In Theaters Friday, July 8
Management candidate Nick Hendricks (Jason Bateman) has been logging 12-hour days and eating everything his twisted supervisor Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey) dishes out, toward the promise of a well-earned promotion. But now he knows that's never going to happen. Meanwhile, dental assistant Dale Arbus (Charlie Day) has been struggling to maintain his self-respect against the relentless X-rated advances of Dr. Julia Harris, D.D.S. (Jennifer Aniston), when she suddenly turns up the heat. And accountant Kurt Buckman (Jason Sudeikis) has just learned that his company's corrupt new owner, Bobby Pellit (Colin Farrell), is not only bent on ruining his career but plans to funnel toxic waste into an unsuspecting population.
What can you do when your boss is a psycho, a man-eater or a total tool?
Quitting is not an option. These monsters must be stopped. So, on the strength of a few-too-many drinks and some dubious advice from a hustling ex-con whose street cred is priced on a sliding scale (Jamie Foxx), the guys devise a convoluted but foolproof plan to rid the world of their respective employers... permanently.
But even the best-laid plans are only as good as the brains behind them.
The comedy "Horrible Bosses" stars Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis, with Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Kevin Spacey, Donald Sutherland, Julie Bowen and Jamie Foxx.
"Horrible Bosses" is directed by Seth Gordon and produced by Brett Ratner and Jay Stern, from a screenplay by Michael Markowitz and John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein, story by Markowitz. Toby Emmerich, Richard Brener, Michael Disco, Samuel J. Brown and Diana Pokorny serve as executive producers, with John Rickard and John Cheng as co-producers.
The creative filmmaking team includes director of photography David Hennings; production designer Shepherd Frankel; editor Peter Teschner; costume designer Carol Ramsey; composer Christopher Lennertz; and music supervisor Dana Sano.
A New Line Cinema presentation of a Rat Entertainment Production, "Horrible Bosses" will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
This film is rated R by the MPAA for crude and sexual content, pervasive language and some drug material.
"These three pieces of $%# are going to die eventually anyway.
We'd just be accelerating that natural process." - Kurt
"Almost everyone has had a horrible boss at some point in their lives, someone who made life miserable," says director Seth Gordon. "We all know how tempting it is to fantasize about how much better things would be if they were out of the way. This is a story about three guys who decide to do something about it.
"But," he adds, "it doesn't turn out exactly the way they expect."
If bumping off their tormentors seems a little extreme at first, it soon becomes clear that, for one reason or another, these three browbeaten and manipulated workers are out of reasonable options. And it's not as if they started out as homicidal malcontents — actually, quite the opposite. Gordon sees the story's heroes, played by Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis, as "just average suburban working Joes. They're not bad guys, really; they're doing their best, but they're trapped and victimized by the people they work for in ways that are truly heinous and profound until they just can't take it anymore."
Week after week, longtime buddies Nick, Dale and Kurt meet for a few rounds to commiserate over their distinctly different yet equally desperate predicaments and the individuals responsible: Dave Harken, Nick's control-freak boss, played by Kevin Spacey; Bobby Pellit, the unconscionable heir to his father's company and the bane of Kurt's existence, played by Colin Farrell; and Dr. Julia Harris, the predatory dentist, played by Jennifer Aniston as audiences have never seen her before. As the conversation (and the beer) takes its natural course, the guys end up reflecting on how much brighter their lives and careers would be if only their despicable bosses were out of the picture. How nice it would be if they turned up dead one day. How much they deserve to turn up dead...
From there, it's not that great a leap. Or so they think.
The problem is, apart from their outrage, their furtive fantasies and the knowledge gleaned from umpteen seasons of "Law & Order," they have no qualifications, no experience and certainly no aptitude for the assassination business. "They're completely incompetent," states Gordon, a fact that is brought home to them immediately, and pretty much every hour thereafter, and which prompts them to enlist the bargain-priced assistance of a self-promoting parolee named Dean 'MF' Jones, played by Jamie Foxx.
From that springboard, "It becomes a linear story where one thing sets off another, and it just keeps getting faster and crazier as the guys quickly reach the point where there's no turning back," explains the director, who cites "Horrible Bosses" as one of those rare scripts that made him laugh till he cried.
If the average moviegoer can't relate to a murder plot, however ill-conceived, the filmmakers feel it's a safe bet they can at least relate to the escalating frustration that finally pushes these three working stiffs over the edge. Producer Brett Ratner, who developed "Horrible Bosses" with producing partner Jay Stern, notes, "The title alone says it all. It got an immediate reaction from everyone who heard it. People don't want to admit that the person they work for now is a horrible boss, but they'll refer to former bosses, or tell us about their 'friend' who has one. Everyone has bad experiences to draw on, and that's why this is so much fun."
"Actually, in discussing the movie, I discovered that a lot more people have wanted to kill their bosses than I would have guessed," offers Jason Sudeikis, who stars as the normally easygoing Kurt. In that respect, "Horrible Bosses" is a tale of wish-fulfillment on a grand scale for anyone who has ever imagined, say, heaving his or her immediate supervisor off the roof, but with Nick, Dale and Kurt taking all the risks and making all the stupid mistakes.
"They carry the water for us," says producer Jay Stern. "These are tough times for a lot of people, and many of us feel thankful to even have a job. At the same time, if someone is oppressing or abusing you, you think, 'Do I really have to take this? Do I really have to deal with this maniac?' I think there are plenty of people who don't necessarily want to kill their bosses but wouldn't mind seeing them hang off an overpass for awhile during rush hour.
"When these guys decide to take revenge in the most extreme way, it might seem a little dark at first," Stern continues, "but they screw it up so badly that it's not really a movie about three workers who get off on killing their bosses; it's more about the outrageous and hilarious adventure they take together after they decide to empower themselves and end up getting involved in something way over their heads."
Starring as the beleaguered Nick, Jason Bateman concurs: "This is not exactly rational behavior and I hope there's no one like these guys out there. We're just trying to make people laugh. If they find a correlation between the story and their own lives, great. But I wouldn't advise trying any of this at home."
To do the story justice, the filmmakers took an uninhibited approach to "Horrible Bosses" and let the humor — and everything else — fly. Says Ratner, "The movie doesn't pull any punches. We really went for it. Seth came in with a very strong point of view and a great vision for the casting and the execution. He knew what the movie needed to be, tonally, and he really delivered. It's a fine line between creating real stakes and real danger, and making it fun and funny. What I like most is that it never feels as though the jokes are there just for the sake of jokes. The humor always comes from character, and from the circumstances, and everything is grounded in the real world."
"People just want to go to work, be treated with respect, and go home. Is that too much to ask?" screenwriter Michael Markowitz wants to know. Markowitz also gets a story credit on the film and confirms that "Horrible Bosses" was largely inspired by his own office experiences. "Writing this was my revenge."
What audiences should keep in mind, lest they judge too harshly, is that "these guys are fighting for their dignity. They need to do what it takes to stand up and be men," says screenwriter John Francis Daley. Referring to one scene in which this spirit is vigorously demonstrated, his writing partner Jonathan Goldstein adds, "...and if it means sticking a toothbrush up your butt to maintain that dignity, well so be it."
"There are probably more appropriate movies to see if you're looking for heart-warming growth," admits Charlie Day, who stars as the timid but ultimately tenacious Dale.
The bottom line, Gordon states, "is there's really no message here. It's just a fun, rude, escapist comedy about three guys who decide to kill their bosses and are out of their depth as soon as they start."
"I don't care how much we hate our bosses. We're not murderers." - Dale
"You've never heard of justifiable homicide? It would be immoral
NOT to kill them." - Kurt
Gordon acknowledges it's the undeniable chemistry between the film's leads — often referred to on set as Charlie & the two Jasons — that really propels the action. "We got very lucky with this incredible synergy and these three accomplished comic actors who adapted to each others' rhythms so perfectly and worked so wonderfully together."
That camaraderie is key as Nick, Dale and Kurt try to brainstorm ideas and bolster one another's resolve in the face of everything they're up against. And for Dale, "up against," literally means his boss's hands and any part of his body within reach.
As the unwilling prey of the sex-crazed Dr. Julia Harris, who can't seem to keep her lab coat buttoned up when he's in the room, "Dale is the hopeless romantic of the group," says Charlie Day. "He's desperately in love with his fiancée and just wants to be a good guy but his boss is constantly coming on to him. Sometimes even his buddies don't quite sympathize with him."
That's understandable, considering that Dr. Harris is played by Jennifer Aniston.
"We drew straws to see which one of us would play Dale, and Charlie won," jokes Bateman. But, as everyone knows, no means no and this is one woman who never got that memo. When her daily routine of grabbing, flashing and talking trash isn't enough, she adds blackmail to the list.
"I've never played a character so inexcusably raunchy and there was no way I could resist it — the dialogue and the situations are so outrageous and fun. I jumped at it immediately," says Aniston, who calls the movie "a guilty pleasure for people unhappy in their jobs, to maybe go and get it out of their system by rooting for these guys.
"It really stretches the limits and crosses boundaries and Dr. Harris is way out in front on all counts: guilty as charged," she adds.
"What I love about the character is how masculine she is in her sexual appetite. As Jennifer and I discussed in rehearsals, Dr. Harris is a predator, like a lion. They don't feel one way or another, they just have to feed," says Gordon. "It was really important to find an actress who could play Julia with all the intensity and delicious naughtiness the role deserves, and I thought it would be even better if it was someone audiences wouldn't expect. This is radically different from any role her fans have ever seen her in before and she just kills; you have to see it to believe it. It's electrifying to hear her deliver this dialogue. She's absolutely fearless and hilarious."
Aniston previously starred with Sudeikis in "The Bounty Hunter" and with Bateman in last year's romantic comedy "The Switch," but met Charlie Day for the first time on "Horrible Bosses." Recalling the potentially awkward scenario of their first scene together, she says, "Within 20 minutes, I was straddling him in lingerie. But Seth never stopped laughing and we were all in perfect sync; if anything, after every take we'd be thinking, 'let's push it a little further.' I was bizarrely comfortable in these scenes, almost more so than I would be playing the normal girl-next-door, and every scene was kind of crazy but that was really the fun of it."
Dale's friend Nick, meanwhile, faces a different kind of domination at the hands of his boss: the powerful, tightly wound VP Dave Harken, portrayed by Kevin Spacey, who lords over the cramped bullpen of Comnidyne Industries where poor Nick toils alongside his fellow corporate drones in the futile hope of reward and recognition... or, at the very least, an occasional half-day off.
"Harken is the master of psychological torment," says Gordon. "We imagined a kind of sophisticated passive-aggressive sadist, the kind of power-hungry micromanager that I think any of us can recognize because he exists out there in many forms, and Kevin handles it brilliantly."
Says Spacey, "You can't even give him the benefit of the doubt, or think for a minute that he's being tough in order to teach a lesson or encourage his employees to try harder and bring out their best. There are no underlying strategies that might redeem him. Harken is just a bully. He's a terrible, terrible person.
"The three of us who play the bosses really back these three friends into a corner and I think audiences will completely understand why they're driven to kill us," Spacey concedes. "Fortunately, everything they set out to do doesn't go the way they plan in any way, shape or form. They make the worst decisions ever."
As Harken's long-time subordinate and number-one target, Nick has certainly paid his dues into the next century, notes Jason Bateman. "Nick is dedicated and ambitious and wants a promotion so badly he can taste it. Harken has promised it, but we know it's never going to happen. It's just part of his plan to dominate and emasculate."
By comparison, conditions for Kurt seem much better — at least initially. As the story opens he's working for kindly Jack Pellit, played by Donald Sutherland as a man of warmth and integrity. "Jack is the kind of boss we all wish we had," states Gordon. "We wanted an actor who could play that sort of father-figure role, the benevolent authority you want in your life, and Donald was perfect. Seeing him interact with Jason Sudeikis, you really get the sense that these two characters have mutual respect and a rich history."
But that ideal situation can't last. Jack is soon out and Bobby Pellit, the son who replaces him, is one wormy acorn that fell a very long way from the tree.
"Bobby Pellit represents the sort of corrupt and incompetent jerk who's in charge of things but clearly has no idea what he's doing. Of course, he will find a way to blame his inevitable failures on someone else," says Gordon.
"Playing Pellit was all about channeling my inner douche," laughs Farrell. "This guy thinks he's God's gift to women, God's gift to intellect, to humor, to the club scene, to everything. It's all part of his grandiose sense of self-esteem, which is probably masking a deeper sense of being a disappointment to his father and being riddled with envy over the relationship his father had with Kurt, and all kinds of other things. With Pellit, Seth gave me complete license to act as pathologically screwed up as possible."
Farrell also contributed significantly to Pellit's look, suggesting the comb-over and pot belly, as well as his affinity for the Chinese dragons that decorate his clothing to suggest to the world that he may have martial arts training. "Colin transformed himself so completely he's barely recognizable," Gordon attests. "He fully went for it. Audiences are going to see a whole different and very funny side to him."
For Kurt, Pellit's sudden promotion is bad news. Sudeikis explains: "First of all, Pellit hates Kurt because he knows his own father favored Kurt over him, so he makes it his mission to tank the business the two of them worked so hard for. Also, since all he cares about is money to fund his idiotic lifestyle, he's going to hurt thousands of people by dumping toxic chemicals because of some loophole that makes it legal, but still immoral. So, the way Kurt sees it, killing him would be doing God's work as well as his own. It's actually quite benevolent when you look at it that way."
That goes double for Dale, and triple for Nick. But can they pull it off? As Day points out, "These three aren't exactly criminal masterminds."
At least they're smart enough to know they need help. Enter 'MF' Jones, an ex-con with a one-of-a-kind moniker, a flair for the dramatic and a special expertise he's willing to share for the right price... as soon as he decides what that might be.
"Jones is kind of a self-described murder consultant, the killer confidante," Jamie Foxx reveals. "These guys come into a bar, looking for a hit man. He overhears their conversation and, knowing that they're gullible dumbasses, sees an opportunity to make some money. So he scares them a little and tells them what they want to hear."
Calling Jones "an entrepreneur," Gordon says, "Jamie puts some amazing details and gestures into his performance. He's a real master."
Foxx worked with the director, and costume designer Carol Ramsey, to perfect Jones' look, starting at the top. It was his idea to go with full-scalp tattoos as something, he notes, "not a lot of people have seen and not a lot of people are doing. Then we got retro with the clothes, the pointy-toe boots and things like that, because this is a guy who maybe went to jail for a minute and now he's living in his own time capsule. When he got out he went right back to the clothes he thought were hot when he went in."
The tattoos took an hour and a half to apply. Foxx recalls, "I went out once and people took a couple of pictures and it was all over the Internet, like 'Jamie Foxx has lost his mind.' But it really serves the character and that's the kind of reaction you want."
Following their meeting with Jones, things pick up speed as the guys quickly discover how far they're willing to go. "They kind of get swept up into this cockamamie plan that they didn't really think through before it just started to happen," says Bateman. "It immediately gets out in front of them. Every time they get close to pulling it off, it falls apart, and then every time they want to walk away, something falls into place. The three of us together are like one character. The writers did a great job of creating this three-headed beast."
For Day, "If Dale is the romantic, Kurt is the opposite, a ladies' man to a fault. Nick shoots right down the middle, a straight-and-narrow, buttoned-up kind of guy. It's entertaining to watch these three different personalities, sort of left, right and center, trying to find their way through this situation together. It's all Freud. It's like the Id, the Ego and the Superego."
"That's a little too smarty-pants for me and is clearly something someone told Charlie to say," Sudeikis tosses back. "But it does make sense. It's a case of three mouths and one brain, for sure. Dale doesn't want to kill anyone; he's the last one in. Nick is more the audience's point of view, the one closest to neutral, and Kurt is the hapless Id, the one who gets the ball rolling."
"Horrible Bosses" also stars Julie Bowen as Rhonda, the impeccable Mrs. Harken, who, the actress suggests, "may or may not be a hussy. By keeping her deeply suspicious husband on edge at home, imagining her with every man in sight, she makes it that much tougher for his employees to deal with him at the office."
Lindsay Sloane appears as Dale's fiancée Stacy, blissfully unaware of his troubles at work even when they land in her lap; and P.J. Byrne as Kenny Sommerfeld, a former investment manager now scrounging for drinks, whose riches-to-rags example reminds Nick, Dale and Kurt that good jobs are hard to find. Wendell Pierce and comedian Ron White play a pair of suspicious cops, and Ioan Gruffudd represents the three plotters' first big mistake, a man whose services they hire online before realizing he's not at all the kind of professional they had in mind.
THE PLAYING FIELDS:
"If someone approaches the house, give us a signal." - Nick
"I'll honk the horn 6 times." - Dale
"How about you just honk once?" - Nick
As the guys put Jones' advice into action by staking out Harken's, Pellit's and Harris' homes at night, they see the full expression of their bosses' horribleness in ways unrealized at the office, leaving little doubt about the righteousness of their mission.
Production designer Shepherd Frankel, who first collaborated with Seth Gordon on the 2008 holiday hit "Four Christmases," imagined the story's interlocking storylines like a large-scale game in which the bosses' home and office spaces together represent three playing fields. "It's like we have a team of three people playing against an opposing team of three, with the Jamie Foxx character as referee. We wanted to distinguish these three environments and play the two sides off each other. Each environment is a reflection of the person who controls it."
"Shepherd and I work hard to create settings that support all the conversations we've had with the actors about character, so we can put them into a world that feels like the person we've been discussing all along," says Gordon.
Nick's hell is the Comnidyne bullpen, organized, per Frankel, "to enhance the discomfort and anxiety of lower-level employees clustered in the center of the room where every movement is monitored by the boss from his corner office. We met with financial strategists and management companies to learn the architecture and sociology of these layouts, to represent visually what it's like to start at the bottom and aspire to an office at the perimeter."
Thematically, Harken is perfectly aligned with his surroundings, as costume designer Carol Ramsey worked with Frankel and set decorator Jan Pascale to match his wardrobe to Comnidyne's cold grey and blue palette. The McMansion he calls home, though more lavishly decorated, is equally lacking in warmth and designed for show, right up to its laughably large mantlepiece portrait of Harken and his trophy wife posed with their prized cats.
For Dr. Harris' domain, the challenge was infusing a sensual vibe into arguably one of the least sexy places imaginable: a dental office. "She's a Type A professional at the top of her game, who likes to play cat-and-mouse, so it's a completely controlled environment, with apertures and views into other rooms so she always knows what's going on," the designer outlines. "It's highly designed, with rich wallpaper and tones, sumptuous artwork and subtle lighting — all very disarming till you step into her private office. The blinds close, the door locks and you think, 'It's the Temple of Doom.'"
The deviant doc's house is stylistically similar to her office — that is, what can be seen of it through its wide street-facing picture windows, which afford her the opportunity to put on the kind of show she couldn't get away with at work.
The Pellit Chemical Company and Bobby Pellit's house are a jarring contrast to one another because the company reflects Pellit Senior's human touch, whereas Pellit Junior's home is a shameless shrine to himself and his hedonistic appetites. It features a mishmash of anything he finds exotic and erotic, mostly Egyptian and Asian motifs with an '80s Studio 54 vibe, a makeshift dojo, lots of mirrors and a massage table. Some of the detail, principally the Asian influence, was drawn from Gordon and Farrell's take on the character's infatuation with martial arts and his delusions of prowess.
The production filmed in and around Los Angeles, although, says Gordon, "We tried to find great L.A. locations that people haven't already seen a hundred times in movies and on TV. The idea was for it to feel like it could be anywhere in America, where people are trying to pursue the American dream but getting stopped by a horrible boss."
Comnidyne was part of an existing office park building in Torrance, California, where the crew completely remade a vacant floor. For Pellit Chemical, they found the perfect industrial landscape of pipes and containers surrounding an unoccupied water cleaning and storage facility in Santa Fe Springs. The industrial setting and architecture were made-to-order but taking advantage of that meant giving the warehouse's interior a thorough gutting and overhaul, as well as cutting windows into concrete walls to showcase the site's dynamic exteriors and creating an entryway from which Kurt's former boss Jack Pellit makes his fateful exit. The bar where Nick, Dale and Kurt find their mentor, Jones, was staged in one of downtown Los Angeles' oldest neighborhoods, and a Woodland Hills T.G.I.F. restaurant was converted into the guys' favorite watering hole.
Using practical locations was part of Gordon's intention to anchor the story to reality. But it's a heightened reality, where scenarios born in the real world are played out much further than they would be in the lives most of us lead. Possibly the most satisfying of these is a stunt involving the ample windows of Comnidyne's conference room, through which Nick imagines hoisting Harken, head-first, and the parking lot below, where he is gloriously impaled on the sign marking his primo parking spot. Overall, says stunt coordinator Sean Graham, "There are a couple of cool fantasy sequences that involve slamming heads through glass and high falls out of windows, an exploding car, a frantic chase sequence, cars smashing head-on and all kinds of other crazy stuff."
"The fun of the story isn't whether or not these guys can actually succeed, but in enjoying their inept approach to a terrible plan," says Gordon. It's his hope that audiences who have experienced the kind of frustration that Nick, Dale and Kurt rebel against in "Horrible Bosses" might have some popcorn and a few laughs, blow off some steam and emerge from the theater with "a new appreciation for how good they actually have it, and that, by comparison, maybe their own bosses aren't quite so bad."
Barring that, he suggests, "If you ever had the idea that you might be better off if your boss weren't around and imagine how that would play out, this movie takes care of following through on that for you and demonstrating the kinds of things that can happen if you start down that slippery slope. Once you see what's really involved, you might want to rethink it."
JASON BATEMAN (Nick Hendricks) was honored with a Golden Globe Award in 2004 for Best Actor in a Comedy Series and earned an Emmy Award nomination and two Screen Actor's Guild® nominations for his irreverent portrayal of Michael Bluth in the Mitch Hurwitz-created, multi award-winning comedy series "Arrested Development." Since then, the actor, producer and director has attained leading-man status on the big screen while returning to his television roots by continuing to produce, write and develop projects for the small screen.
Since "Arrested Development" ended in 2006, Bateman has secured one major film role after another. In March 2011 he starred in the comedy "Paul," directed by Greg Mottola and written by Nick Frost and Simon Pegg. Also in 2011, he will be seen opposite Ryan Reynolds in the comedy "The Change Up," directed by David Dobkin.
In 2010, Bateman starred with Jennifer Aniston in the romantic comedy "The Switch." His recent film work includes a supporting role opposite George Clooney in the Golden Globe and Academy Award®-nominated "Up in the Air," for director Jason Reitman; starring alongside Vince Vaughn and Kristen Bell in Jon Favreau's "Couples Retreat"; and the headline role in director Mike Judge's "Extract," which was produced by Bateman through his F+A Production banner. He also had a memorable cameo in the Ricky Gervais comedy "The Invention of Lying," and delivered an emotionally charged performance in Kevin Macdonald's crime drama "State of Play."
On the small screen, Bateman secured a first-look production deal for his company, F+A Productions, to develop, direct, and write original content for Fox Television. The deal came to fruition after Bateman directed the network's comedy pilot "Do Not Disturb," in Fall 2008. He also reteamed with "Arrested Development" creator Mitch Hurwitz to voice a character in Fox's animated comedy series "Sit Down, Shut Up," in April 2009. In Summer 2009 he directed and produced the FX Network pilot "The Merger."
In 2008, Bateman starred alongside Will Smith and Charlize Theron in Peter Berg's "Hancock," one of the top box-office openings worldwide. This came on the heels of one of the biggest success stories in independent filmmaking, Jason Reitman's "Juno," in which Bateman had a pivotal role as a potential adoptive father. "Juno" received Best Film nominations by most major film critics' groups, as well as the Hollywood Foreign Press and Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
In 2007, Bateman starred in Peter Berg's action thriller "The Kingdom" and, prior to this, in the family fantasy "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium" with Dustin Hoffman and Natalie Portman, for writer/director Zach Helm. His other recent films include the comedy "The Ex"; "The Break-Up," with Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston; "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story," with Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller; and "Starsky & Hutch," opposite Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. In 2002, he starred with Cameron Diaz in the romantic comedy "The Sweetest Thing."
In his adolescent and teen years, Bateman's portrayal of charming schemer Derek Taylor in "Silver Spoons" prompted NBC to create the spin-off "It's Your Move," starring Bateman. He then starred with Valerie Harper in "Valerie," "Valerie's Family" and "The Hogan Family" from 1986-1991 and was a regular on the iconic series that has become an American treasure, "Little House on the Prairie," with Michael Landon.
In January 2010, Bateman and his longtime friend and "Arrested Development" co-star Will Arnett created the digital-driven production company DumbDumb Productions, to produce commercials, shorts and original content to be distributed on the internet and for the film industry.
CHARLIE DAY (Dale Arbus) is an actor, writer and producer whose comedic talent has garnered him a worldwide following among critics and fans alike. In addition to his current starring role on "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," Day also serves as a writer and executive producer on the FX series, which he created in collaboration with friends Rob McElhenney and Glenn Howerton. "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" is heading into its seventh season.
Most recently, Day starred in the Nanette Burstein comedy "Going the Distance," alongside Drew Barrymore, Justin Long, Jason Sudeikis and Christina Applegate.
Born in the Bronx, New York, Day began his acting career on stage. He played four years at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and went on to play the lead role in "Dead End" at the Huntington Theatre in Boston.
Day had a recurring role on NBC's "Third Watch," and also a lead role in the FOX comedy "Luis." His other television credits include a recurring role in ABC's "Madigan Men," directed by James Burrows; Comedy Central's "Reno 911!"; NBC's "Law & Order"; and ABC's "Mary and Rhoda," starring Mary Tyler Moore.
JASON SUDEIKIS (Kurt Buckman) is currently in his sixth season as a cast member on NBC's venerable "Saturday Night Live." Sudeikis worked for two years as a writer on the show before becoming a series regular in 2005, and has won over audiences with his impersonations of Vice President Joe Biden, "American Idol" winner Taylor Hicks and the recurring hip-hop dancer character in the "What Up With That" sketch.
Sudeikis was also recently seen starring with Owen Wilson, Christina Applegate and Jenna Fischer in the Farrelly Brothers comedy "Hall Pass," about two friends who are granted a week of freedom from their marriages.
His additional film credits include "The Bounty Hunter," in which he starred alongside Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler; "Going the Distance," opposite Drew Barrymore, Justin Long and Charlie Day; and "What Happens in Vegas," with Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher; as well as roles in "The Fan," "Watching the Detectives," "Bill," "Semi-Pro" and "The Rocker." Later this year, Sudeikis will be seen in "A Good Old Fashioned Orgy," co-directed and co-written by Pete Huyck and Alex Gregory.
Sudeikis has received rave reviews for his arc on NBC's Emmy Award- winning series "30 Rock," appearing in 12 episodes, to date, as Tina Fey's charmingly funny love interest, Floyd. He can also be heard as the voices of two principal characters on Fox's hit animated comedy series "The Cleveland Show," by creator Seth MacFarlane, and recently guest-starred on "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" as the long-forgotten fourth member of the Paddy's gang, Schmitty.
Born in Fairfax Virginia, Sudeikis grew up in Overland Park, Kansas. Attending junior college on a basketball scholarship, he was a class clown and admitted "procrastinator" who frequently dribbled himself in and out of trouble. He began his path in show business with classes at the ComedySportz Theater (now Comedy City) in Kansas City, before leaving basketball and college for Chicago, where he performed with The Second City National Touring Company, Improv Olympic, The Annoyance Theater and Boom Chicago in Amsterdam. Moving to Nevada, he was a founding member of The Second City Las Vegas. In 2003, Sudeikis was encouraged by his uncle, George Wendt, to send a tape to the producers of "SNL." He started on the show as a staff writer and, after two years and many auditions, found himself on camera and never looked back.
Sudeikis is actively involved with The Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City as well as other charities.
JENNIFER ANISTON (Dr. Julia Harris, D.D.S.) was exposed to acting at an early age by her father, John Aniston, who starred on NBC's daytime drama "Days of Our Lives," and her godfather, the late Telly Savalas.
Aniston most recently starred in Dennis Dugan's romantic comedy "Just Go with It," opposite Adam Sandler and Nicole Kidman; "The Switch," with Jason Bateman; and "The Bounty Hunter, opposite Gerard Butler, directed by Andy Tennant. In 2009, she was seen in the ensemble feature "He's Just Not That Into You," based on the bestseller by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, and opposite Steve Zahn in the romantic comedy "Management." She also starred in "Love Happens," with Aaron Eckhart, and the box-office hit adaptation of John Grogan's beloved book "Marley & Me," with Owen Wilson.
Previously, Aniston starred in the hit romantic comedy "The Break-Up," with Vince Vaughn, and "Friends with Money," which marked her return to the indie screen. Both her performance and the film received rave reviews. Additionally, she starred in Rob Reiner's "Rumor Has It...," the thriller "Derailed," alongside Clive Owen, "Along Came Polly," with Ben Stiller, and the smash hit comedy "Bruce Almighty," opposite Jim Carrey and Morgan Freeman.
She earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for her performance in Miguel Arteta's critically acclaimed "The Good Girl," opposite Jake Gyllenhaal, which debuted to rave reviews at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival. Her additional film credits include Stephen Herek's "Rock Star," opposite Mark Wahlberg; Ed Burns' "She's The One," with Cameron Diaz; Glenn Gordon Caron's "Picture Perfect," opposite Kevin Bacon and Olympia Dukakis; "'Til There Was You," with Jeanne Tripplehorn, Sarah Jessica Parker and Dylan McDermott; the critically praised "The Object of my Affection," opposite Paul Rudd; "Office Space"; and "Dreams for an Insomniac."
In 2006, Aniston made her directorial debut with the short film "Room 10," as part of the award-winning short film series Glamour Reel Moments.
In 2004 Aniston completed her 10th and final season on the hit NBC ensemble comedy "Friends." For her work as Rachel Green, she won an Emmy Award for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 2002, a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by a Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 2003, and four People's Choice Awards, and earned an additional five Emmy nominations, two Screen Actors Guild Award® nominations and two Golden Globe nominations.
Aniston, who is of Greek descent, spent a year of her childhood in Greece but relocated to New York when her father landed a role on the daytime drama "Love of Life." She had her first taste of acting at age 11 at the Rudolf Steiner School's drama club. She also developed a passion for art and, at 11, saw one of her paintings selected for display in an exhibit at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.
After graduating from New York's High School of the Performing Arts Aniston won roles in such Off-Broadway productions as "For Dear Life" at New York's Public Theater and "Dancing on Checker's Grave." In 1989, she landed her first television role as a series regular on "Molloy." Her additional television credits include series regular roles on "The Edge" and "Ferris Bueller," a recurring role on "Herman's Head" and guest-starring roles on such series as "Quantum Leap" and "Burke's Law."
COLIN FARRELL (Bobby Pellit) won a 2008 Golden Globe Award for his performance in the dark comedy "In Bruges," which followed a pair of hit men who hide out in Bruges, Belgium after a difficult job in London.
Among his other recent features are William Monahan's "London Boulevard," based on the Ken Bruen bestseller about a newly released criminal who resists the temptation to return to a gangster life by taking a job looking after a reclusive young actress, played by Kiera Knightley; Peter Weir's "The Way Back," with Ed Harris and Jim Sturgess, about a group of soldiers who escape a Siberian gulag; Neil Jordan's "Ondine," about an Irish fisherman who discovers a woman he thinks is a mermaid; and Scott Cooper's acclaimed drama "Crazy Heart," alongside Jeff Bridges.
Farrell will next be seen as the charismatic next-door-neighbor vampire in Craig Gillespie's comedy horror feature "Fright Night," a remake of the 1985 thriller; and in the sci-fi action adventure "Total Recall," for director Len Wisemen, currently in production for a 2012 release.
His previous film credits include Gavin O'Conner's "Pride and Glory"; Woody Allen's "Cassandra's Dream"; "Miami Vice"; Oliver Stone's "Alexander"; Terrence Malick's "The New World"; "Ask the Dust," based on the novel by John Fante; "The Recruit," opposite Al Pacino; "A Home at the End of the World," based on the Michael Cunningham novel; and roles in two Joel Schumacher films, "Phone Booth" and "Tigerland." He also appeared in "Minority Report," "Daredevil," "American Outlaws," "SWAT" and "Intermission."
Born and raised in Castleknock in the Republic of Ireland, Farrell is the son of former football player Eamon Farrell and nephew of Tommy Farrell, both of whom played for the Irish Football Club Shamrock Rovers in the 1960s. It was Farrell's teenage ambition to follow in their footsteps, however, his interest soon turned towards acting and he joined the Gaity School of Drama in Dublin. Before completing his course, he landed a starring role in Dierde Purcell's mini-series "Falling for a Dancer," a starring role in the BBC series "Ballykissangel," and, soon after, a featured role in Tim Roth's directorial debut, "The War Zone."
KEVIN SPACEY (Dave Harken) is Artistic Director of The Old Vic Theatre Company in London. He directed its inaugural production, "Cloaca," before appearing in "National Anthems," "The Philadelphia Story," "Richard II," "A Moon for the Misbegotten," which subsequently transferred to Broadway and, most recently, "Speed-the-Plow," with Jeff Goldblum.
Spacey's previous theatre credits include Howard Davies' "The Iceman Cometh," at Almeida, Old Vic and on Broadway, for which he earned the Evening Standard and Olivier Awards for Best Actor; "Lost in Yonkers," for which he earned a Tony Award for Best Supporting Actor; "Long Day's Journey into Night," with Jack Lemmon, directed by Jonathan Miller, on Broadway and the West End; and "The Seagull," at the Kennedy Center. His most recent stage appearance was in The Old Vic production of "Inherit the Wind," which marked his second production with Trevor Nunn. He will next be seen starring in "Richard III," directed by Sam Mendes.
Spacey won his first Academy Award®, for Best Supporting Actor, for his performance in "The Usual Suspects." His performance in "American Beauty" earned a second Oscar® and a BAFTA Award for Best Actor. His film credits include "Swimming with Sharks," "Se7en," "LA Confidential," "Glengarry Glen Ross," "The Negotiator," "K-Pax," "The Shipping News," "Superman Returns" and "Beyond the Sea."
He was most recently seen in "Shrink," with Robin Williams; "The Men Who Stare at Goats," with George Clooney; "Casino Jack," directed by George Hickenlooper, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor; and most recently, the thriller "Margin Call," with Jeremy Irons, Paul Bettany, Demi Moore, Zach Quinto and Simon Baker.
His company, Trigger Street Productions, has produced the films "21," "The United States of Leland," "The Big Kahuna" and "Fanboys," as well as "The Social Network," directed by David Fincher and written by Aaron Sorkin, which won the 2010 Golden Globe Award for Best Picture and received three Academy Award® nominations, including one for Best Picture. Trigger Street also received 11 Emmy Award nominations and won Best Picture for the HBO film "Recount," in which Spacey played Ron Klain, Al Gore's Chief of Staff during the 2000 Presidential Election. In addition, the company received 10 Emmy nominations for the HBO film "Bernard & Doris," starring Ralph Feinnes and Susan Sarandon, directed by Bob Balaban.
DONALD SUTHERLAND (Jack Pellit) is one of the industry's most prolific and versatile actors, with an astonishing resume of well over 100 films, ranging from the biting political satire of Robert Altman's "M*A*S*H" to the intimate drama of Robert Redford's "Ordinary People," the subtle intricacy of Alan Pakula's "Klute" to the eccentric romanticism of Fellini's "Casanova."
Among the filmmakers with whom Sutherland has collaborated are Bernardo Bertolucci, for "1990"; Nicolas Roeg, for "Don't Look Now"; John Schlesinger, for "The Day of the Locust"; Brian Hutton, for "Kelly's Heroes"; Paul Mazursky, for "Alex in Wonderland"; Robert Aldrich, for "The Dirty Dozen"; John Sturges, for "The Eagle Has Landed"; Herbert Ross, for "Max Dugan Returns"; Louis Malle, for "Crackers"; Philip Borsos, for "Bethune"; Ron Howard, for "Backdraft"; Richard Marquand, for "Eye of the Needle"; Euzhan Palcy, for "A Dry White Season"; Richard Pearce, for "Threshold," for which he won the 1983 Best Actor Genie Award; Oliver Stone, for "JFK"; Fred Schepisi, for his adaptation of John Guare's "Six Degrees of Separation"; Robert Towne, for "Without Limits"; Clint Eastwood, for "Space Cowboys"; and John Landis, for a memorable cameo in "National Lampoon's Animal House."
His more recent credits include director Kevin McDonald's adventure "The Eagle"; Simon West's thriller "The Mechanic"; the Starz mini-series "The Pillars of the Earth," adapted from the Ken Follett bestseller; "Moby Dick," with William Hurt, Ethan Hawke and Gillian Anderson; and the animated feature "Astro Boy," in which he voiced General Stone alongside Nicolas Cage, Kristen Bell and Freddie Highmore.
Sutherland also appeared in Anthony Minghella's "Cold Mountain"; F. Gary Gray's "The Italian Job"; as Mr. Bennett in "Pride and Prejudice," for which he received a Chicago Film Critics Best Supporting Actor nomination; in Andy Tennant's comedy "Fool's Gold," with Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson; Griffin Dunne's "Fierce People," with Diane Lane; Robert Towne's "Ask the Dust," with Salma Hayek and Colin Farrell; "American Gun," with Forrest Whitaker; "An American Haunting," with Sissy Spacek; "Land of the Blind," with Ralph Fiennes; and "Aurora Borealis," with Louise Fletcher and Juliette Lewis. Additionally, he is part of a sterling ensemble of on-camera readers in the biographical feature "Trumbo."
On television, Sutherland co-starred with Peter Krause in the ABC series "Dirty Sexy Money," earning a 2007 Golden Globe Award as Best Supporting Actor for his performance as the family patriarch. Prior to that, he co-starred with Geena Davis in the ABC drama series "Commander in Chief," and was nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of House Speaker Nathan Templeton. At the same time, he was nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Actor for his performance opposite Mira Sorvino in Lifetime Television's much-lauded miniseries, "Human Trafficking." He won Emmy and Golden Globe awards as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the HBO film "Citizen X" and a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Clark Clifford, advisor to President Lyndon B. Johnson, in the HBO historical drama "Path to War," directed by the late John Frankenheimer
On stage, he starred with Justin Kirk and Julianna Margulies in a sold-out, critically acclaimed, Lincoln Center engagement of Jon Robin Baitz's "Ten Unknown," for which he received an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for Best Actor. He also starred in the London, Toronto and Los Angeles productions of "Enigmatic Variations," an English-language translation by his son, Roeg Sutherland, of Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt's French play.
Sutherland was appointed an officer of the Order of Canada in 1978 and an Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres in France five years later.
JAMIE FOXX (Dean 'MF' Jones) won an Academy Award® for Best Actor for his portrayal of the legendary Ray Charles in the 2005 Taylor Hackford-directed biopic "Ray." He also shared a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award® nomination with the film's ensemble cast and swept the Golden Globes, SAG Awards, BAFTA and NAACP Image Awards, as well as numerous critical awards, captivating audiences worldwide.
Also in 2005 Foxx earned Oscar,® Golden Globe, SAG, BAFTA and Image Award nominations as Best Supporting Actor for his work in Michael Mann's dramatic thriller "Collateral," opposite Tom Cruise. He also received Golden Globe nominations, SAG® Award nominations and won a Best Actor Image Award for his portrayal of condemned gang member-turned-Nobel Peace Prize nominee Stan "Tookie" Williams in the FX Network's "Redemption."
Most recently Foxx lent his vocal talents to the 3D comedy adventure "RIO" as a canary named Nico, appeared in an hilarious cameo alongside Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis in Todd Phillips' "Due Date," and starred as part of a stellar ensemble cast in Garry Marshall's hit romantic comedy "Valentine's Day."
His other recent film credits include "Law Abiding Citizen;" Joe Wright's "The Soloist," as real-life musical prodigy Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, opposite Robert Downey Jr.; "The Kingdom"; "Life Support," starring Queen Latifah, which closed the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and which Foxx executive produced; and the Golden Globe Award-winning adaptation of the Broadway's "Dreamgirls," for which he was nominated for a Best Actor Image Award.
Continuing to expand his role as a producer, Foxx has partnered with Deon Taylor under the banner No Brainer Films, and has already sold several pilot series to various networks including SyFy, HBO, and Showtime. Foxx is also executive producing a sketch comedy series starring Affion Crockett for 20th Century Fox and is a producer on "Thunder Soul," a documentary about Houston's Kashmere High School Stage Band alumni who return home after 35 years for a tribute concert for their beloved band leader who broke the color barrier and transformed the school's jazz band.
Foxx also has a thriving music career. In December 2010 he released his fourth album, "Best Night of My Life," featuring Drake, Justin Timberlake, Rick Ross and T.I., among others. In January 2010, Foxx and T-Pain's record-breaking #1 song "Blame It," from his album "Intuition," won a Grammy Award. His previous album, "Unpredictable," topped the charts in December 2005 and early 2006, was number one for five weeks and sold over one million units in 20 days. He was nominated for eight Billboard Music Awards, three Grammy Awards, one Soul Train Music Award, and two American Music Awards, where he won Favorite Male Artist.
In January 2006, Foxx announced his partnership with SIRUS Satellite Radio to start his own 24/7 radio station called Foxxhole, a combination of comedy and music.
He released his first HBO Comedy Special, "Jamie Foxx: I Might Need Security," in February 2002.
Foxx first rose to fame as a comedian. After spending time in the comedy circuit, he joined Keenan Ivory Wayans, Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans and Tommy Davidson in the landmark Fox sketch comedy series "In Living Color," creating some of the show's funniest and most memorable moments. In 1996, he launched "The Jamie Foxx Show," one of the The WB's top-rated shows during its five-year run. Foxx not only starred but was the show's co-creator and executive producer, directing several episodes himself.
His big-screen break came in 1999 when Oliver Stone cast him in "Any Given Sunday," with Al Pacino. Foxx's additional film credits include Michael Mann's "Ali," opposite Will Smith, "Miami Vice," "Jarhead," "Stealth," "Bait," "Booty Call," "The Truth About Cats and Dogs" and "The Great White Hype."
JULIE BOWEN (Rhonda Harken) currently stars in the acclaimed hit ABC comedy "Modern Family" as harried suburban mom Claire, opposite Ty Burrell and Ed O'Neill. It is a performance which has garnered her an Emmy Award nomination for the series' freshman season.
Bowen was raised in Baltimore, Maryland, where she caught the acting bug as a child while putting on plays with her two sisters in their backyard. She attended Brown University, where she starred in "Guys and Dolls," "Stage Door" and "Lemon Sky" while earning a degree in Italian Renaissance studies. She also spent a year in Florence, Italy and became fluent in Italian. During her senior year at Brown, Bowen landed the lead role in the independent film "Five Spot Jewel" and was featured in actor-director Ed Burns' debut film, "No Visible Bruises." She guest-starred on the dramatic series "Class of '96," then moved to Los Angeles where, within weeks, she landed the lead in the Showtime drama "Runaway Daughters," directed by Joe Dante.
For three seasons, she played Carol Vessey, the dream girl of former classmate-turned-lawyer Ed Stevens on the charming NBC series "Ed." She then joined James Spader and William Shatner for two seasons on ABC's "Boston Legal." Bowen's additional television credits include a recurring role as Matthew Fox's wife on the hit ABC series "Lost" and a guest star arc as Lisa Ferris, a cheese shop owner who seduces a younger man, on the darkly comedic Showtime series "Weeds."
On the big screen, she stars in the upcoming feature "Jumping the Broom," with Angela Bassett and Paula Patton. Her previous film credits include "Multiplicity," with Michael Keaton, "Crazy on the Outside," with Tim Allen and the modern classic "Happy Gilmore," opposite Adam Sandler.
In the advertising world, Bowen has been both the face of Neutrogena and the voice of Pampers.
© MBN 2011