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THE SWITCH

About The Characters
JENNIFER ANISTON SHINES AS "KASSIE”

For the determined, no-nonsense Kassie, the filmmakers say there was never any question about who they wanted in the part. "The first piece of casting was Jennifer Aniston, which seemed like perfect casting,” says Ron Yerxa. "The definition of the character, her situation and the comedic but heartfelt moments in the screenplay we built around Jennifer Aniston.”

"The audience will get a lot out of ‘The Switch.' It's very funny. It's a lot of physical comedy. It's also very emotional, and it hopefully will encourage people to know that there are always options.” —Jennifer Aniston

Albert Berger seconds, "We always had Jennifer Aniston in mind. She seemed the perfect choice for this movie as an actress who has done such excellent work in comedy. She was really at the right point in her career and in her life for this particular role.” Director Will Speck adds, "Jennifer Aniston was always at the top of our list. She's great comedically, but we feel like she's a really good, underestimated actress too. She brought a lot to the dilemma of this character in a real way that never felt phony.”

Director Josh Gordon, commenting on how Jennifer Aniston puts herself out there in her roles, says, "Jen's really brave. She chooses characters that do sometimes come close to her own experience, so it adds another layer to her character.”

Berger agrees: "She is well known as perhaps our premier comedic leading lady and this is a movie that's comfortably in her zone. Yet she always looked for the honesty in the dialogue and in what she could bring to it and into that character's dilemma.”

Will Speck sums up: "It was great to have her. Jen was incredible and we think she delivers an amazing performance.”

Aniston is also an executive producer on the film, along with her Echo Films partner Kristin Hahn. "Jennifer, who's a real pro, was able to wear those two hats in a very positive way for the film,” says Berger. "She's graceful, generous and is able to exert her influence on behalf of the production in subtle but good ways. Kristin Hahn, Jen's partner, is a very capable producer and it has been a real pleasure making the movie with them.”

"I've found Jennifer to be amazingly earthy, charming, direct, very easy to talk to,” adds Yerxa.

Jennifer Aniston found herself drawn to the part for several reasons: "I thought it was a really beautiful, great story that was kind of unconventional and it's also one of the first movies that our production company Echo Films will be coming out with. I also wanted to work with Jason Bateman.”

 

JASON BATEMAN—THE PERFECT "WALLY”

After breaking out in "Arrested Development,” Jason Bateman has gone on to motion picture acclaim, often playing an ordinary man trying to get by in increasingly surreal circumstances, appearing in such films as "Juno,” "Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and "Hancock.” His self-deprecating demeanor and appealing charm work well in the creation of Wally, an otherwise largely unsympathetic man who commits an incredible act of deceit.

"Jason Bateman has a distinct kind of comedy, a dry wit, an improvisational feel,” describes Ron Yerxa. "He is very spontaneous and I thought he would complement Jennifer Aniston's style of acting nicely. She's very heartfelt and in the moment and he has this edgy, dry wit that we thought would establish the character well.”

The filmmakers were amazed at Bateman's comic skills and ability to improvise. "He's a remarkably gifted comedic actor, and one thing that really helped us along was his ability to improvise,” says Berger. "He always stuck to the script and all that, but then at the end of each sequence, or each setup, he would really give a lot in the way of alternatives. I think it's going to bring a fresh, spontaneous quality to the film.”

Nathan Kahane, who worked closely with Bateman on "Juno” and "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium,” also concurs with Berger's assessment of Bateman's comedic timing and creative instinct.

Directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck have been longtime fans of Bateman and were similarly impressed by his talent. Speck says, "We feel super lucky and feel like this is a role for him that we hope shows people more of what they saw a little bit of in ‘Juno.' It was really exciting for us to work with him.”

Bateman describes the character that drew him to the role: "I play Wally Mars and he is the best friend of Kassie. I'm a guy who is a little bit complicated and a little in his own head and is not the most free-spirited, fun-loving kind of guy. He has complications and some challenges to get through to reach a point of happiness and so he's a little bit more of a girlfriend to Kassie than a potential boyfriend. Maybe that's why he's not a perfect candidate to be a sperm donor. Plus it would wreck their friendship, so he's that kind of guy.”

Bateman and Aniston are longtime friends, and the actor is a fan and an admirer. "It was nice to get a chance to work together more than just one or two scenes like in ‘The Break Up,'” says Bateman. "Doing a full film with Jen was as great as I hoped it would be and we used every part of our familiarity, especially since we're supposed to be best friends, so it was nice to have that beforehand. She's incredibly talented, you know. I think some people that are as good-looking as she is don't get the credit they deserve sometimes for their acting abilities, but she's incredible in this.”

Aniston also enjoyed the experience of working with Bateman. "Jason Bateman is just one of the sweetest. I've always adored him and he's just delightful.”

Juliette Lewis found Bateman the perfect foil for her own ad-libbing as Kassie's friend Debbie. "Jason and I, we're sparring partners. He'd throw these insults out, and the way Debbie takes to the insults—she just doesn't have it.”

Jeff Goldblum had nothing but kudos for Bateman's work ethic and talent. "Jason Bateman is fantastic. I didn't know him. I knew his work and was a big fan but only met him on this film. I hadn't seen ‘Arrested Development,' but now I've seen it all, every single one, it's just hilarious and I'm addicted to it and it's great.”

Albert Berger observed that Wally's character allows Jason to explore the non-comedic side of his art. "Even though Jason is known primarily for his comedic movies, I think he saw in this an opportunity to show a dramatic side and there is a real integrity to his performance. He never allowed anything to get too broad and he was always looking for the truth in his character and in the scenes. There was a very healthy tension between the material and Jason's approach that I think is going to bring a real depth to this movie. Jason is in almost every scene in the movie and had to bear the weight of all sorts of difficulties, including night shooting and rain machines and an ongoing writing process that really kept him on his toes. So my hat really goes off to him. He carried the burden of this movie on his shoulders and never complained and really, I think, took on this challenge of being the leading man and delivered a fantastic performance.”

 

PATRICK WILSON SURPRISES AS "ROLAND”

The Emmy®- and Golden Globe®–nominated Patrick Wilson, who is known for his performances in "Angels in America,” the film version of "The Phantom of the Opera,” the edgy "Hard Candy” and "Watchmen,” would not be the first actor to come to mind when casting a comedic role. But Albert Berger, who worked with Wilson on "Little Children,” saw that the actor was more than capab

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