Jason Reitman Succumbs to Gay Panic, Inflated Self-Regard in Brush With Tom Ford, Infers NY Times
The Awl points us to A Single Man director/style fascist Tom Ford's icky, fussy profile in the NY Times Styles section ("He smelled like vanilla bean...He purred hello..." etc.), and in particular, a bizarre exchange towards the end with Up in the Air director Jason Reitman.
AS if on cue, Jason Reitman, the Academy Award-nominated director of "Juno," approached Mr. Ford's table at the Beverly Hills Hotel. He had seen the film in Toronto and wanted to say how much he loved it.
Mr. Ford brightened at the unexpected visitor. Earlier, he had been discussing how different viewers -- gay men, straight women -- reacted to a poignant moment where Charley professes her love for George and threatens their friendship. "Were you moved emotionally, even though you are straight?" Mr. Ford asked Mr. Reitman of the scene. Mr. Reitman looked confused. He wondered aloud if Mr. Ford was hitting on him.
"No, I wasn't coming on to you," Mr. Ford said.
Uh ... Weird? Weird on the part of Ford, who you'd think would have more faith in the abilities of a fellow independent filmmaker working in 2009 to empathize with characters who might not share his sexuality; and even weirder that Reitman would interpret this kind of dated question as a come-on.
Let's keep reading...
Mr. Reitman did not recall the scene. When Mr. Ford's guest began explaining its particular resonance with some viewers, Mr. Reitman scolded her: movies "are not meant to be told that way," he said.
He continued the lecture as Mr. Ford watched, wide-eyed and nervously laughing. Mr. Ford's interview was being derailed.
"You should go away now," he told Mr. Reitman, whose latest film is "Up in the Air." He extended his hand to say goodbye. "It was great to see you."
Mr. Reitman, though, kept talking.
"You are going to really kill me, aren't you?" Mr. Ford told him.
After Mr. Reitman left, Mr. Ford turned to his guest and said, "I just asked, 'What did you think?' "
Reitman's outré bout of verbal diarrhea could well have been just one of those cases when something awkward and embarrassing tumbles out of your lips, and then you dig a hole deeper and deeper, burying the other party in a mountain of blather in a futile attempt at distracting them from the first stupid thing you said.
That, or maybe Tom really was hitting on him. They do look like before-and-after-spray-tanning twins, after all.
· Tom Ford: Design Director [NY Times]