I attended an all paid press trip to facilitate the review of Tomorrowland. All opinions shared, and my excitement on #Tomorrowland is 100% my own.
You know how honored and excited I have been to have been invited to the Disney film Tomorrowland press junket. Finally it happened last week, and I am still all smiles and happiness. As part of the press junket I had the privilege to partake with 24 for other amazing bloggers, we interviewed Mr. George Clooney. There is no denying it. I am totally starstruck, so please indulge me. Hold on, let me say that again: we interviewed George Clooney!!! I just had to :-). It is not every day that we get to interview a Hollywood icon to get first hand insight on his latest movie. Yes, George Clooney in the flesh people! During the interview, I was taken by how personable, charismatic, funny and down to earth he is. Mr. Clooney was very attentive to our questions, and took his time to give as much as possible in each of his answers. The moment he entered the room, he was all smiles, and ready to work with us. I also appreciated how the film resonated with him as well. So, hang on to your seats, we are Off To Tomorrowland with George Clooney! #TomorrowlandEvent part 1
George Clooney is Frank Walker, a jaded scientist grump: The Tomorrowland Interview
We started off the interview with a questions that spoke volumes on hope and taking charge:
Question: The message in Tomorrowland said a lot. Can we fix it? And you firmly believe in that with all your humanitarian work. Is that one of the things that drew you to the movie and your first Disney movie?
GC: “Oh, well, my first Disney movie was a Miramax film, called From Dusk Till Dawn, which is not a very Disney film. But yeah, you know, at first I wanted to work with Brad Bird. I think he doesn’t make bad films, and I just love the kind of films he makes. Then when I read the screenplay, I thought, what I love about it is that we sort of are inundated in our lives with lots of bad news. You turn on the television, and it hurts. It’s a bad time, and what I loved was the idea of the script that said, their future isn’t just automatically inevitable. You have to participate or you don’t have to just accept how it ends. I was born in the early 60’s, so I grew up in the era where the individual actually had (an) effect, the civil rights movement, the Vietnam movement, the women’s rights moments, and that stuff. So, I always felt like, and believed, that there was a version of it. I was raised that there was a version of this where you could affect the future, and you didn’t have to just accept it. The Russians weren’t going to necessarily just blow us all up and the nuclear bombs. So, I really loved the idea of hearing this again, this idea that we’re not just necessarily doomed, that here’s something that you can do about it if you pay attention and you work hard. I liked it.”
Question: What was your favorite scene in the movie?
GC: “That’s a good question. First let me start off by explaining to you how I came to this part. Brad and Damon called me and said “we’ve written a part for you in a movie”. I’d been trying to work with Brad for a long time. I was like wow, that’s amazing. They send me the script, I open it up, and the description of me is, 55 year old angry, bitter, guy. I’m like, thanks guys. Thank you so much. But what I loved about it was that the entire film, he’s just a grump. He’s just a grump through the whole thing. So, I loved like when Britt first comes to the house. It’s really fun where it’s like shut up! and like who are you? So, we really had fun shooting all that stuff in the farm house.”
He did enjoy playing the grump after all! Yelling at his co-star Britt Robertson seems to have something he truly enjoyed. I took it as a change in pace from his previous roles. But this is just me speculating.
Question: Was it fun or difficult to be working with contraptions and harnesses?
GC: “You know, I’ve done it a few times. In Gravity, I had to do it, and I’ve done it in a few films. I’m never particularly in love with it. Green screen is tricky because you just have to sort of make things up. But, the thing about being an actor is (that) you really don’t ever have to grow up, right? We’re still playing make believe. I’m 54 and I’m playing make- believe. So, when they put you in a contraption, and say now you’re gonna fly, I mean, you’re still a 12 year old and you go: really, am I gonna fly from here to there? Oh yeah, let’s go, it’s fun. I’ve always found that part to be magical, you know. I just wish the jet pack really worked. [LAUGHING.] When I was growing up it was the space race, and it was everything. You were eating space food sticks and drinking Tang, and I really thought by now we’d be riding around in Jetson cars.”
Question: Would you say that that would be one of the futuristic items or things that would be awesome to have?
GC: “Let me put it to you this way. You’re at LAX. You get your bags. [LAUGHING.] I’ve got to get to Studio City. It’s 4:30 on a Friday. It would be the greatest moment ever, just blasting right over all the traffic. I think it would be fantastic, although, you know, I don’t know that I want everybody to have one because they’d just be circling my house. Hey. [LAUGHING.] What’s Amal gonna wear to the MET Ball? [LAUGHING.] I don’t know, I don’t know if I want everybody to have a jet pack.”
Oh, I could totally relate wanting to beat traffic too!
When we came down to the next question, I couldn’t help but stop and think about how real he is. Just as a guilty kid would have, George Clooney searched for his words and shared candidly his mischief:
Question: Did you keep any props or any memorabilia from the movie?
GC: “Now here’s the thing [LAUGHING,] Disney is very, they’ve got like, you know, armed guards around all that stuff. Brad (Brad Bird, Tomorrowlands director) is very, possessive of all those things as well, and so I will not answer what I stole [LAUGHING], because they will come take it away from me, but it shoots rays and it’s a gun. [LAUGHING.]”
Question : In your words, what would be the message of this movie to inspire teenagers.
GC: “Well, here’s the funniest thing about this. It’s a summer movie, right, and you don’t want it to be like “eat your spinach” kind of thing. But, the truth of the matter is that, the future is yours and the future is yours to decide what it will be. As you look at the world, and you see how sort of tragic it can feel, it always has been that way. It wasn’t particularly great in 1968 either. There were assassinations and there was wars, and there was civil unrest and riots, but we weren’t as inundated with it, and so there was always still a hopefulness that the future was still gonna be alright. I feel we have to get to that point where we all understand that the individual is not helpless. An advantage since I’ve become successful, I understand that I have a voice that I can amplify things, so I can make Darfur louder or we can, there’s things that you can do that you can try to affect change with. But I was like that when I was 10 because I was told that your voice has to matter and has to participate, even if (only) two people hear you, because those two people may change, I also think we have to find a way to put news back in perspective. I think part of the responsibility of news in general is not just to report on it, but put it in perspective.”
I do respect further a public persona for lending their name for noble causes close to their heart. Mr. Clooney is no exception. Using the movie as a platform to inspire us all to take our future in our hands and mold our surroundings is pretty amazing.
I can’t lie, Mr. Clooney’s laugh is very contagious. As much as we shared laughs with him, he did hit a few interesting points on how we can work towards a better tomorrow. How if we work at it, it is possible. How we are all the future, and we can make a difference. I am already echoing his thoughts with my little ones, reminding them that their voices count, and they need to make sure they are heard. Also like he said, it is a great film to enjoy. It is not only about lessons and teachings. It is about entertainment too. But don’t take our word for it. Take your family to see it!
Opening on May 22, in Disney’s riveting mystery adventure “Tomorrowland,” a jaded scientist and an optimistic teen embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space. Follow the conversation at #TomorrowlandEvent and:
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