How Justin Theroux Became the Voice Inside Olivia Munn’s Head in ‘Violet’ (Video)

TIFF 2021: “It was a crime to not have him on camera as an actor because he’s so good,” writer/director Justine Bateman tells TheWrap

Justin Theroux is the bad voice inside of Olivia Munn’s head in Justine Bateman’s directorial debut “Violet,” and the filmmaker said there were a lot of logistics that went into making those scenes go seamlessly.

In “Violet,” Munn plays an executive at a production company in Hollywood and has a negative voice inside her head, prompting her to realize that her life is built on fear-based decisions.

“I had only written half of what the voice ends up saying, half to two-thirds, when we shot so we were reading those off camera, we had somebody doing that,” Bateman told TheWrap’s Beatrice Verhoeven during a virtual interview at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival. “In the edit, I knew I wanted the voice saying more things so I was able to write more lines and go to Justin and say, ‘Hey I’m coming at you in New York to record this with you and I have more,’ and he said, Tthat’s fine, whatever, we’ll get it all done!’ He was terrific.”

She added: “There was a lot that the voice said in the film that Olivia when we were shooting was not aware would be in the scene.”

Bateman said that she approached Theroux for the job but that her brother, “Ozark” actor Jason Bateman, helped “put in a good word” for her.

“[Justin is] such an incredible writer, director, and an actor,” she said. “It was kind of a crime not to have him on camera as an actor because he’s so good.”

Bateman wrote and directed the film that also stars Luke Bracey, Dennis Boutsikaris, Erica Ash and Todd Stashwick.

Watch the interview above.