TORONTO— Juno is the second feature film for Jason Reitman following 2005's sensational Thank You for Smoking. It stars Ellen Page in the title role, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner and Jason Batemen. It is the story of Juno, a fourteen year-old who becomes pregnant and then finds her way to private adoption. The cleverly written and directed film became an instant favorite at this year's Toronto International Film Festival.
The Epoch Times had a chance to talk with the cast and crew, and the conversation naturally tuned to the film's central issue—teenage pregnancy.
Epoch Times (ET): Why did you pick teen pregnancy as the subject for your script?
Diablo Cody (screenwriter): America needed a black comedy about the scourge of teenage pregnancy, and I am here for them.
ET: What was unusual about the script?
Jason Reitman (director): This was a script about teenage pregnancy, and yet it didn't choose to judge any of the characters and it did not turn anyone into a villain, but rather let everyone react in a human way. It's funny, because you get parents to react this strongly, and I can imagine myself, because I have great parents, that the first reaction would not be to smack your kid, but to sit back. It's overwhelming news, it's hard to reason through how it's going to affect our daughter's life, how it is going to affect our life. And whenever a character had a line to say Diablo had chosen an interesting unique, honest way to deliver that scene or that line in the dialogue. And I think that's why you see all these people here today.
ET: Was the subject of teen pregnancy treated realistically or humanistically?
Ellen Page (playing Juno): Any situation can be different with a variety of things, whether that's the belief of the parents or economic situation. I feel a lot of times it is easy to go to dark, cynical places, sometimes it can be a lot easier than to just be light and human. I read somewhere, that this film is sugar-coated. And I feel a lot of the time we focus on a lot of darkness, and maybe if we celebrated more (of) the humanistic honesty, things could be a lot more exciting. Because we are pretty lucky on this side of the world, so let's just rock out with good vibes.
ET: How did your own motherhood help you to prepare for the role?
Jennifer Garner (playing an adoptive mother): I would say that I just tried to drive Ellen crazy with telling her , maybe you'd be feeling like this, when I was pregnant, I was like this. So I used it to be controlling. Other than that, I did understand the ache for a baby, especially now that I have one, I understood how I couldn't bare missing out on it, and I would do anything to fill that up.
Juno premiered in Toronto on September 8, and will open in limited release in the USA in December of 2007.