From his foxy looks and charm to his good nature and versatility in acting, there's much to like about George Clooney
The actor, director, producer, screenwriter, and philanthropist, dubbed by the masses as a really 'great guy all around', recently teamed up with Netflix to work on a sci-fi film called The Midnight Sky.
Based on the novel Good Morning, Midnight by Lily-Brooks Dalton, Clooney directs and stars in it.
In a roundtable video interview with Malaysian and Indonesian media, he shared with us on the making of the movie, the lengths he went to for his character, and his next big project
In the movie, Clooney plays an isolated ailing Arctic researcher who is trying to contact a space crew to basically tell them to turn around and never come home because the planet has been wiped out by a catastrophe.
He grew a long beard and lost more than 25 pounds (11kg) to play this character. He added that preparing to play the character isn't all that hard for him as that's what he does for a living.
However, he says, "The trickiest part of this (losing weight) was, I had to do it when we were in Italy over the summer. And that's just cruel, you know. The whole family is pounding pasta, and I'm eating like a bowl of lentil soup. Yeah, it's awful."
Shooting in Iceland in harsh conditions was both a challenge and a blessing for Clooney and the rest of the crew and cast
"Easy as an actor in a weird way because the elements help you. Bad weather is kind of what you need, it helps you react. If we didn't have bad weather, you're having to fake it in a way and that doesn't work. But directing it is not so easy."
He added, "It gets light at 11.30 in the morning and it's dark at 3pm. So, we don't have any time either. And, the kid (Caoilinn Springall) can only work five hours. It takes a long time to get out on the glacier. So it was time-consuming and tedious but it was fun."
Having directed a number of movies to date, Clooney admitted that prepping as a director for The Midnight Sky was a lot more complicated
"Well, this one was infinitely larger in scale than anything I've ever done, clearly, and that can be intimidating, obviously. I've been in big films though. Gravity was a big film. The trick that Alphonso (Cuarón) used to talk to me about when we were doing Gravity was that you're still telling small stories in a big canvas."
As for the cast, Clooney only has praises for them: "I've known most of them for a long time, like Kyle Chandler, Demián Bichir, and David Oyelowo. The new people that we cast like Tiffany Boone, who is just a revelation and the little girl (Springall), you know she's never acted before, and she was brilliant. So we felt like we had all the elements that we need and I just loved the cast. We had a great time!"
He also shared that what drew him to the project in the first place is his love for the theme, noting that this was way before COVID-19
"When we finished shooting the pandemic happened, and it became very clear then that it was a story about our inability to communicate with one another, our inability to be home, our inability to be with our families and people we love. And it's timely. It's unfortunately timely. It wasn't designed to be timely in that sense, and it's not great that it's timely, obviously."
When asked what project he will be working on next, Clooney shared that he is about to direct a film called The Tender Bar
He goes on to add that it's a best-selling book and that "shooting will begin in Boston in March (2021), if COVID allows."
A quick check on the movie revealed that Clooney will be directing Ben Affleck, a fellow Batman actor, with whom he's won an Oscar for their work on Argo in 2012. The movie will be based on JR Moehringer's memoir of the same name.