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The Small Role Jason Bateman's Sister Had On Arrested Development

Before he was on the ultra-serious "Ozark," Jason Bateman was the deadpan center of the chaotic Bluth family in "Arrested Development." Bateman played middle Bluth child Michael. His older brother Gob was played by his "SmartLess" co-host Will Arnett. Portia de Rossi played his ostensible twin sister Lindsay (more on that later), and his little brother Buster was played by "Veep" star Tony Hale.

"Arrested Development" was known for its convoluted, farcical plots and its subtle foreshadowing. For example, NPR noted that Buster losing his hand to a seal attack was presaged by him losing a hand-shaped chair, by him getting "hooked" on a crane machine and winning a seal, and him sitting on a bench that reads "arm off."

The show also used actors' real lives or past work as joke fodder as well, like when Henry Winkler jumped over a toy shark — a nod to when his character Fonzie jumped over a shark on "Happy Days." Meanwhile, Jason Bateman's sister, Justine Bateman, had a one-episode role that explored all these features of the show.

Justine Bateman's character was one big joke

Justine Bateman played self-described hooker Nellie in the Season 3 episode "Family Ties." The episode's name is itself a joke, as Justine starred in "Family Ties" as a teen. The farce starts off with Michael finding a picture of himself as a baby with an older child named Nellie. He then tracks down a woman associated with the Bluth Company with that name.

The two share a connection he doesn't have with any of his other family members, and that's because she isn't a family member. She's a sex worker, and Gob's puppet Franklin is her pimp. There is a real Nellie Bluth, however. Lindsay turns out to not be Michael's biological sister, but a child named Nellie who was adopted to stick it to the Bluths' business rivals.

Justine Bateman has transitioned completely away from acting, and now primarily identifies as a writer and director. Her 2021 film "Violet" debuted at SXSW (per Variety). She also recently appeared in the HBO documentary "Fake Famous," discussing the identity-warping cost of fame.