It’s been over three months since we saw Jason Reitman’s third feature film Up in the Air at the Toronto Film Festival, and believe us, we’ve been trying our best to get the unbelievably busy filmmaker to sit down and answer a few questions about his third movie for us. (In fact, we did get to talk to him at Toronto about the Diablo Cody-penned horror flick Jennifer’s Body, which he produced, but foolishly, we decided to save all our questions for a later date.)
Unfortunately, as we waited patiently for that date, Reitman was doing hundreds of interviews and screening Q n As, mostly answering the same questions, which ultimately led to him devising a pie chart of the most asked questions, an example of which you can see here. That put even more pressure on us to try to deliver an interview which wasn’t just rehashing everything that has come before. No pressure.
So it was that mere hours after Up in the Air was nominated for six Golden Globes, we finally had a chance to talk to Reitman. Before we get to that interview, here are some of the key talking points you probably should know about Reitman’s new movie:
* It’s loosely adapted from Walter Kirn’s 2001 novel about Ryan Bingham, a frequent-flying “head chopper” whose job is to let people go from their jobs in a way that won’t make them want to return the next day with a shotgun.
* It stars George Clooney playing that character… whose views on relationships some might have you believe are similar to Clooney’s own!
* Most of Clooney’s scenes are with two great actresses: Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick, the first as Alex, his female equivalent, the latter as Natalie, an ambitious young woman trying to modernize Ryan’s job, effectively taking him off the road.
* It’s not only Reitman’s most mature and fully-realized films but also easily one of the best films of the year, probably why it’s been nominated for so many awards in the last couple weeks.
* Zack Galifianakis has a tiny part before The Hangover priced him out of Reitman’s budget range; Danny McBride also plays a role that tones down his own humor.
* It features the welcome return of Young MC, best known for the 1989 hip-hop classic “Bust A Move.”
With all that in mind, here’s what we talked about in our exclusive video interview below:
* Of course, we started by asking what it was like working with Young MC. We’re not stupid!
* Whether it was difficult adapting a novel written pre-9/11 and incorporating everything that’s happened since.
* Okay, we asked about George Clooney. Sue us.
* Then we went back to talking about the differences between the movie and the book.
* We go off on pretty long time-eating tangent about how much the interviewer looks like Stanley Kubrick, but since we were behind the camera (like Kubrick) you’ll just have to take Reitman’s word for it.
* We asked him about the interviews with people who’ve actually lost their jobs.
* We talk a little about the next thing he’s adapting, Joyce Maynard’s “Labor Day.”
*And lots more! Hit the “Play” button already!
Up in the Air is now playing in select cities and opens everywhere on Wednesday, December 23.