RB: Up in the Air is the first film ever to shoot with the real TSA, and you shot some of the film on real American Airlines planes. So many films can get away with staging a metal detector and a plane and a conveyor belt—why was it so important to have that authenticity for this film?
JR: Well, this is my love letter to travel, so I want it to be as authentic as humanly possible. We were just fortunate in that American Airlines was a great partner and they got us into a lot of places we normally wouldn't. Not only into TSA security, but four international airports all over the world. They flew in a 757 so we could shoot on it, and because of that I think there is a level of detail in the methodology of travel in this film that no other film has.
RB: Well, I personally am grateful to you for pointing out that checking a bag adds 35 minutes to a flight, because I am very strict about carrying on. I will not let anyone I fly with check a bag.
JR: Thank you! There's just no reason. I just did many weeks on the road, and there was one block that was two weeks long and I did it all out of rollaway. As long as you have a place to wash underwear every once in a while you're fine. Every time you check a bag you're playing some sort of dangerous lottery. Best-case scenario, you're wasting a half hour, but I can't put my destiny in somebody else's control like that.
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