Watch: Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman on the benefits of a body swap for ‘The Change-Up’

You do not interview Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman sitting side-by-side.  There’s no way to control that room.  All you can do as an interviewer is just throw them a question, sit back, and get out of their way.

A few weeks back, the three of us sat down to talk about their new film “The Change-Up,” which arrives in theaters this weekend.  Having the two of them together, it seemed appropriate to ask them what they observed about each other when figuring out how to play characters who switch bodies with one another.  That’s the whole key to this kind of movie working… you have to create two characters who are so distinct that when they do switch places, the audience can immediately see that reflected in behavior.

You’ll see how wildly overpowered I was from the moment the tape started rolling.  I’ve interviewed both of these guys repeatedly at this point, and this was the very last interview of a very long day for them and for me.  I had already done all of my “Captain America” press by this point, and they had been sitting in those same two chairs since early that morning.  Basically, you’re looking at three people who are already halfway out the door trying to hold a conversation.  As a result, they seem looser than they normally would be, and it’s sort of a free-for-all.

The thing about both these guys is that they’re incredibly personable and they’ve never once shown up at a press day I’ve been part of with anything less than a playful, open attitude.  This is the hardest part of the job for many actors, and I can understand why.  You’re not hiding inside a character anymore, and you end up having to answer the same basic questions hundreds and hundreds of times.  There are people who just barely manage to conceal their naked contempt for the process, but these guys always make it seem like they’re genuinely happy to be there, and if they can muster this kind of energy for the last person in the room, then they’re definitely earning their paychecks.

We’ll have a full review of the film later in the week, and more interviews with Olivia Wilde and Leslie Mann in the days ahead.

“The Change-Up” opens in theaters everywhere on Friday.