Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Jason Reitman: Up In The Air

"I didn't quite know what to expect from this interview," confesses Jason Reitman. The multi-award winning 32-year old writer and director may be secure in his ability to produce great movies, but he admits to being "scared" at the prospect of being interrogated by SuicideGirls.

It's taken us over a month to tie Jason down, during which time we've been communicating directly by Twitter and via his film and personal publicists. He's very much in demand right now. His first two movies, Thank You For Smoking, a satire set in the tobacco industry, and Juno, a dark comedy about teen pregnancy written by longtime friend of SG Diablo Cody, left indelible marks on the moviemaking landscape. Both films were unabashedly quirky yet each achieved mainstream critical and commercial acclaim -- and more importantly sparked a dialog about their respective subjects that reached far beyond the confines of the entertainment world. It's perhaps this capacity to make us think and to spark meaningful discussion that is Jason's greatest gift.

Though Jason grew up very much within the Hollywood machine (Jason's dad Ivan Reitman produced and/or directed an impressively long list of titles which includes the beloved Animal House, Ghostbusters and Beethoven franchises), creatively he's always preferred to walk the less traveled path. Intelligent and idiosyncratic, his latest comedy, Up In The Air, is no exception. Starring George Clooney as Ryan Bingham, a corporate downsizer who chooses air-miles over attachment and celebrates his solitary existence, the film (which features real-world characters cast from the ranks of the recently downsized) ultimately takes flight on a path that our Hollywood-trained brains may instinctively resist. However, with a nod to Jason's libertarian leanings, the choice is right for Ryan Bingham, and that's what counts.

Though Up In The Air has just gone on wide release today, it's already been nominated for six Golden Globes, more than any other film in the class of 2009. Consequently Jason's press commitments have just got a whole lot crazier. To compound the pressure on his already over-filled schedule, he's just returned from a trip to his Canadian homeland, where he and his dad (who co-produced Up In The Air) were honored with turns carrying the Winter Olympic flame.

We finally caught up with Jason mid-afternoon on Monday as he was heading over to a satellite studio for a live remote appearance on the Faux News show Happy Hour. Once on the phone Jason was beyond generous with his time, and over the course of two phone calls, one before and one after his TV appearance, we talked about the new movie, his affinity with its leading character, and a few other topics that only SG would dare to bring up.

Hit the following link for SuicideGirls exclusive interview with Jason Reitman.

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