WESTWOOD, California — Already early favorites to win the major trophies of this awards season, director Jason Reitman and stars George Clooney, Anna Kendrick and Vera Farmiga walked the red carpet of their star-studded premiere Monday night. And naturally, the evening's buzz had them floating "Up in the Air."
"I'm trying to look very poised and elegant," a dressed-to-the-nines Kendrick grinned. "I don't know if I'm succeeding."
"I'm nervous right now because I'm outside my premiere for my movie, and that's always an exciting moment," explained Reitman, whose first two films ("Thank You for Smoking" and "Juno") received awards-season recognition, starting a streak he'll likely keep alive. "Particularly at this theater, because we're at the Mann Village Theatre in Westwood; I've lined up on this street for movies since I was 10 years old."
A lot of people are already calling the film — which casts Clooney as a layoff expert attempting to reconnect with his human side — an instant classic. But according to the star, he won't be sure it's any good until ... 2019?
"[You know a film is a classic] right about 10 years after it comes out. It takes a while," Clooney said. "There are films that are very popular for a moment, and then they don't necessarily work 10 years later. Then there are films like — well, nobody went to see 'The Big Lebowski' when it first came out. It's interesting."
According to Kendrick, however, she knew on the set that "Up in the Air" was something special. "For me, the day we shot the scene with me, George and Vera was really special," she said. "I'd been working with George for, like, two and a half months, and I'd gotten used to [his celebrity]; you know, he was old news. And then we got Vera in there, and I was able to sit across from the two of them and watch them work after we'd done my side of it. That was a definite pinch-me moment, to be sitting across from such talented people."
"It takes me a couple years, with each of my films, to figure out what they are," Reitman laughed. "I think 'Thank You for Smoking' might be OK. 'Juno,' I don't know."
As someone who's been in a few stinkers, Clooney told us that he knows the difference. "You're thinking 'Batman & Robin,' is that what you're talking about? Are you trying to bring that one out?" the superstar laughed, invoking the name of his notorious turn as a superhero. "There was a lot of Oscar buzz around 'Batman & Robin.' There was a Best Cod Piece award. And then they took that out, and I had no shot."
There are lots of folks involved with "Up in the Air" who do have a shot this awards season, however, thanks to buzz that will only grow as the movie begins rolling out this weekend. "I'm so proud of this film," Kendrick said. "And now it's somebody else's job to worry about all the buzz and the box office."
But for the next few months, you can expect to see the possible Best Supporting Actress showing up to lots of red carpets dressed very differently from the tank-top-and-jeans ensemble she used to wear for interviews. Despite the extreme makeover, Anna promised us that she's keeping it real.
"I'm trying, man. You should see my apartment; it's still a nightmare," she shrugged. "It's such a painful irony to try and scrub up like this, to look very put-together and elegant."
Check out everything we've got on "Up in the Air."
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