MTV – ‘Up In The Air’ Director Raves About Anna Kendrick: ‘I Wrote This Role For Her’

Jason Reitman found Anna Kendrick through 2007 indie comedy ‘Rocket Science.’

By Eric Ditzian

Everyone’s buzzing about Anna Kendrick, and not just because she’s in box-office juggernaut “New Moon.” Her turn as an up-and-coming corporate downsizer opposite George Clooney in “Up in the Air” has awards-season prognosticators shouting, “Oscar!”

Director Jason Reitman is such a fan of Kendrick that he wrote the part specifically for her. What he’s apparently not a fan of is the “Twilight” franchise.

“MTV viewers, ‘Twilight’ is a graveyard of acting,” he laughed in a recent interview.

Reitman declared that he would never judge an actor’s talent based on the vampire saga. He fell for Kendrick’s skills after taking in “Rocket Science,” a 2007 indie comedy in which the actress plays the hyper-articulate debate-team queen.

“When I saw her in that movie, I just thought, ‘This girl has a different voice from everyone of her generation,’ ” Reitman said. “She oddly talks like someone from the 1940s, and she’s so witty and smart and sharp, and I needed a girl who could go toe-to-toe with George Clooney, and she was the one.”

What does the director think of all this Oscar talk? It’s not the first time such buzz has cropped up around his work. His 2007 comedy “Juno” nabbed four nominations, including Best Actress for Ellen Page.

“If anyone I direct ever gets nominated, I’m going to take a lot of pride in it,” he said. “And certainly when Ellen got nominated for ‘Juno,’ I was just over the moon for her.”

Over the moon, yes, but he never considered drafting Page for “Up in the Air,” which hits theaters Friday.

“This was Anna’s role,” he explained. “I wrote this for Anna. As soon as I saw ‘Rocket Science’ and I recognized her voice, I started writing for her.”

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