Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy make quite the comedic pair in Identity Thief, a comedy which functions as both a road movie and a buddy movie. In the film, Bateman plays Sandy Bigelow Patterson, a man whose identity is stolen by a woman named Diana (McCarthy), who goes on an exorbitant spending spree which all but destroys his credit rating. To clear his name, Sandy ends up tracking Diana down and forces her to come back with him to answer for her crimes. But of course, nothing goes as planned.
Both Bateman and McCarthy proved to be just as amusing in the film as they were at its press conference, which was held at the London Hotel in West Hollywood. The two talked with journalists about how far they’ll go for comedy, why they enjoyed working with director Seth Gordon, how they pulled off some of the funnier scenes and much more.
Check it out below.
We Got This Covered: How grateful are you for the advances in CG technology? They must have really helped to film that snake scene.
Jason Bateman: Well here’s the not so funny part of it; we shot it with a real one, and the real one wasn’t as good as what they could do with CG. So I had to endure a full night with a 7 foot king snake, one that wrapped itself around my neck, one that crawled up the leg of my pants while I try to pretend to be sleeping on the dirt…
Melissa McCarthy: Which they said, “there’s no way that the snake will ever come anywhere near you. They just don’t do that. But it’s just so that we can get a shot of you next to the snake.” And then they put the snake down and it made a beeline for his leg which I really enjoyed.
Jason Bateman: It went right up my pant leg, and it got basically all the way up to my knee cap before they yelled “cut!” It was horrific, and none of it’s in the movie! I mean we have the snake traveling towards my body but that’s about it.
We Got This Covered: Melissa, we were wondering if you had a death wish because we learned that you did a lot of your own stunts and a lot of the pratfalls. Did you ever get hurt and do you just kind of buck up and get up and do it again? How do you deal with the injuries if any?
Melissa McCarthy: Yeah I got hurt a lot and I’m apparently an idiot. After this movie I was like “oh I’m not very bright!” At the end of it I was like “there was that stunt woman there for so much of this…” I don’t know, I think I get kind of excited to do it and then I don’t really think about doing it 42 times. I think “oh I’ll go down the stairs…”
Jason Bateman: Especially getting hit by the car. I don’t know why you volunteered for that one. That seemed like an easy one to give to the stunt woman, but she loves a stunt bump! It’s that extra 20 bucks or something.
Melissa McCarthy: An extra 26 dollars!
We Got This Covered: Jason, how did you get yourself into that mindset before you would do the scenes where you’re do your physical tussling with Melissa?
Jason Bateman: She pisses you off and you go, that’s what happens. You… I don’t know…
Melissa McCarthy: He had no problem, let’s start there!
Jason Bateman: It was not difficult. She starts running that thing and… I saw the guitar there when we were rehearsing, and was trying to figure out a way to stop her from leaving and we did want to do the tackling of her yet. And I said “well what if I take her off her feet with this guitar,” kind of joking but not really.
Melissa McCarthy: Not really, and I think you said something more like “what if I hit her in the face with her guitar?”
Jason Bateman: (laughs) I thought “well that would be hilarious, right?”
Melissa McCarthy: And I was like “oh we’re kidding right?” And then Seth Gordon seemed to keep laughing and that made me nervous, and then you started fiddling with the guitar and I was like “oh god!”
Jason Bateman: And then we built a helmet that could fit underneath the stunt woman’s wig so that she could have a good portion of her face protected and a little bit of her shoulder. And we spent the night building that… Not we of course, I was sleeping comfortably in a bed. The prop department built that and the next morning we came in and shot that, and I think that was a great little piece in the movie that we could not have done were it not for those guys who built that helmet.
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