Filmmaker Jason Reitman has had his share of red carpets. Just this TIFF alone, the writer, director and producer has strutted for the premieres of three movies — and he’s had enough.
“Red carpet questions are all pretty silly,” said the Canadian filmmaker during a recent interview. “(They’re) always like, ‘Tell me about the pranks on set.’ It’s just goofy.”
In Toronto to support his latest film Up in the Air, Reitman has also been a man about TIFF, having produced the camp horror entry, Jennifer’s Body, and Atom Egoyan’s infidelity drama Chloe.
Still, as much as the red carpet scene has worn down the acclaimed director, Reitman insists he looks forward to his homeland’s festival — one that even helped launch his earlier movies, Juno and Thank You For Smoking.
“As I’m writing, directing and everything, there’s nothing more that I look forward to than coming to this festival and showing my films,” said Reitman. “I consider this place to be the — honest to God — birthplace of my movies and I know the audience here ... I think about what’s going to make them laugh, what’s going to move them, and when I finally get here, it’s just really exciting.”
What has been exciting TIFF filmgoers, however, is Reitman’s Up in the Air, and most notably its lead actor George Clooney, who stars as a corporate downsizing expert who must face the downsizing of his own business.
“I was writing with him in mind,” admitted Reitman. “He gets 10 scripts a day, so for him to say yes, it’s a nice compliment.”
But the congeniality didn’t end there. As Reitman soon found out, having a humble A-list star like Clooney on set also brought another layer to Up in the Air that the young filmmaker may not have anticipated.
“He’s just a good guy and he tries to make you comfortable. A lot of movie stars bring a heightened sense of urgency,” said Reitman. “His nature is to make everyone as friendly as possible.”
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