We often see Jason Bateman playing the devoted family man onscreen. That could be because he is like that in real life too. Even though his work keeps him busy, he tries hard to spend as much time with his family as possible. And, the reason he is able to do that and balance an award-winning career is his wife of 18 years, Amanda Anka, an actress, working mom and sometimes a “full-time dad” too.
While they have been married since 2001, the couple, both 50 years old, has known each other since they were 18 years old, which is a lifetime in Hollywood years. The Arrested Development actor, who also happens to be one of the best friends of Jennifer Aniston, always thought that being married to a friend was more likely to pass the trials of time. He is also a traditional guy who only wanted to marry once in his life.
“Our marriage has defied the odds and works really well. We are really aware of our boundaries. We know how to bug each other and not bug each other. If you don’t get along, it’s garbage. With a girlfriend, you get into a fight, you drive away. With us, we learn to fight quickly or not at all. I wanted to marry a friend. Friends last longer,” he told Redbook in 2013.
He made a stronger case for marrying a friend to USA Today, “I only want to get married once. You get tired of a girlfriend. Women get tired of boyfriends. But your friends last a really long time. In the interest of getting married once, [I thought] let me try to find a female friend I’m really attracted to as well.”
However, he wasn’t always known as the family guy. Once known for being a party guy, becoming a father changed the Hancock actor. “Being a father of two is everything I wanted. I’m a big fan of marriage and being a dad. And my wife, Amanda, makes those things easy. She spoils me; she makes the husband part simple,” he told Redbook. The couple has two daughters, Francesca Nora, 13, and Maple Sylvie, 7.
This dad also acknowledges how his wife does the “heavy lifting” when he’s “super-busy with work.” “I try to make up for it on weekends and when I do get home. I respect that she’s having to wrangle the two kids by herself,” he said.
With them handling busy schedules and grueling workweeks, like any other couple, sometimes it gets difficult to find time for themselves. Bateman was very honest about how little alone time they get. “First thing in the morning before the monsters get up, or the last couple hours of the night… I’m cross-eyed by 9 p.m. anyway. So we have about an hour and a half,” he said.
At the center of his successful life lies Anka, who has acted as minor characters in many shows including Beverly Hills, 90210, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lost Highway, Taxi etc. The Ozark actor recently expressed how grateful he was to his wife during the SAG Awards. He told his wife and two daughters that “none of it would be enjoyable and it probably wouldn’t be possible” without them, tearing up as he spoke the emotional words. “I love you more than I even tell you I do, and I’ll be home for kisses so don’t go to bed. Amanda, pop a mint, I’m going to come give you yours in about 5 minutes,” the actor joked.
He couldn’t get enough of expressing how full his heart was for what his wife does to support his career. “My wife keeps me really grounded by doing nothing other than just being her. She’s got a full-time career herself, and she’s able to be an incredible mom, and she’s also almost a full-time dad too because I’m out of town so much,” Bateman told People.com. “I’m floored by that. That keeps me grounded. That reminds me that I’ve got a real strong example to kind of live up to what she’s showing,” he continued. The Golden Globe winner added, “That keeps me from taking any of this for granted or just doing it half-assed.”