George Clooney: “Thanks to the Italians, I learned to enjoy life”

No George no festival. Even at the time of the pandemic, between hybrid formulas, digital encounters, distances and masks, Clooney remains the favorite guest. Ironic, generous, «fascinating. This is how the audience of the Bfi London Film festival 2020 will see him on October 18th in «Screen Talk: George Clooney», a chat, from a distance, with Edith Bowman. In connection from his home in Los Angeles (“I hear my mother-in-law’s voice”), a salt and pepper beard, as always careful to dismantle his myth (“Taking yourself too seriously is a mistake”). A rundown of his career, starting with the new film The Midnight Sky (from December 23 on Netflix), based on the novel Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton with Felicity Jones, Kyle Chandler and David Oyelowo. Set in the near future, protagonist Augustine (Clooney) the last scientist of an Arctic base, after a global catastrophe, in the company of a mysterious girl. As an astronaut, Sullivan (Jones) and his crew of the spaceship Aether try to get home after a long mission in space. “They proposed him as an actor, but having already made a couple of space films I had ideas for directing. It is a story about what the human being is capable of doing in extreme conditions, a beautiful story of redemption ». A physically demanding set, among the ice, with complex technical solutions. And not only. “Felicity called me one day to tell me she was pregnant. We changed the script. After all, that crew was gone for two years, you can have sex in space. It became a bonus for the film ». He had no doubts about hiring himself as a 70-year-old scientist. “Matt Damon and Brad Pitt were too young. I have this huge David Letterman beard, my wife was happy when I finished. ‘

Masters and friends

He aimed at directing early, already at the time of Dr. Ross di IS. “You can do the performance of a lifetime and be cut out for storytelling needs. I’ve always looked for the control you have as a director ». And producer, with longtime friend Grant Heslov, also involved in The Midnight Sky. «When I go I think, good first. He is the one who tells me: do another one, come on ». Respect and affection for colleagues. “I tried to steal from the best. Joel and Ethan Coen, Alexander Payne, Steven Soderbergh, Jason Reitman, Wes Anderson. In difficult times like these, when we realize that the world has changed not just because of the coronavirus, but because of all the anger we see exploding, you realize that what you are looking for is kindness and the ability to be supportive to others. Like the directors I respect, special people ». And reverence and affection for masters, such as Robert Redford and Paul Newman. «The best of all, not just the most beautiful. Irony and civil commitment. We had to make a film together, I should have done him when I was young. But I couldn’t, those blue eyes are unique and inimitable. It ended with laughter and drinking. ‘ He does not hold back on politics. “The most patriotic thing you can do in any country is question your government.” He can’t wait to change president. “That coward Trump has been lying for years. It’s madness, it worries me »Our country, on the other hand, cured him. “The house in Italy has changed me. I spend the summer there normally, not the latter. I was always running, I learned to slow down. Observing them after a day of work, sitting down at the table, a good wine, gossip, friends, they are people who enjoy life, know how to celebrate it ». The word that occurs most often is “lucky”. “As a kid, I cut tobacco for $ 3 an hour. When I left Kentucky I knew I didn’t want to do it anymore. ‘ He smiles as usual, but unlike others, lying is not his forte. “I am happy with this chat but I am also sad that I cannot be there. I can’t wait to get together in a room ».

7 October 2020 (change 7 October 2020 | 21:00)

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