react to the sequel?
Day: I’m hopeful that they’re really gonna like it. I expect people to be skeptical, and I hope that they’re pleasantly surprised.
Bateman: Yeah, I’m pretty fair about being objective and I really enjoyed the first one, just as a viewer. I watched this one with that same perspective and I genuinely liked it even more than the first film. So I’m actually feeling kind of bullish. If people see it the way I see it, they’re going to be very happy with this one, so I’m feeling good.
Its been three years since Horrible Bosses. What was it like to revisit these characters?
Day: As actors, it was really fun for the three of us to get back together again, because we enjoy each others’ company and we had such a great time making the first one. As characters, its a terrible thing for the three of these people to get back together again, because they keep getting themselves into some serious trouble.
Was it easier working on this sequel with the experience gained from Horrible Bosses, or did you feel pressured to make it as good as the first?
Sudeikis: We certainly felt the pressure among ourselves, and then on behalf of fans of the movie, but that pressure gets released the second you start working. The harder you work, the luckier you get. We just had a good time making each other laugh and trying to have the thing make sense.
Bateman: You know, it would be pressure packed if we were doing the same material. I don’t think we would be able to repeat our performances from the first film in that film again, but this is all new material. We haven’t seen it done before, so basically we get a nice free shot at it.
You changed directors for the second movie. What did Sean Anders bring to the project?
Sudeikis: It was great. Him and his writing partner, John Morris, are two of the best comedy writers in Hollywood right now. They did a great job with the re-writing [of] We’re the Millers, so it was like having two more writers on set with us.
Day: He walks a really good line of not completely re-inventing it, so that you wouldn’t know what movie you’re watching. And yet when it made sense for the film to get a little more stylized, he put a little bit more style into the second one, and it fits the story. So I think he did a really good job that way.
Is there anything crazy or different that your characters got to do in the sequel that they didn’t get to do in the first movie?
Sudeikis: Being in every scene together, which is a crazy notion that I couldn’t have enjoyed more. The first movie, we spent the first thirty minutes each in our own little movie with our own horrible boss, and this own it’s just right off the bat, the three of us sitting next to each other on a couch.
Bateman: We also got to do a little bit of green screen work. That was kind of an interesting part of the film making process. Its something that is usually relegated towards the big visual effects movies, so it was neat to see that part of the process.
Horrible Bosses 2 hits theaters November 26.