"If I get it wrong, I can only blame me," he tells THR of his gamble on playing the lead, a middle-aged misanthrope trying to compete in a tween spelling bee contest. More than 30 years ago, Jason Bateman kicked off his acting career at the age of 10 with a role on the TV series Little House on the Prairie. Perhaps it’s only fitting that his feature directing debut -- the dark comedy Bad Words -- finds him delving into the story of a tween spelling bee contestant. The film, which stars Bateman, 44, as a middle-aged misanthrope looking to play spoiler by exploiting a loophole that allows him to compete in the contest, offered the veteran film and TV actor the opportunity to bridge his own past and present. Bateman, who lives in L.A. with his wife and two daughters, talked to The Hollywood Reporter about moving behind the camera and why the film is anything but soft and fuzzy. (continued)
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