If you thought the first film was crazy, Horrible Bosses 2 is wilder and crazier, upping the ante on every level. After what happened with the bosses from hell, the first time around, Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day) and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) have decided to become their own bosses by launching their own business. But when they’re outplayed by an investor (Christoph Waltz), the three best friends hatch another misguided plan, this time to kidnap the investor’s adult son (Chris Pine) and ransom him to get their company back.
During a conference at the film’s press day, co-stars Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis were joined by Jennifer Aniston (who plays Dr. Julia Harris, the hot dentist with an overactive libido that she’s trying to get a handle on) to talk about building their chemistry, how much ad-libbing there was, saying such raunchy dialogue, upping the ante, getting Christoph Waltz to laugh, adding Chris Pine to the mix, making sure they got this film right, after the success of the first one, and whether they’d consider a third movie. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
Question: Jennifer, how does it feel to be in a sequel?
It’s been a few years since you did the first film. Did any of you go back and watch the film again, to pick it back up?
ANISTON: I actually did, yeah.
SUDEIKIS: In pre-production, when we were going through the script and rehearsals with Sean [Anders] and John [Morris], we watched it in my trailer, that day. One element of sequelitis is how things came to be. And when you actually sit there and watch the movie that we’re basing the second one on, you’re like, “Oh, that’s right. Okay.” It was really funny. I know for me, it got me fired up to do it again.
Jason, Charlie and Jason, how did you build your chemistry, initially?
JASON SUDEIKIS: Well, you have to work on something to make it pretty great.
CHARLIE DAY: Sudeikis and I had worked together before the first film.
JASON BATEMAN: The first time we worked together was at the table reading of the first film.
Jennifer, doing the scene where you were at the addiction meeting, did you ad-lib any or all of that, or was it all scripted?
ANISTON: The structure of it was there, and then we would throw in little things, as we were doing the volley back and forth, of what my demands were for the description of what it was that he was admitting in the group. That took on different little variations, from take to take. When we saw this cut, it was a fun surprise to see, “Oh, they chose that line.” There were endless lines.
Jennifer, how do you get into the mind-set to do this type of language?
ANISTON: I find it extremely entertaining, the way she speaks, because I don’t really think that she thinks that she’s saying anything inappropriate. For her, it’s like describing the ingredients to a wonderful soufflé, or “What are we going to be doing this weekend?”
SUDEIKIS: The scene where you’re watching the security footage with those two gals, and just how candid you are and the looks on their faces, is so funny.
ANISTON: That was one of the most uncomfortable days, I have to say. We were just talking about it like it was the funniest TV show you’ve ever seen.
BATEMAN: That’s not as uncomfortable as I was when I saw what ended up happening to my character. Those were all body doubles. The first screening I saw was the first time that I saw my character ended up getting sodomized.
ANISTON: Charlie and I also had a wonderful surveillance camera moment that ended up not being in the movie. I had to do it on top of him in a coma, and he broke, half-way through the take, when I grabbed him.
Jennifer, was it fun to return to this character? And knowing that you were doing the sequel, what did you do to up the ante and take her one step further, this time around?
ANISTON: Honestly, I think the writers called just to say, “How far can we go with Dr. Julia?” And I basically said, “Go as far as you can go, as long as it’s in the realm of not insulting or offending too many people.” I think it rose to the occasion. The dialogue was great, and the sex group lent itself to great humor and situations. I was just psyched.
Were there any particular scenes that you guys thought were way, way beyond, and you had trouble getting through?
BATEMAN: These guys are so stupid that really everything’s on the table. 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.
Did you all get Christoph Waltz to laugh?
SUDEIKIS: Yes, we did.
DAY: It was a maniacal laugh.
Jason, Charlie and Jason, what was it like to add Chris Pine into your already established chemistry?
DAY: I think there was a concern about bringing anyone into it since we had a chemistry that we knew we could rely on. 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 [the Star Trek] 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 only make the scene better.
SUDEIKIS: He came 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 is already in there, or we hope it is, by us doing our thing and reacting to him and being in over our heads. He 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.
DAY: And because he’s a peer, when we were able to really make him break, it was satisfying because you know that’s our target audience, in a sense. He was our comedy barometer.
The shower product that your characters market in the film has all of the makings for what we see with those “As Seen on TV” infomercial products. Do you guys ever watch any of those infomercials, and have any of them cracked you up, the way that the audience will laugh at you guys?
SUDEIKIS: Yeah, I used to watch them all the time.
BATEMAN: We just don’t stay up that late anymore.
SUDEIKIS: I love them. I was susceptible to them.
BATEMAN: There are all the coins that I bought.
SUDEIKIS: And the commemorative plates. My favorite thing to do now is to watch Home Shopping Network or QVC, late at night, when they’re trying to sell you a pair of earrings. They have the little timer on there, and you have to hear a dude riff about it for seven minutes. It’s fun to watch at 3 am because that’s not their A-team. You really get to see a guy struggling. “It’s onyx, and women love onyx.” You have no idea what he’s talking about.
What was it like to share scenes with Jamie Foxx, in this role?
DAY: I was a fan of Jamie through comedy, first. Then, obviously, his dramatic work is great. But on the first movie, he was in and out. It was fun for us, but we were like, “Man, that guy was cool,” and he came and went. The second movie, he was 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. He’s so cool. He’s very cool.
BATEMAN: He’s the greatest guy in the world.
SUDEIKIS: But we cannot forget Kevin Spacey. He’s great.
DAY: It’s great working with Kevin and Christoph, or any of these actors who can actually just say the lines and make it interesting.
SUDEIKIS: There are no two people better to dress you down than Christoph and Kevin.
DAY: That is true.
Sequels are notoriously tough to do really well, especially when the first film is so good. Was it important to you to spend as much time as you need, to get this film right?
BATEMAN: 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. We knew that that was a privilege, so we took full advantage of that opportunity. We spent a lot of time working on the script and 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. We sat on the phone for a long time and talked about whether we should do it. 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.
ANISTON: I agree.
DAY: 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 go out on a limb and say, “All right, now we’re in Acapulco.” We put some serious thought into it. So, if we are going to even consider doing a third one, we’d have to do the same process. There are so many bad sequels made. 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 will be a movie worth watching.
Jason and Jason, how many “kill-marry-fuck” scenarios did you come up with, and were there any particular favorites or thought-provoking ones?
SUDEIKIS: That just really came out of two guys, sitting in a car and wasting time while their buddy went inside to go buy walkie talkies and rubber gloves. We did that probably seven times. The one that tickles me the most is probably using our friends from The Hangover. It’s a little meta.
Jennifer, you also have Cake coming out, which is getting such great critical reaction. Do you enjoy doing both comedy and drama?
ANISTON: I love doing both. One accesses one part of my brain, and the other accesses another. But any time I approach any character, comedy or drama, it’s grounded in reality and coming from the truth. There’s comedy in drama. There’s drama in comedy. I don’t find the two exclusive of one another.
Horrible Bosses opens in theaters on November 26th.