George Clooney talks Batman & Robin

Exclusive: “It was a difficult film to be good in”

George Clooney’s runs for president in The Ides Of March, his latest directorial effort (which he also stars in).

To celebrate, we sat down for an exclusive chat with the man himself so that he could talk us through the most significant movies on his CV.

He spoke frankly about his role in Joel Schumacher’s franchise-derailer Batman & Robin, telling us, “It was a difficult film to be good in.”

Here’s what he had to say about his experience on the superhero misfire:

“With hindsight it’s easy to look back at this and go ‘Woah, that was really shit and I was really bad in it.’

“The truth is, my phone rang, and the head of Warner Bros said ‘Come into my office, you are going to play Batman in a Batman film’ and I said ‘Yeah!’ I called my friends and they screamed and I screamed and we couldn’t believe it!

“I just thought the last one had been successful so I thought I was just going to be in a big successful franchise movie.

“In a weird way I was. Batman is still the biggest break I ever had and it completely changed my career, even if it was weak and I was weak in it. It was a difficult film to be good in. I don’t know what I could have done differently.

“But if I am going to be Batman in the film Batman & Robin, I can’t say it didn’t work and then not take some of the blame for that.”

On directing himself in The Ides Of March, Clooney said, “I chose to play governor Mike Morris because I knew what I wanted the candidate to do and be. I also seemed right for the age of the character.

“It’s not something I want to do in real life, but it’s something that I knew I could do a portion of in this film. Directing yourself is not a fun thing to do though! All I’m considering, all I’m thinking about while speaking, is that I can feel the camera moving and I know it’s moving too soon and I’m going to have to do it again.”

The Ides Of March opens on 28 October 2011.

For more from George Clooney, get the new issue of Total Film Magazine, which hits newsstands tomorrow!



To subscribe to Total Film Magazine, click here.

Do you wish you could see George Clooney as Bruce Wayne in a decent Batman movie? Talk to us below…

Comments

    • chaosdefined

      Sep 30th 2011, 15:46

      To be fair, he did play a decent Bruce Wayne at least.

      Alert a moderator

    • ChrisWootton

      Sep 30th 2011, 16:25

      I'd agree with that. The film is bloody awful though.

      Alert a moderator

    • trist808

      Sep 30th 2011, 17:49

      1997 was an awful year for Clooney, not just Batman & Robin, but One Fine Day and The Peacemaker too, it's a wonder his career survived! But just one year later he came back with Out Of Sight, which is still as uber-cool today as it was back then. I agree, he wasn't actually too bad as Bruce Wayne and he tried his best at being Batman, but the film was so woeful, he never had a chance to come out of it without being untarnished. Really glad his career did survive though, as an actor and director, got a lot of respect for him.

      Alert a moderator

    • writerdave87

      Sep 30th 2011, 17:54

      I quite liked the peacemaker :/ interestingly the only film I've ever seen where the writers actually know how to deactivate a nuclear bomb.

      Alert a moderator

    • MorganRoss

      Sep 30th 2011, 18:14

      Out of Sight was what saved him, it was his first colaberation with Steven Soderbergh (8 so far if you count production colaborations), he then went straight from that to work with Terrence Malick, David O. Russell, the Coen Bros, and wolfgang Pertersen (all of whom have now either won or been nominated for Oscars) pretty much back to back. The guy knows how to pick a film!

      Alert a moderator

    • StevePotter

      Sep 30th 2011, 19:07

      Clooney wasn't nearly as bad as Uma Thurman in that movie.

      Alert a moderator

    • FBALee

      Sep 30th 2011, 19:07

      One Fine Day is one of the few chick flicks I've ever kinda sorta liked. Is it dumb? Hells yeah, but at least Clooney brought his charm and Pfeiffer brought her class.

      Alert a moderator

    • writerdave87

      Sep 30th 2011, 20:08

      Dalidab you like Logan Luhrman and Justin Bieber as actors. How in the name of blue f**k can you not take Clooney seriously?

      Alert a moderator

    • writerdave87

      Sep 30th 2011, 20:09

      Although, typical. The things in Batman and Robin Dalidab loves is half the s**t everyone else hates.

      Alert a moderator

    • Hadouken76

      Sep 30th 2011, 20:55

      I actually liked The American,and Micheal Clayton, Good night and Good luck proved he was more than a pretty face. The fact is unllike say, Harrison Ford, this guy knows quality control (Oceans 12 was a blip).

      Alert a moderator

    • anant

      Sep 30th 2011, 20:55

      @writerdave he is not right in the head, is he? our dalidab?

      Alert a moderator

    • Monkeynuts30

      Sep 30th 2011, 22:51

      No, no he's not. Liking Arnie as Freeze? WTF??

      Alert a moderator

    • abberline

      Sep 30th 2011, 22:59

      i actually agree with michael uslan on the blu rays doc,i thought batman and robin did a good job of updating the 60,s tv series, ok,it sucked, and it wasnt the batman anyone wanted,but id rather watch that and laugh than watch say, battlefield earth and cry

      Alert a moderator

    • writerdave87

      Sep 30th 2011, 23:50

      Yeah Batman and Robin is kind of a 'good' bad film. If only to laugh embarassedly at the careers imploding on screen...

      Alert a moderator

    • FBALee

      Sep 30th 2011, 23:55

      He was brilliant in Up in the Air. The last few minutes of that one broke my heart. He's one of the few actors who can actually act with just his eyes, and turn in beautifully subtle performances. After watching Drive, I'd nominate Ryan Gosling as one of those actors. Can't wait to see them go head to head in The Ides of March. And to jump on the Batman and Robin bandwagon... everyone knows it was a dumb movie. If you can stomach watching it enough so that you can quote it.. you just like dumb movies. Good for you.

      Alert a moderator

    • abberline

      Oct 1st 2011, 0:46

      firstly,i dont think anyone on here is saying batman and robin is a classic,far from it,it sucks harder than a dyson,but the thing is,due to the fact its more like a bloody pantomime,it holds a certain kitsch value.an up in the air boring?really?REALLY?!?

      Alert a moderator

    • FBALee

      Oct 1st 2011, 1:22

      Up In the Air boasted witty dialogue, great acting, and was relevant to social issues today. (Shaky economies, firing loyal employees, isolation due to occupational obligations and the way technology obliterates actual human contact.) If you find that boring.. well, go watch Batman and Robin.

      Alert a moderator

    • writerdave87

      Oct 1st 2011, 1:29

      Up in the Air was a film aimed at people with a mental age of more than five, I'm not surprised it went over Dalidab's head.

      Alert a moderator

    • abberline

      Oct 1st 2011, 2:07

      after much deliberation,conjecture,prolonged sentence structure and enough clever retorts to make stephen frys eyes water,i have decided to cut to the chase and keep it simple. dalidab, your a nob

      Alert a moderator

    • trist808

      Oct 1st 2011, 3:07

      Dalidab has previously stated that he hated The Social Network, The Dark Knight & Inception (to name but just three examples from him) and thinks they are all boring, badly acted and awful films. Yet he wants Paul WS Anderson to direct EVERYTHING and has a truly terrible taste in films in general. That kinda says everything about him. He has the attention span of a Gnat ... which is kinda harsh on Gnat's I suppose ... so anything that has even a hint of intelligence about it, is complete gobble-dee-g**k to him. He's the reason the Resident Evil films keep getting made, it's spanners like him that keep watching the damn things and paying each time to see them. Two of last year's finest films were Up In The Air & The American and a lot of that was down to Clooney's pitch perfect performances in both films. This is merely my opinion, mind ... which I respect greatly ... yes Dalidab, it is my opinion and if YOU don't like it, you can go shoot yourself Private Pile! :)

      Alert a moderator

    • FBALee

      Oct 1st 2011, 4:03

      The American was wonderful. I know a lot of people who weren't fans, but they had to at least admit that it was smart and well acted. @Writerdave87, you crack me up.

      Alert a moderator

    • StevePotter

      Oct 1st 2011, 4:08

      When I saw that there were 26 comments, my only response was, "What has dalibab said now?" Also, how can you NOT love Arnie as Mr. Freeze? Yes, it was awful, but it was at least somewhat fun to watch. It's really sad when Arnie gives the best performance in a movie.

      Alert a moderator

    • MorganRoss

      Oct 1st 2011, 4:31

      Aside from his acting, which I like, Clooney's directorial debut was the frankly brilliant Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (Sam Rockwell's first stand out lead role) and he followed that up with the Oscar nominated Good night, and Good luck. The guy has skills that, dalidab aside, the movie going world seems to recognise. FACT!

      Alert a moderator

    • writerdave87

      Oct 1st 2011, 9:58

      Dalidab does have the attention span of a gnat, but sadly obviously not the lifespan to go with it...

      Alert a moderator

    • writerdave87

      Oct 1st 2011, 11:55

      Cheers, we will carry on talking about how great the talented actor and director Clooney is. While we're doing that could you go and put your potato head in a deep fat fryer? You have terrible taste in films and actors. Just because you happen to like some that are actually good doesn't excuse the masses of s**t you usually spout off about. Now be a good little troll and f**k off.

      Alert a moderator

    • writerdave87

      Oct 1st 2011, 11:56

      And also stop calling films that you're too ADD/stupid to appreciate 'dull and boring'. They're not dull and boring, they're great films. You're just too much of a retarded child to appreciate them.

      Alert a moderator

    • Ali1748

      Oct 1st 2011, 13:55

      " What killed the Dinosaurs ...... The Ice Age "

      Alert a moderator

    • fipthetop

      Oct 3rd 2011, 12:02

      If anyone thinks Clooney can't act - go back and rewatch Michael Clayton - that film is one of the best examples of acting recently - if you say otherwise you know very little about film and your opinion stinks

      Alert a moderator

    • SiMan

      Oct 3rd 2011, 19:32

      Interesting film Batman & Robin. No matter how sh*t i know it to be, i can remember large chunks of it. There are a lot of other terrible films that i can't remember at all, yet this just seems to be one of those movies people hate, but have seen a number of times. If its ever on when nothing else is, i'll still sit there watching thinking about how much i hate it. It's watchable, but whilst still being sh*t.....a bit like Arsenal.

      Alert a moderator

    • writerdave87

      Oct 3rd 2011, 19:38

      Dalidab go back to the cartoons and the disney channel original movies and leave the proper films to the grown ups.

      Alert a moderator

    • writerdave87

      Oct 4th 2011, 0:28

      It is possible to find a film that doesn't feature zombies, martial arts, explosions or gay sex interesting. You have the attention span of a chipmunk on crystal meth so I wouldn't expect something like Michael Clayton or much of Clooney's mature work to really work on your level but if you clearly don't understand something, just butt out rather than dismiss it as 'boring'.

      Alert a moderator

    • StevePotter

      Oct 4th 2011, 5:37

      To be honest, I don't think any of the pre-Nolan Batman films were that great. The original Batman was the best made, but I found it incredibly boring. Not like "There's no action" boring, but "Oh my God, who are these people and why should I give a s**t" boring. The plot was rather lackluster, and I couldn't care about Batman when I knew nothing about him. I get it, Batman's a mystery: To the world, not to the audience! "Batman Returns" was well-made too, but I actually hate it MORE than Batman & Robin. I really don't like Michael Keaton all that much as Bruce Wayne (he was good as Batman himself), but Catwoman was annoying, the Penguin was annoying and gross, and the movie just had Batman up and killing people. How could they make such a mean-spirited and dark movie when the climax involves penguins with rockets? It's just unpleasant to watch, and is one of my least favorite films of all time. "Batman Forever" wasn't as well-made, but it was enjoyable. Val Kilmer could be Bruce Wayne, just not Batman. Robin didn't get in the way that much, and I do like Jim Carrey. The less said about "Batman & Robin" the better. I don't know. To me, none of the stories lacked any emotional punch or deeper meaning, and that makes them uncompelling. Also, has anyone noticed how incredibly FUNNY Batman Begins is?

      Alert a moderator