Jason Reitman is a film director, screenwriter and producer best known for directing the films Thank You for Smoking, Juno and Up in the Air. But before he made a name for himself in the movie business, he was first known as the son of the famous movie director, Ivan Reitman. And as kids are known to do, he initially sought out the polar opposite path his father.
During a recent podcast interview, the young director told the unexpected story about his father’s reaction to this career choice:
“I went premed because nobody questions why you want to be a doctor. And when my father visited me at school, he said look, there's no profession nobler than that, and if you became a doctor, I’ll be over the moon. But I don’t think being a doctor is actually in your heart. You’re doing it because you’re afraid. You need to find something that has magic in it for you. You’re a storyteller, and you should stop being so scared of that.”
After that pivotal conversation, he went on to make a series of short independent films, one of which won several prestigious film festival awards, all of which launched his career as successful director.
Jason, like so many artists and innovators and entrepreneurs, willingly took on a career that promised a lot of raised eyebrows. He existed in culture that often treated his work as frivolous. And yet, he still pursued that path because he found something magical in it. Filmmaking was his first ecstatic experience. His rightful work in the human family. Because it forced him to act from his own center.
And the process made him alive in all his parts and powers, exposing a gift he couldn’t escape no matter how hard he tried.