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Feature: The Good German

George Clooney in retrospective mood

As drama The Good German evokes the best of 1940s' noir, star George Clooney takes us on a journey to Hollywood’s past…

That glistening Academy Award that George Clooney won for his supporting performance in Syriana? It changed everything, his whole life. Really. Seriously. Well, sort of. “I’m much taller,” Clooney jokes, laughing. “Y’know, it’s a funny thing. It’s one of those interesting things, because it’s nice and it always makes you feel [good], but it makes absolutely no difference when it’s nice. You sit down with a studio and you tell them you want to make a film and even if you carried it in and set it down on the table it just doesn’t matter. They really don’t care. They’re happy for you, ‘That’s great. Great George.’ But it doesn’t really make a difference in my day-to-day life of getting things done. But my friends will come over and pick it up and go, ‘Man, that’s heavy.’ It’s a nice thing.”

Still, truth be told, the Oscar, coupled with his charisma, acting talent, and eye for and support of exciting, unlikely material, has emboldened Clooney to take the kinds of chances few A-list Hollywood stars do these days. Sure, Clooney will turn up alongside such pals as Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Don Cheadle and Matt Damon in the Ocean’s romps, but the handsome 45-year-old earned great respect for starring in, directing and/or producing the recent likes of Solaris, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Intolerable Cruelty, Good Night, and Good Luck, Syriana, and the new release, The Good German, a Steven Soderbergh-directed black-and-white murder-mystery-romance set just after World War II.

“The good news or the fun news for me was that for the past few years we’ve been able to push and do what we wanted to do,” the easygoing Clooney says during an interview in New York City. “And you know as well as I do that that doesn’t last forever, so you try and do things that no one is encouraging you to do. There is nobody at the studio going, ‘Please make a black and white film about the Potsdam conference’. Or ‘Give us another black and white about Edward R Murrow in 1954’. Or ‘Give us ‘Syriana.’ There is nothing that they are like, ‘Yeah, that’s what we were hoping for’. So, we get to push it for a while and, y’know, they won’t let us do it for much longer. But we’re going to keep doing it for as long as we can. So, for us, it’s an exciting time because we feel like we’ve gotten away with something.”

by Ian Spelling

Read the full interview,
and more on The Good German in
Film Review (Apr)

Photo © Warner Bros. Pictures
Feature © Visual Imagination 2007. Not for reproduction

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Film Review (Apr), see below for ordering options
Film Review (Apr)
#681, April 2007
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