Siblings Jason Bateman and Justine Bateman both got their start as child actors
They both began their careers early — Justine as Michael J. Fox’s costar on Family Ties when she was 16, and Jason as James Cooper Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie when he was 11. But despite their quick professional successes, the two have also taken plenty of time away from Hollywood. After taking a hiatus in the 1990s, Jason told The Guardian in January 2022 how he struggled to find his footing in the industry when he was ready to return at the start of the 2000s.
He said, “Having thought, 'This is really fun,' and staying at the party a little bit too long, I'd lost my place in line in the business; it was a case of trying to claw that back towards the end of the 90s, and not getting a lot of great responses.”
These days, Jason has more than resumed his successful career, while Justine has explored a number of passions and interests through the years, including directing and writing. She has also become an advocate for aging naturally.
From their roots as child stars to their family lives, here is everything to know about Jason Bateman and Justine Bateman’s brother-sister relationship.
Jason and Justine were both child stars
Jason and Justine both got their start in Hollywood as child stars. Justine was 16 years old when she joined the cast of the wildly popular series Family Ties, which ran for seven seasons in the 1980s. As she later told PEOPLE, fame at such a young age wasn’t always easy.
“We were at the level of fame where you just can’t go anywhere,” Justine told PEOPLE. “You just try to keep your head above water ... [and] stay alive.”
She added that the level of fame could be mentally and emotionally draining. “[For one], I found it frustrating having no control over what people thought of you. I’m not saying I’m ungrateful for fame at all. I’m just saying it’s a crazy emotional experience.”
Like his sister, Jason also got a taste of the spotlight at a young age. He joined the cast of Little House on the Prairie in 1980 before moving on to the series Silver Spoons. In 2013, however, he told GQ that he was hesitant to let his own children venture into movies or acting.
“This is one of the reasons I don’t really recommend parents putting their kids in the business as an actor," he told the outlet. "I grew up training myself to pretend to be other people. If you do that at an age where you’re trying to figure out who you are, which is when you’re a kid, you don’t develop schizophrenia, but you can really slow down an organic process, which is trying to find your identity. I didn’t really have a great engine to navigate this confusing period of my life.”
Justine is pursuing other interests besides acting
Despite getting her start in Hollywood, Justine hasn’t always made acting the focus of her life. As Jason told GQ in 2013, after she took time off to have children, Justine began exploring other interests.
"I think her passion for it had waned a bit," Jason said of his sister. "And so the fact that her activity is not as frequent or as high-profile as it was back then, I don’t think bothers her as some might think. In fact, her interests have gone into other areas. She’s now studying, I think, computer science. She’s far too smart to sort of be at the mercy of somebody else’s agenda or rhythm or schedule — at an industry’s rhythm or schedule. So I’m positive that she’s happy."
Though Justine took a step away from acting, she didn’t venture too far from the entertainment world. In 2021, she released her directorial debut, Violet, a film about an executive who begins to question her life path.
She also became an author in 2018 when she released Fame: The Hijacking of Reality, a book about Justine’s outlook on being famous from an early age.
Justine is a strong proponent of aging naturally
In 2023, Justine made headlines when she opened up about her decision to age naturally without plastic surgery or injections. In an interview with 60 Minutes Australia, the actress explained, “I just don't give a s---. I think I look rad. I think my face represents who I am. I like it. I feel like I would erase, not only all my authority that I have now, but also, I like feeling that I am a different person now than I was when I was 20. I like looking in the mirror and seeing that evidence.”
This wasn’t the first time Justine spoke on the topic either. In 2021, the actress told PEOPLE that she Googled herself and eventually realized how little she cared about what others thought about her appearance.
“I thought my face looked fine,” she said at the time. “And then because of some of the fears I had, unrelated to my face, I decided to make them right and me wrong ... I became really ashamed of my face, ridiculously so ... I realized my face is only going to get older. So why not take care of whatever fear I have attached to that.”
She added, “You're not going to make that fear go away by changing your face. If you go and get plastic surgery, you're going to look different. Okay. You'll have that, but you haven't dealt with what the fear was. That fear will continue.”
Justine also addressed this topic in her 2021 book Face: One Square Foot of Skin, where she interviewed about 25 people and weaved their stories into a fictional novel.
They are both married
Both Justine and Jason have been married to their partners for years. Justine married her husband, Mark Fluent, in 2001, and the Horrible Bosses actor married his wife, Amanda Anka, the same year.
Anka is the daughter of Canadian singer Paul Anka and worked as an actress in the 1990s and the early 2000s. Anka played a vampire in the 1992 movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer and also had roles on Renegade, Beverly Hills, 90210, ER, The Fosters and Bone. She is currently a co-producer on The Morning Show.
Justine and Jason are parents to two children each
Justine and Jason are also parents. Jason and his wife have two children together, daughters Francesa and Maple. Francesa, who the family calls Franny, was born in October 2006 and Maple followed in February 2012.
After winning a SAG award for his work on Ozark in February 2023, Jason thanked his family for their support.
“Thank you to my wife Amanda, my two kids at home, Maple [and] Francesca, they made me feel like I was a good dad even though I was gone for six months every year. They're better actors than I am," he said.
Justine and her husband are parents to two children as well, daughter Gianetta and son Duke.
They have both left the Hollywood life at times
Like his sister, Jason also stepped away from Hollywood for a time. While speaking to The Guardian in January 2022, he explained that he took a break in the 1990s — which he referred to as his “wilderness years” — in part because he worked so much of his childhood.
“Me stopping everything on purpose, to catch up with all these inabilities I had as a kid, because I was always working,” he explained as one of the reasons he stopped acting. “I wanted to get the wiggles out.”
In 2003, he began his starring role in Arrested Development, which led him to a Golden Globe win and an Emmy nomination. The Game Night actor has also talked about his sobriety since.
For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on People.