WTF Podcast

Episode 488 - Jason Reitman

Filmmaker Jason Reitman was determined to carve his own path in Hollywood despite being the son of a phenomenally successful filmmaker. Jason tells Marc about the choices he made along the way and why he gravitated toward projects like Thank You For Smoking, Juno and Up In The Air. This episode is sponsored by Nice Laundry, the WNYC app, GoToMeeting and Stamps.com.

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  • 14 Comments


Walrusonion April 14, 2014 at 10:43 am


you should get Catherine Reitman on the pod, she’s funny I enjoyed the episodes of hollywood Babble on she co-hosted.

mike April 14, 2014 at 1:07 pm


Mr. Maron,Im a long time non paying consumer of your work(its not personal,dead broke since the Bush crash.)Thank (unspecified possible fictional higher power)its really easy to suck on the teat of podcasts and youtube and hosting sites without short term consequences(notwithstanding im abetting the long term downfall of a medium that needs to be monetized versus the great unwasheds need for free content).All this tmi is only to state as a fact ive never posted a comment on your site or any other.Since i dont contribute with the green i hardly have the right to speak.Still this one time i must.Having lost my smart,contentious,deeply complex father in 02 and despite a four year illness that should have allowed enough time to achieve it,the son of a bitch wouldnt let me have a kodachrome moment.When i heard that catch/sob right at the end of your declaration to not speak to your father again,it broke my heart just a little.Aging is a bitch and the attrition rate is horrific.Just saying.Take from it what you will.Thank(see above)for you and the myriad other neurotic,funny baby boomers who sort of get it.

Marvydoo April 14, 2014 at 3:18 pm


Jason’s on point.  You can stand at the threshold of epiphany, maybe even walk for a while in the good and righteous land—then wake up in the morning and find yourself indistinguishable from the person at the beginning of the journey, save for wear.  All of your neurons are basically in the same place despite revelation; it’s hard to continually deny the habits that have kept you alive, prejudices that color your perception, the scars and memories that tinted your worldview.

Josh B April 14, 2014 at 5:46 pm


Enjoyed this interview quite a bit. I Would also love to hear a Jake Kasdan interview since were on the topic of Directors successful progeny.

Have a nice day.

Frank April 15, 2014 at 1:33 am


I enjoyed listening to you talk to Jason tremendously and now I can’t wait to listen to you talking to Ivan Reitman. What a great bout of serendipity, to be able to talk to both father and son, both great directors, in the same week. The stories that you’ve heard from Jason were still fresh in your mind, when you talked to Ivan, that it would’ve been easy to talk about some of the things that Jason talked about and hear his perspective on it.

Thursday can’t come fast enough.

Adam April 15, 2014 at 1:36 am


Great interview! You’re the best Marc. I’d really love to hear you interview Avey Tare (Dave Portner). Such an awe-inspiring artist

Peter April 15, 2014 at 1:32 pm


Please interview more edgy creative people - where being “known” or famous is of less importance than being interesting to listen too… painters,  conspiracy theorists,  punk singers or non-famous people would be a good place to start.

If you can’t do this and you need to interview famous people to move forward in your career than please riff longer in your intros and let your shit hang out more - please continue to take more chances and be raw as fuck.

Sparks April 15, 2014 at 6:29 pm


I like the kitten cover the best.

Clare April 17, 2014 at 7:56 am


Didn’t really enjoy this one. I like J. Reitman’s movies quite a bit, but he came across as smug and self-satisfied in this conversation. He was not particularly reflective or thoughtful and you seemed eager to buy into this perfect father-son relationship. The answers sounded pat and prepared. All the destiny-type talks … ugh. What about leaving home at 16 and moving in w/a 26-year-old? How did his parents react? Would have been interesting to hear his take on that.

Also, I like his father’s films as well, but did he refer to his dad as one of the greatest filmmakers ever? And talk about the great performances he got out of actors—we’re talking Animal House, Stripes, and Groundhog Day, right? Very, very funny films, but jeez Louise, let’s get real here.

And his dismissal of money/revenue as something that he ever thinks about when he’s making a film … dude, that’s privileged-person speak. Fine, but own it. Sounds like you didn’t need to hustle to get your films produced.

Mark April 17, 2014 at 8:24 am


After thoroughly enjoying “Thank You For Smoking” I was looking forward very much to “Juno” in part because Jason was the director of both films. Found it unwatchable and hated its affected over the top quirkiness. Less a comment on the director than the writer I suppose. Must be nice to choose a project for one specific scene or character and ignore the dross that surrounds it. “Labor Day” is another example of this. In that case the sheer ridiculousness of the premise seems to have brought the whole thing down, as some critics were saying it was one of the worst films they’d ever seen. The guy who reviews films for Fresh Air singled it out in unsolicited fashion in his year-end summary of movies, saying it had the potential for campy “so bad it’s good” midnight showings a la Rocky Horror. Marc, I’d love to hear your honest reaction to it assuming you do watch your screener. Although that’s probably unlikely at best. Jason has an odd combination of self-awareness and egocentrism that you did a good job of bringing out in your conversation with him. To be honest I don’t know quite what to make of it.

Stuart April 17, 2014 at 4:46 pm


When I heard who you were interviewing I rolled my eyes. I adored Juno, but other than that I know little about Jason and figured I’d be in for a safe, but boring hour. As usual, I underrated either your guests or your ability to interview because I enjoyed it very much.  Some of the earlier comments were critical of your guest, but I’m not sure why. He seems like a slam dunk decent person, which is rare for a child of Hollywood.  I’m a big fan of yours, but I completely understand where your father is coming from and I don’t understand your rationalizations surrounding his depictions. But whatever, I’m just offering my two-bit opinion from the cheap seats.

Fishsticks April 21, 2014 at 12:26 pm


I rewatched “Young Adult” this weekend after listening to the interview. I loved the idea of someone idealizing their past and going back only to find out they got it all wrong. In a way I felt like she had a happy ending since she figured out the past was an illusion and she was now free to let it go. Those actors were great, too. I agree with a few others - it was an uncomfortable interview for some reason.

zero point zero April 28, 2014 at 10:38 pm


Was really glad to hear Jason talk about that scene in Young Adult.  My impression was a little off from what he said though.  This person just had sex with this guy and had this moment of clarity on what an asshole she really was.  This is what people like this do, they ignore that spot inside of them that KNOWS that they’re terrible.  Every once in a while they have to face themselves and it’s intense.  She realized that he was actually pure and good and she was scum.  Just as she sees his sister in the kitchen she gets the opportunity to “lose focus” again.  Shit goes right back to normal.  I have never seen that scene in something else before.  Have seen it in person several times though.

Melissa June 23, 2014 at 3:36 pm


I’m hoping Marc was just as over Jason Reitman’s smugness as I was, which is why he really didn’t challenge him on too much. There was just such an overwhelming sense of entitlement wrapped around every sentence Jason spoke. I’ve enjoyed his movies and looked forward to getting perspective on what trains a golden child of Hollywood’s eye, but I found Jason’s opposite of self-deprecating p.o.v. totally insufferable. Just could not get into him.