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True stories from Up in the Air

Up in the Air
Up in the Air
Paramount Pictures

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In the film Up in the Air, George Clooney plays Ryan Bingham, a corporate frequent flier whose job is to tell others that they've lost theirs. But to cast Bingham's subjects, director Jason Reitman searched for people who had been laid off in real life. He placed an ad in the paper about a documentary seeking interviews with people who had lost their jobs. After initial interviews about their experiences, Reitman used several participants in the film. Larry Mantle talks with two people who answered the ad and took part in the movie.


Arthur ‘Art’ Hill - Detroit
Arthur still feels the pain after losing his job in 2005 with a major automotive company. He was close to retirement, but was let go without any compensation and went eight months without pay. He was at the point of almost losing his house, but the union that he worked for stepped in and procured some of his retirement benefits. He has said how grateful he was to Jason Reitman for giving him the chance to tell everyone what happened to him and for making the country aware of how many people are facing a similar plight.

Marlene Gorkiewicz - Detroit
Marlene worked in HR for a major airline and saw Jason Reitman’s ad in the paper looking for people who were recently laid off. She was selected to participate and when they filmed her, it was right before her last day of work so she felt extremely emotional. She doesn’t believe that an actor could really convey what it truly means to be let go, so she thinks Jason was brilliant to use real people. Marlene has been out of work since last March and is still trying to find a good job.