Jason Bateman, careening full-on into “just saying whatever” territory, decided to tell his industry colleagues at a Hollywood Reporter roundtable that he would like to play a woman, like in Tootsie, but without remaking Tootsie. (The interview was conducted “in late April,” and before the recent New York Times interview where Bateman and his male Arrested Development co-stars defended Jeffrey Tambor in front of Jessica Walter while she was in tears.) “I’d love to play a woman,” Bateman announces. “But in a very real way. Like a Tootsie version of it would be pretty cool where there’s a wink to it but then also the plane lands every once in a while and there’s some real introspection there. Not to suggest that film needs to get redone, which it should never.”
It’s maybe not the best time to hold up a Dustin Hoffman film as an exemplar of introspection, or to nominate yourself as a male actor to play a female part. It can be done with subtlety, as Louie Anderson does in Baskets, but perhaps it’s best not to frame playing another gender as a learning experience for you, a man. And though it’s not clear whether Bateman is saying he wants play a cis or trans woman, he should be well aware of the criticism someone like Tambor got for playing a trans character in Transparent. Anyway, wild thing to say out of the blue, Jason Bateman.