He never took himself seriously but he always worked seriously George Clooney. For this reason, perhaps, it does not stop pleasing everyone, in every corner of the planet. Contagious with inextinguishable intelligence, irony and beauty, the Hollywood star gave himself for over an hour, telling of his career in live streaming on the eve of BFI London Film Festival 2020 (7-18 October), this year forced by the pandemic to be held almost exclusively online. And he did it from his home, in Los Angeles, from a “where I hear my mother-in-law talking”, For a group of privileged publications in the world including Ilfattoquotidiano.it.
For the happy few Clooney has also reserved a gift: some exclusive clips (of which you cannot utter a verb for an iron embargo) of his new effort as a director, which also sees him among the protagonists, The Midnight Sky, which we will see on Netflix from December. Of the sci-fi film being edited, we can reveal what is already known: it is adapted from the novel Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton, also starring Felicity Jones and Kyle Chandler and tells of post-apocalyptic universes where a lone scientist works to save what remains of humanity. A story that fits the political conscience of George, imperturbable more active than an activist in matters of civil rights, freedom of expression, justice and a declared pacifist. In short, the perfect dem with high liberal values that in an ideal world we would see (why not) even in the White House. Since “that vile Trump hasn’t stopped lying to us for years.. ”, he whispers under the unfailing smile that says more than a thousand words.
From debut to directing with Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002) a The Ides of March (2015) passing through Good Night, and Good Luck (2011) (“that I owed it to my father”) but also in several titles in which he appeared only as an actor, Clooney has always distinguished himself in the field of commitment cinema, having however always well-timed with entertainment “because cinema is entertainment, first of all ”, he points out and“ I always want to have fun, even in films with painful stories! ”. Yes, “because as much as we try to commit ourselves, we belong to this time, and not to those 60s and 70s which were the golden age of protest and political commitment even in cinema: we better use our means, use the internet well, rather than going back to a past that is now complete ”.
Make way for fun, therefore, and so the political Clooney passes the hand to the comic George, who reviews funny anecdotes from his now innumerable movie sets, since already “great”, he broke away from the legendary Dr. Doug Ross, the sexy pediatrician par excellence, of E.R. to (be) embraced (by) the big screen. Funny curtains with the Coen brothers, Alexander Payne, Steven Soderbergh, Jason Reitman, Wes Anderson: “his” favorite directors, “spectacular artists I love to work with, who don’t take hundreds of takes and are not pedantic, from which I learned what little I can do by directing a set and my fellow actors ”.
And speaking of actors, the Oscar for supporting role for Syriana in 2006 wants to remember the friend Paul Newman, “The best of all for me, with whom I shared a special friendship in the final part of his career”. “He was a man of incredible irony – continues Clooney – he loved having fun in every situation and I remember that we wanted to write a film together, we had already sketched it out, in which I was supposed to play him as a young man. Certainly I was the right age, but when I looked at his photos, with those inimitable and unforgettable blue eyes, I told him ‘I can’t be you, but look at me and look at yourself !!’ And so we had a good laugh and a good drink ”.
Because, let’s remember, George Clooney loves to treat himself well, and the deep understanding of knowing how to live with taste came to him from Italy. An unprecedented prerogative for our country that the American director and actor made his own during the long summers in his famous villa on Lake Como. “It was Italy that changed me, made me rejoicing and happy with life, taught me to understand the luck I enjoy and I would like many of my colleagues, often angry or dissatisfied, to learn to appreciate everything as I have learned, with la mia Italian-therapy”.