03/14/2014 05:42 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Behind the Scenes of 'Bad Words' with Actor and Director Jason Bateman, and Actress Kathryn Hahn

What is the character arc of Guy in Bad Words?

This question originally appeared on Quora.

Answer by Jason Bateman, Director/Actor/Producer for Bad Words

I prefer my lessons, arc, or themes to be pretty subtle. That's just my own personal preference. That's what I know how to navigate. My character goes through a process of execution then regret. He doesn't make some huge transition into some finish line. But, that's just me, and what I respond to, and it's not for everybody. Some people might feel that Guy should probably fall on his sword a bit more. But there are films for those people. 


We were fortunate that the budget and release is such that we didn't have a mandate to go onto the field to a gazillion people just so they could recoup an enormous budget and marketing expense.


Answer by Kathryn Hahn, Actress, Bad Words

Through the eyes of the character that I played, Jenny gets invested in Guy. And when she finds out why he's doing what he's doing, I think she really, really wants him to bail. I think that is what pushes her over the edge, and they both move into something deeper at the end and he's grown up. 


The movie is about the underdogs. None of the characters in this movie were ever at the "cool kids table," which I love. It's its own beautiful world that has its own power structure, dynamics, and politics. And the characters that we play in Bad Words are really frozen adults. You see Guy on stage and he's a man-child. That's why I think he's a bully. We find out that he is smart enough to get through the spelling bee on his own merit, but he still does these terrible things to these kids. He doesn't trust himself. But the kids really make him their equal.

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