With Reporting By Josh Horowitz
The plot of "This Is Where I Leave You" hinges on the main characters sitting Shiva for their late father, a Jewish tradition after a loved one's passing. The problem? Fey and Bateman aren't Jewish, but you wouldn't know it from watching them onscreen.
"We play real good Waspy Jews," Bateman told MTV News, though Fey countered that she's not Waspy either, but "somewhere in between."
"You're a Woo," Bateman helpfully offered, making the new denomination sound like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. "A Jasp."
So did they think they were able to pull off the religious shift?
"In my mind, I thought I looked like a beautiful Jewess," Fey said. "I had my long hair that they clipped on me and I had my really nice makeup. In my mind I was like really pulling it off. When I saw the monitor I was like, 'oh, I've never looked more thin-lipped and German in my life.' We tried to fix it in post."
Luckily, her costar never had that problem, as he often gets confused for being one of the tribe.
"I do, and I don't know why," Bateman said about people thinking he's Jewish. "B-a-i-t-m-a-n would get you closer to there, cause of the whitefish salad."
Speaking of, you can't play a Jew unless you have a favorite shmear for a bagel.
"I like a cream cheese, and a little bit of the red onion," Bateman said, while Fey's a fan of lox. But she warns us to never order that particular shmear in Los Angeles.
"You know the disgusting thing they do in LA?" Fey said. "They put no bagel, just the tomato, cream cheese, and lox and onion on a plate, and they don't eat the bagel."
She added, "You're still gonna die, people of LA." So enjoy that bagel while you can!
"This Is Where I Leave You" opens September 19.