George Clooney has taken lots of risks in his career, he has taken on many bold roles and taken on some pretty important issues, some even political, in the films he has been a part of. None of which the star isn’t aware of and his next film is no different. While doing press for TOMORROWLAND recently in Beverly Hills Clooney was excited to talk about what initially drew him to the role and why he thought it was a bold move for Disney saying:
“Putting me in a summer movie is a very bold thought. You know, listen. First and foremost, I think it is a really bold thing for Disney to be willing to do a film that isn’t a sequel and isn’t a comic book, to really invest in a summer film of this sort of ilk. The fun part of it, to me, was when you read the screenplay, although I have to say, just so we’re clear, when Damon and Brad showed up at my house, they said, “We’ve got a part that we’ve written for you.” And then I opened up the description of the character and it’s a 55-year-old has-been, and I’m kind of going, “Hang on a minute, which part am I reading for?” It said former genius, boy genius, who has gotten bitter in his old age.
I just loved the idea of, you know, we live in a world right now where you turn on your television set and it’s rough out there. And it’s not fun. And it can really wear on you after a period of time. And we see generations now feeling as if it’s sort of hopeless, in a way, and what I love about it is it sort of speaks to the idea that your future is not preordained and predestined, and that if you’re involved, a single voice can make a difference and I believe in that. I happen to believe in it, and so I loved the theme or the idea that, you know, there’s still so much that we can all do to make things better. And I liked it. I thought it was great.”
Clooney stars as Frank Walker a former boy genius who seems to have given up. When we are introduced to him in the film he is grumpy, gruff and cynical, a role we have yet to see that actor portray. When asked if the arc of the character reflects the struggle he personally had and if he related to it in the context of the film he replied:
“Listen, I actually grew up during the Cold War period. And I always found that although we always thought that the world would end in a nuclear holocaust at some point, everybody was pretty hopeful. There were an awful lot of things going on that you felt you could change. I grew up in an era where the voice, the power of the one, really did feel as if it mattered. You know, we had the riots that are reminiscent of the things we are looking at today, but we had the Civil Rights Movement and we had Vietnam. And we had the Women’s Rights Movements and all those things that you felt you could actually have some part of changing. And actually, if you look at the things that changed in the 1960s and early 1970s, individual voices did make a huge difference. It wasn’t governments doing it, necessarily.
I didn’t ever have that great disappointment in mankind. I always felt like it was going to work out in the end. And I still feel that way. And so what I loved about the film was that it reminds you that, you know, young people don’t wake up, they’re not born and start out their lives cynical, or angry, or bigoted. You have to be taught all of those things. And I watch the world now and think I see really good signs from young people out there. And I feel as if the world will get better. And I’ve always been an optimist. I’ve been a realist, but I’ve been an optimist about it. And I really related to the film because I thought, you know, Brad and Damon want to tell a story that’s an entertainment, because first and foremost, it has to be an entertainment. But it is hopeful, and I’ve always felt that way myself.”
Before TOMORROWLAND was a film it was one of the many themed lands at Disney Theme Parks and a favorite attraction for many that visited. The exciting part of Tomorrowland was the many ways the land depicted the future. Walt Disney himself was known for his futuristic views and Tomorrowland was a bit of his vision turned into reality. In order for us to make our future better for the next generation we need to all contribute to making the world a better place and it shouldn’t be a surprise that this is an important theme in the film. As with all the old and new wonderful and true Disney films imagination and hope are always important as they are in TOMORROWLAND as well. Clooney talked about doing his part to help in any way he can saying:
“I think everybody sort of tries to participate in any way they can. There you are. I think, you know, there’s a funny thing about careers in a strange way, which is as you’re working, you find that as time goes on and as you become more comfortable in your career path, and things are starting to make sense, and it’s not just about trying to work, you’re able to focus on other things and other people, and try to, particularly in this line of work where there’s a lot of attention focused on you, that you don’t really need, you try to just turn that focus and put it on places. You know, I have places, obviously, that matter to me, like in sub-Saharan Africa and places like that, that matter. And I’ve been involved in lots of those things.
And Tim (McGraw) can speak to this too, because there’s an awful lot that we all have to do to participate, and we try to, as much as possible. We’re not policy makers, you know, so what we really need to do is try to shine a light on people how really don’t get light shone upon them.”
Tim McGraw who also stars in the film agreed saying:
“Well, I think that’s the best way to use, you know, whatever you have, whatever cash you have, as a celebrity. It’s to be a mirror for those sorts of things, to cast a light back on those issues.”
While the film may have some pretty important themes it is also at it’s heart a thrilling action adventure movie similar to the ones we grew up with in the 80’s and loved like GOONIES, ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING and FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR. There is no doubt that despite the long days of shooting this was an exciting set to be on. Clooney spend most of his time sharing the screen with Britt Robertson who plays Casey Newton, a young girl who comes across the pin that allows her to see TOMORROWLAND, and Raffey Cassidy, who plays Athena and steals every scene she is in. He made sure to keep it fun and exciting by doing what every A-list star does when he’s working with two young women, he would rap in between takes. Yes you heard that right, George Clooney, or Grand Master G as writer Jeff Jensen calls him, is an actor/rapper. When asked about his secret rapping skills he replied:
“They’re well known. In fact, many of the great rappers today have fashioned their stylings from me…No, I grew up and was 18 when the Sugar Hill Gang hit the scene. And you know, it’s funny because I’m literally at the actual oldest age of anybody who knows those songs, but I do still sing them every once in a while, to entertain the troops when they think, “Gosh, we’re in the water. It’s cold. We’re shooting 14 hours. We’ve been out all night. It’s terrible. What could be worse?” And then I rap.”
It remained pretty clear that not only was this a fun movie to make but the cast was definitely proud to be a part of it and excited for the world to see it. TOMORROWLAND opens in theatres everywhere today May 22, 2015 get your tickets today!