Jason Bateman: The Most Underrated Actor of Our Time

Updated on August 10, 2019
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Dean is a new online writer. He usually writes movie and music reviews.

Early Life:

Jason Kent Bateman was born January 14, 1969, in Rye, New York. His parents are Kent and Victorian Bateman. His father was an actor and his mother was a flight attendant. Bateman's sister is Justine Bateman, who is also in the acting business. When he was four years old, the family moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, and later to California.

Bateman never graduated high school as he was busy filming Teen Wolf Too. Because of the filming schedule, he never got the chance to finish his finals.

Personal Life:

When Jason Bateman's outgrew his teen idol years, the actor began to lose roles. He struggled to find work and turned to alcohol and drugs to cope. He has described his 20s as living the life seen in Risky Business. He would party all the time, drink, and do drugs. This was because he suffered with depression while working through his rough patch. Bateman began to lose money. He was in a dark place in his life.

This all turned around when he met his future wife, Amanda Anka. Anka had previously lost boyfriends to drug abuse and she did not want to go through that again. After giving Bateman an ultimatum and going on vacation without him, he decided to turn his life around. He gave up alcohol and drugs and rose from this dark place.

Bateman and Anka got married on July 3 of 2001. They have two children together.


Bateman made his television debut at the age of 12 with his role as James Cooper on Little House on the Prairie. He even made an appearance on Knight Rider with David Hasselhoff in the season three episode "Lost Knight." In the mid-80s, Bateman became the DGA's youngest director at the age of 18 when he directed three episodes of Valerie. He became a teen idol as David Hogan as he also appeared on the TV series.

His career never went anywhere, only appearing on TV shows in the 90s with small roles. It wasn't until the mid-2000s when Bateman began to play in movies with bigger parts. In 2003, Bateman would lead the cult series Arrested Development. He was usually a co-star, playing best friends of the men in the films.

After 2010, Bateman began to become the leading man in film. His recent success includes Game Night (2018), Zootopia (2016), Identity Thief (2013), and Horrible Bosses (2011).

Bateman has also directed since his work on Valerie. He has directed movies like Bad Words (2013) and Family Fang (2015), and a few episodes on his hit show Ozark.

Bateman has been nominated (2014) and won (2008) a Golden Globe for his work on Arrested Development. He has also found success on his Netflix show, Ozark, being nominated for the same award in both 2018 and 2019. Bateman has also been nominated for a Primetime Emmy with both his acting and directing. Over all, the actor has been nominated for 52 awards and won 14.

Bateman has proven he has the comedic chops with his dry humor. However, he has also proven he can do drama just as well. Most of Bateman's movies are dramedies, being both comedies and dramas. His characters usual are down on life and struggling. With his movie roles, Bateman can show his acting range from comedy to drama in one movie. His movies usually have happy endings and a good message. This is all likely because of his previous life with drugs and alcohol that he is able to transform into these darker roles.

Bateman's awards prove that he is a talented man, but he is not ever considered one of the best actors working today. He is likable in most all of his movies. Bateman has a dry humor that comes off really sarcastic. This also makes him relatable. He feels like somebody you would like to be friends with. He is not wild, loud, and over the top- like Kevin Hart. As Kevin Hart is funny in his own right, it seems every comedian working has to be loud and energetic to be successful. I believe that may be why Bateman is not popular with the public, because he is the complete opposite. He is different, but he is also underrated. He knows the struggles of life and can portray them on the big screen. Bateman's movies are the best because they show that even though life can be tough there are the good times too.

While accepting his Screen Actors Guild Award, he made a statement during his speech, "So I just want to say to the people that are at home and not working as frequently as they want, you're just one job away. You're plenty talented. Hang in there."

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