Mon­u­men­tal man

Di­rect­ing is top pri­or­ity for Ge­orge Clooney.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MOVIES - By RICK BenT­LeY

ASKED what it’s like to be bud­dies with The Mon­u­ments Men star and di­rec­tor ge­orge Clooney, ac­tor Matt Damon smiles and ex­plains it can be a lit­tle an­noy­ing.

“It’s like god said ‘Maybe this time I’ll give one of them ev­ery­thing. I’ll make him hand­some. As he gets older, I’ll make him look even bet­ter,’” says Damon, who calls Clooney “ob­scenely tal­ented” as a di­rec­tor as Clooney hands him US$20 bills. The pay­off is done merely for a laugh. Clooney has al­ready shown he’s got just as much talent be­hind the cam­era as in front of it with

“Some­times they are suc­cess­ful and some­times they aren’t. But they are the films we want to make.”

Mil­i­tary movies have a good track record. But, as per Clooney’s man­date, The Mon­u­ments Men is about more than op­pos­ing forces shoot­ing at each other. The film, based on the true story of the great­est trea­sure hunt in his­tory, looks at a group of seven over-the-hill, out-of-shape mu­seum di­rec­tors, artists, ar­chi­tects, cu­ra­tors and art his­to­ri­ans sent to the front lines dur­ing WWII to res­cue the master­pieces stolen by the nazis.

Damon, Bill Mur­ray, John good­man, Jean Du­jardin, Bob Bal­a­ban, Hugh Bon­neville and Cate Blanchett also star.

Clooney knows sav­ing art doesn’t sound that ex­cit­ing, but this is more than a film about art lovers.

“What we have to re­mind people is what we’re talk­ing about isn’t just these paint­ings on the wall that some people can look at and some can’t. But it’s also about cul­ture. It’s about the fab­ric of a cul­ture. It’s mankind’s way of record­ing his­tory,” Clooney says.

Blanchett, who plays a woman who holds the key to the se­cret lo­ca­tion of thou­sands of price­less pieces of stolen art, saw Clooney’s pas­sion for this story when he pitched her the idea. She sees The Mon­u­ments Men as a re­flec­tion of Clooney’s love of act­ing and di­rect­ing ac­cented by the hu­man­i­tar­ian work he’s done.

Be­ing be­hind the cam­era for The Mon­u­ments Men is a thrill for Clooney. of all the parts of film­mak­ing the he’s in­volved in, di­rect­ing is a pri­mary love.

It’s been three years since Clooney di­rected The Ides Of March, a de­lay caused by the amount of time it takes for him to find, pre­pare, shoot and edit a film. In the dozen years since he di­rected Con­fes­sions Of A Dan­ger­ous Mind, Clooney worked in front of the cam­era as a way of per­fect­ing his di­rect­ing skills.

“All you are try­ing do is learn from the people you work with and I’ve worked with some very tal­ented di­rec­tors,” Clooney says. “You look at what they are do­ing and steal it. You keep slug­ging away at it. I don’t know if I’m im­prov­ing as a di­rec­tor but it’s evolv­ing in dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions.”

His heart may be be­hind the cam­era, but in a world full of ac­tors Clooney is one of the few who can be called a movie star. That sta­tus didn’t come overnight. It was built on a ca­reer full of guest-star­ring and star­ring roles on TV shows like Ho­tel, Mur­der, She Wrote and Baby Talk. It wasn’t un­til he played the charm­ing Dr. Ross on ER 20 years ago that his star sta­tus be­came clear.

It was a lot of work to get to where he is to­day and Clooney has no re­grets.

“When you start out as an ac­tor, you’re just try­ing to get a job,” he says. “I wasn’t re­ally mo­ti­vated to be the sixth banana on The Facts Of Life. But I was thrilled to have the job.

“Things just change as time goes on.” – The Fresno Bee/McClatchy-Tri­bune In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices

The Mon­u­ments Men opens na­tion­wide to­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.