IAR PRESS CONFERENCE COVERAGE: 'Horrible Bosses 2'

Tuesday, 25 November 2014 13:43 Written by  iamrogue
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IAR PRESS CONFERENCE COVERAGE: 'Horrible Bosses 2'

In a classic Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror" episode, Homer wonder aloud, "Kill my boss?  Do I dare live out the American dream?"

Three years ago, a trio of cinematic imbeciles attempted to live the dream, and though nothing went according to plan, the bumbling heroes of Horrible Bosses emerged better off.

In this Wednesday's Horrible Bosses 2, Nick, Dale, and Kurt are once again trying to live out a transgressive dream, this time through kidnapping.

No longer subject to their nightmarish employers, they now work for themselves, sinking their savings into the Shower Buddy, a hygienic accessory.  When an investor bilks them out of their business, however, they dip their toes back into the waters of criminality, kidnapping the villain's grown-up son for a hefty ransom.

Jason Bateman (Bad Words), Charlie Day (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia), and Jason Sudeikis (We're the Millers) all return in Horrible Bosses 2.  This time, they're squaring off against Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) as Bert Hanson, the slimy investor.  Don't worry, Jennifer Aniston (Life of Crime) is also back as the insatiable Dr. Julia Harris, DDS.

IAR Managing Editor Jami Philbrick was on hand for the Horrible Bosses 2 press day in Los Angeles, where the stars enthusiastically discussed the comedy sequel during a press conference.


Often, sequels are built upon shaky premises, playing out improbably with the same characters in the same almost-impossible scenarios.  Horrible Bosses 2 doesn't fall into this trap, Bateman said, because, "These guys are so stupid that really everything’s on the table. And they have just enough intelligence to create a justification in their own minds for doing it. But all the lack of intelligence to actually execute it."

Nick, Dale, and Kurt may be morons, but audiences enjoy spending time with them because of the chemistry shared by the comedic stars playing them.

"The first time we worked together was on the table reading of the first film and these guys were shooting in Pittsburgh?" Bateman joked to Day, riffing on the title of his FX series, to which Day chimed in, "Philadelphia."

"Close! And they were on like an iChat type of thing and we knew right then," Bateman continued, "even on a Facetime iChat type device, it was working."

Together, the three leads, all of whom have spent years in comedy, are formidable improvisers.  So much so, in fact, that two-time Oscar winner Waltz was surprised.  He said was accustomed to sticking to the script and, "At first I thought they were doing that same thing. Doing what was in the script."

"I found myself somewhere in a dark corner. So I just resigned to staying in the dark corner and watching them. They do something that I detest. They improvise. I hate improvisation," he continued.

"You would come to the set with that rubber chicken and those chattering teeth," Day joked. "And we would say, 'No, Christoph, that’s not the type of comedy we’re trying to do.'"


After kidnapping Bert's son Rex, the heroes of Horrible Bosses 2 slowly find themselves allied with Rex, who takes to being kidnapped with opportunistic glee.  In effect, their new accomplice becomes a four member of their incompetent criminal gang, meaning Chris Pine (Star Trek Into Darkness) spent a lot of time riffing with the returning stars.

"I think there was a concern bringing anyone into it, since we had a chemistry that we knew we could rely on," said Day. "So you hope that you didn’t get someone who was either unfunny, or trying to be funny too much. But I always thought Chris was extremely funny as Captain Kirk in those movies. He delivers the action, but he also has great comedic timing. So I really wasn’t worried about it. And then, he’s such a great actor, like working with Christoph or Jen or any character that comes into the scene, if they’re a great actor, they’re only making the scene better."

Sudeikis agreed, saying, "Yeah, he came a lot from the dramatic point of view. Like, what you would feel if your dad did this. He wasn’t trying to hit the joke, he was just trying to hit the reality of it because the funny’s already sort of in there. Or we hope by us doing our thing and reacting to him and being in over our heads. Yeah, he stayed on a thing and didn’t try to do what we did. He did his own thing, which was both charming to the characters and also really effective as far as the scenes were concerned."

"And that's what's funny," Aniston added.

"And because he's a peer when we were able to really make him break," said Day. "t was satisfying because you know that’s sort of our target audience, in a sense. He’s sort of our comedy barometer."

Pine plays a new accomplice, but Jamie Foxx (Annie) makes his second appearance as Mother****er Jones in the sequel.  Bateman had nothing but praise for the actor, saying Foxx is the "Greatest guy in the world."


"On the first movie, he was kind of in and out," said Day. "It was fun for us, but we were like, 'Man, that guy was cool.' And he came and he went. The second movie he’s around for a lot more of it. I personally just had a great experience working with him. I liked him as much as a performer as I do as a human being. And he’s so cool. He’s very cool."

"Fun to make laugh," Sudeikis agreed of Foxx. "Or, you don’t make him laugh as much as you will hear, maybe something’s funny, Charlie and Jason get on a riff or something, he’ll just go, 'Hil-arious.' Charlie, he'll go on a rip or something. He'll just go, 'Hil-arious. Hilarious.' He makes it real."

Also back for another round of workplace dissatisfaction and criminal shenanigans is Aniston as the sexually omnivorous dentist who tortured Dale with her attentions in Horrible Bosses

This time, Julia Harris is even more outrageously sexual, Aniston said, recalling, "Honestly, I think the writers called just to say, 'How far can we go with Dr. Julia?' I basically said, 'Go as far as you can go. As long as we’re not insulting or offending too many people.'”

When the gang first re-encounters Dr. Julia, it's because Nick accidentally ends up in a support group for sex addicts.   For Julia, Aniston said, "Well, I think the intention was to maybe seek help, but I think what she ultimately found out was that this is just like chum for her."

The misunderstanding that ensues is one of the sequel's highlights, and though it involved improv, Aniston said, "The structure of it was there and then we would throw in little – as we were doing the volley back in forth of what my demands were for the description of what it was that he was admitting in the group kind of took on different little variations from take to take."

"The dialogue was great, and the situation, where you meet her in the AA, or the sex A, what do you call it? SA group. I think it just lent itself to great humor and situations," she said. "And I was just psyched. Yes I did think about her, throughout all the films I’ve done since. She’s a hard one to let go of. I didn’t get enough of her."

Naturally, since the title of the movie is Horrible Bosses 2, the stars were asked about any experiences they've had with especially horrible bosses.

"I have a problem with authority so every boss is a bad boss," said Waltz.

Sudeikis referred to his years at Saturday Night Live, joking, "That Lorne Michaels can sure wreck a life. I'm just trying to have a nice existence in Kansas City doing improv comedy, and then this. Comedian son of a gun says, 'Come here and do this TV show.' No. I haven't really had too many. Any bad boss I had probably was because I was a bad employee. Just something that Charlie and I both realized throughout being asked that question."

"Yeah, I get asked that and the more I think about those experiences, the more I realize how justified those people were. In their horribleness, yeah," said Day.

So what about their bosses on the film?  Bateman sang the praises of the sequel's new director and producer, saying,"Sean Anders and John Morris deserve all the credit in the world for delivering this film. However, they were very inclusive in the whole process of developing this script and making it what it is. And we knew that that was a privilege, and so we took full opportunity, full advantage of that opportunity."

"We spent a lot of time working on the script and kind of making sure that this was something that was at least as good as the first one, and hopefully better because we were proud of the first one," said Bateman. "We sat on the phone for a long time and talked about, should we? And I'm glad that we did because for my money, this is a lot better than the first one, and I loved the first one."

For Sudeikis, it was important to revisit the first movie in order to live up to it.  "In pre-production when we were going through the script and rehearsals with Sean and John, we watched it in my trailer that day," he said. "Because that’s one of the things of doing a sequel is that, one element of sequelitis is how things were, how things came to be. And when you actually sit there and watched the movie that we’re basing the second one on, you’re like, 'Oh, that’s right. Oh okay.' It was really funny. I know for me, it got me fired up to do it again."

So if Horrible Bosses 2 is a hit like its predecessor, would Nick, Dale, and Kurt get in hot water yet again with a possible Horrible Bosses 3?

"Look, for this second movie, we really thought long and hard about how to do it. It was a very inclusive process where we had a lot of conversations about it, and we didn't just kind of go out on a limb and say, 'All right. Now we're in Acapulco,'" explained Day. "We put some serious thought into it. I think if we going to even consider doing a third one, we'd have to do the same process. There are so many bad sequels made, and we just really didn't want to be a part of that. And I sincerely believe that we didn't do that. So hopefully, if we're going to do a third one, it's a movie worth watching."

Horrible Bosses 2 opens nationwide this Wednesday, November 26th.


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