shadows features It’s the George & Renée Show!
Talking with George Clooney and Renée Zellweger • Page 2 of 2
B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
leatherheads What were your references?
We looked at His Girl Friday, and I was watching this Capra documentary where he was talking about the greatest screwball romantic comedy he'd ever seen. It was a film called The More the Merrier, which was a film I didn't know. I felt like a moron, because when you see it, it was nominated for five Academy Awards, with Joel McCray and who was the actress?
Renée: Oh you can't ask me that. You can't depend on me for those things.
George: I see that. It was so beautifully done, and so quick and smart. But you couldn't take Rosalind Russell and do that performance now. I mean, she's brilliant in it, but if Renée was in there going, "So! Why not! It doesn't matter! I don't care! Whatever!" - it just won't play. So it's finding that heightened level, and it's hard to find actors that don't feel contemporary when you put them in period pieces. It's a strange thing - I have that problem at times - we slur or we say "y'know" a lot, or we try to explain too much. But Renée has an incredible ability to just walk into a period piece like that and be impeccable. What else did we look at? Certainly, The Philadelphia Story - we ripped that off.
Renée: Well, I was looking at all the Katharine Hepburn films: Bringing Up Baby and anything with Spencer Tracy, like Adam's Rib.

How was it to direct yourself in a football scene?
There's this awful moment when you're 46 and you get hit, and it hurts. You get up and you go, "OK that's good. We got it. It hurt, but we got it." And you go over to the monitor and you're looking at it, and as a director you know you've got to do it again. But as me, I'm like, "I think we got it, I think we're good." And Grant [Heslov], the producer, says, "Get back out there, we've got to shoot it again." So yes, it hurts every once in awhile. The first day you're running 100-yard dashes back and forth and back and forth, and after a couple of days you're thinking, there's only 65 more days of this.
Renée: And then you had those 100-yard dashes back and forth to the camera to check and see how it's going on in the playback.
George: Yeah, that is funny. And you don't want your director to be covered in mud. Ever, really.

When you're doing all the jobs - writing, directing, producing, acting - who keeps check?
It would be Grant. He and I cowrote Good Night and Good Luck, and he's one of my oldest friends. He was my buddy - he was 19 and I was 21 in acting class. He was doing an episode of Joanie Loves Chachi and he lent me 100 bucks for headshots, which I still use, by the way. So Grant's one of those guys who can be honest all the time. By the way, he's going to direct a film this fall that I'm going to be in. He's really smart and talented.

As a UN ambassador, you were at Downing Street today, talking to Gordon Brown about Darfur...
What it really comes down to is finding ways to apply pressure, and today two things happened with the Prime Minister that I thought were amazing... [He talks about deals to supply badly needed helicopters and the possible use of London as a meeting place for rebel leaders. He casually talks about numbers of workers in Darfur, observers, transport issues, specific offers of help, the rebel leaders, political issues - concise, coherent and demonstrating an extremely thorough understanding of the situation.]

So what is it about you that women love, George?

Renée: [huge guffaw]
George: How much time do we have? I think it's really about hair. I have good hair, which I just bought and had applied. So hair mostly.
Renée: It almost looks natural.
George: Is does, doesn't it? It's doesn't even move that much. [He tries to move it]

American football is pretty incomprehensible outside America, are there any sports that you can't understand?
I don't know anything about cricket, but it's not that I don't find it enjoyable. I like watching those guys in the little white outfits very much, thank you. But don't tell Hugh Grant that I don't know a thing about cricket, because he'll end our friendship immediately.
George: You're in trouble. You know, I think cricket is probably what baseball is there, where the rules are just different enough that you can't quite figure them out. I remember shooting a movie in Montreal and the first day we turned on the TV and it was curling on every channel. And the first day you were like, "What the hell, my God! Have something more on!" And then by the third month they couldn't get me out of the trailer, "Hang on a minute! The guys with the broom out there, proper technique, they've got a different shoe!"



with john krasinski in leatherheads
25.Apr.69, Katy, Texas

Leatherheads (2008)
Bee Movie (2007)
Miss Potter (2006)
Cinderella Man (2005)
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004)
Shark Tale (2004)
Cold Mountain (2003)
Down with Love (2003)
Chicago (2002)
White Oleander (2002)
Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)
Me, Myself & Irene (2000)
Nurse Betty (2000)
The Bachelor (1999)
One True Thing (1998)
A Price Above Rubies (1998)
Deceiver (1997)
Jerry Maguire (1996)
Empire Records (1995)
The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1994)
Love and a .45 (1994)
Reality Bites (1994)
Dazed and Confused (1993)

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© 2008 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall