Considering who his father is, you might think Jason Reitman left the womb grasping a sound boom in his tiny hand. Jason was still a toddler when dad Ivan Reitman was making Animal House (1978) and other classic comedies like Meatballs (1979) and Stripes (1981). By the time Reitman hit his stride with Ghostbusters in 1984 the path to the director’s chair for young Jason might have seemed inevitable.
But Jason told Kurt Andersen that he was wary of following in his father’s footsteps. “I was terrified of becoming a director.” In this piece of tape from the cutting room floor, Jason says he initially wanted to be a doctor, “a job that no one will ever question.” But his father thought otherwise.
Considering Jason’s talents, it seems he picked the right path. And in honor of his father’s legacy, here’s an early gem from the Reitman catalogue: Bill Murray’s screen debut in Meatballs.
Listen to Kurt Andersen’s full interview with Jason Reitman and writer Walter Kirn about their new movie Up in the Air:
– Jess Jiang