George Clooney on Character Roles and Aging as an Actor

“The reason I got into directing and writing and producing 35 years ago was because I knew at some point I don’t want to be worried about what some casting director thinks of me…” – George Clooney

At the end of last year Netflix released The Midnight Sky, a Netflix sci-fi film starring George Clooney (who also directed) about a scientist seemingly left alone on earth at an Arctic facility after a nuclear war ravages the earth. Not only is The Midnight Sky the first film directed by Clooney since 2017’s Surburbicon, but Clooney has not starred in a film since 2016, when he appeared in Money Monster and Hail, Caesar!

Clooney spoke to the Associated Press about why he took a break from film (aside from perhaps the most obvious reason – his wife gave birth to twins in 2017). He points out that as an actor nearing sixty, he is now gearing toward a different caliber of roles. He explains:

“Things change for you as an actor. The roles that are brought to you become very different. I was doing an interview the other day and they asked if this was the way my career is going to be going, playing more character actor roles. I was like, well, I didn’t want to. (Laughs) But I’m almost 60 years old. That’s how it works. I focus on actors who I admired greatly and how they handled their career. (Paul) Newman, who was a very good friend of mine, by the time he was in his mid-’50s, he’s doing The Verdict, which is a character-actor piece. Even though he was a giant movie star, one of greats of all time, he was developing as he grew older the character-actor pieces he found interesting, that demanded less of him.

… But there’s only a couple ways you can go if you’re a person in my shoes. You can try to deny your aging. You can dye your hair and get a face lift and try to still be the guy who gets the girl in the movies. Or you can accept that you’re getting older and be that guy. The reason I got into directing and writing and producing 35 years ago was because I knew at some point I don’t want to be worried about what some casting director thinks of me at — I used to say 60 but I’ll move it to 65 now.”

(via Sentinel)

About Author

In college, overachiever Christopher McKittrick double-majored in Film and English because he loves to read, write, and watch movies. Since then Chris – who was born and raised on Long Island, New York and currently lives in Queens – has become a published author of fiction and non-fiction, a contributor to entertainment websites, and has spoken about literature, film, and comic books at various conferences across the country when he’s not getting into trouble in New York City (apparently it’s illegal to sleep on street corners...) For more information about Chris, visit his website here!

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