TORONTO - Jason Bateman's directorial debut, "Bad Words," walks a very fine line between hilarity and over-the-top vulgarity, but co-star Kathryn Hahn knew she was in good hands.
"Jason is one of the smartest humans I've ever met and just intuitive," the "Crossing Jordan" actress said recently at the Toronto International Film Festival.
"I trust his taste and his quality control."
"Bad Words features Bateman as Guy Trilby, a foul-mouthed high school dropout who worms his way into a kids' spelling bee and uses down and dirty tactics to get ahead in the competition.
He's quick with the vulgar one-liners, even when sparring with his chief rival in the bee, the pint-sized Chaitanya (Rohan Chand).
Hahn — who plays a reporter and (sort of) love interest to Trilby — admits the raunchy material could have veered wrong.
It didn't she said, because of the finely tuned script by Andrew Dodge, which was on Hollywood's prestigious "Black List" of best unmade screenplays.
And then of course, there was Bateman's direction.
Said Hahn: "Jason was incredibly faithful to it."
The actress — who is also familiar to viewers of TV's "Parks and Recreation" — can't find enough superlatives to describe working with the "Arrested Development" star.
"He was so assured from the beginning," she said. "Such a tight shoot.... I mean he was so prepared going into this. His work ethic is legendary."
The Toronto International Film Festival runs through Sunday.
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