Jason Reitman took to the Oprah Winfrey show on Friday and brought with him some of the folks who had been fired in real life and whom appeared in his film. The Oprah.com site has more in depth writing on it than it used to have, making it a little more like a blog (which makes me wonder if Oprah may be gone but not forgotten next year when her show ends; could she end up being a blogger like her pal, Ebert?): One of the reasons Up in the Air feels like such an honest look at today’s world is that Jason cast everyday people who had just lost their jobs in the roles of the employees being fired. “I recognized early on that I did not have the life experience to speak to this in an authentic way,” Jason says. “So we reached out in the community in Detroit and St. Louis, where we were shooting the film, and found people who had just lost their jobs. … We said, ‘We’d like to fire you on camera, and we’d like you to say whatever you said on the day you lost your job, or, if you prefer, what you wish you had said.” But the film isn’t just about the firings – in fact, it’s much more about Clooney’s coming-of-middle-age: Jason’s quick to point out that Up in the Air is not all serious. “It’s a movie that is dramatic and is also comedic,” he says. “It is just as much a mirror of George Clooney as it is a mirror to America, and hopefully you will not only kind of recognize what is going on in this economy in the film, but you’ll recognize what it’s like to go through a midlife crisis.” Reitman, many suspect, has a bit of a target on his back for being who he is: silver spoon-fed, private school-raised Hollywood brat. But is he really that guy? His father is also the man who convinced Jason to follow his dream of making movies. “I was pre-med, and the reason I’d gone pre-med was I was scared of being a director. I’m well aware of the perceptions of the children of famous filmmakers,” he says. “I thought: ‘Why enter a career with there is the presumption [that you have no talent]? And, outside of that, if I find success, I’ll be in his shadow my whole life. And if I fail, I’ll fail on a very public level.’” But Jason says his father came to visit him while he was in school and explained that being scared isn’t a reason to do anything. “He’s the person who pushed me to come back to Los Angeles and pursue being a storyteller.” Sofia Coppola, it’s worth noting, was raised in a way not unlike Reitman’s. And it never seemed to hurt her in quite the same way. Nonetheless, Up in the Air got the Oprah touch. So far, she’s done Avatar, Precious, and now Up in the Air. She hasn’t done The Hurt Locker or Inglourious Basterds, has she? How do you sell The Hurt Locker to that screaming crowd? You know, short of having the men do a Chippendale’s dance number. Clooney is pals with Julia who is pals with Oprah but I’m not sure the Hurt Locker have an “in” with Oprah. Unfortunately, I could not find a clip of Reitman on Oprah, nor any clip of the firing scenes in Up in the Air to post here.