Film director. Born October 19, 1977 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The son of famed director Ivan Reitman ( Stripes and Ghostbusters), Jason Reitman grew up on his father’s film sets surrounded by such comedic greats as Bill Murray, Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd, even working as an extra from time to time.
Though he showed a natural talent for filmmaking as a teenager, Jason Reitman was determined to step out from behind his father’s shadow. After graduating from Harvard-Westlake School in Hollywood, he made a failed attempt at a pre-med degree at Skidmore College. He returned to Los Angeles and enrolled at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema-Television.
But rather than accepting offers to make big-budget feature films, Reitman directed television commercials and bankrolled his first shorts, 1998’s Operation, 2000’s In God We Trust and 2004’s Consent, to critical acclaim. His first full-length feature film as both writer and director, Thank You For Smoking, debuted in 2005. The acerbic, satirical indie comedy was based on a novel by Christopher Buckley about a crafty spin doctor for the tobacco lobby. The film received rave reviews for its realistic satire and believable heroes, and Jason received praise for traveling a different comedic road than the elder Reitman.
Reitman’s next feature film, 2007’s Juno, starred a terrifically gifted Ellen Page as a high school girl who grows up quickly when forced to deal with an unwanted pregnancy. The witty, heartwarming film won numerous accolades, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Director, Reitman’s first. Reitman’s next project, Bonzai Shadowhands, teams him with The Office’s Rainn Wilson.
Jason Reitman married Michele Lee in 2004; the couple has one daughter, Josephine.