George Clooney - Boy Genius. Talking about Tomorrowland

"Imagine a place where nothing is impossible." 

Of all the things that I thought that I might be writing about, never did I ever imagine that "interviewing George Clooney" would be one of those topics. 

But that happened and here we are. 

The context is that Disney Pictures has made a wonderful, oh-so-Disneyesque film called, "Tomorrowland." 


And George happens to play the lead character, Frank Walker. 

And I was invited as part of the press junket for the film, Tomorrowland held at the beautiful Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills. 


The rest of the cast, Britt Robertson (“Casey Newton”), Tim McGraw (“Ed Newton”), Raffey Cassidy (“Athena”), Brad Bird (Director / Producer / Writer), Damon Lindelof (Producer / Writer), and Jeff Jensen (Story By) were also present and were all very articulate and lovely.


But, as you can imagine, I only had eyes for George. (Can you blame me?)


Clooney describes his character Frank as “a disenchanted grump who was a bit of a dreamer as a young boy, a smart little scientist kid. Young Frank goes to a place that he thinks is the greatest in the universe, and he believes the world is going to be much better off because of it.

He finds out that those things were untrue and becomes probably the most cynical person one could be. He isolates himself on his family farm and plans to spend the rest of his life there but is forced to deal with his past because of situations that happen in the film.” 


QUESTION - George, at the heart of this movie is a really big idea, which I think is powerful. You’ve made a lot of bold films in your career, particularly the more political ones. But I think this one is right up there, as far as being quite bold. Do you see it that way? 

GEORGE CLOONEY - "Putting me in a summer movie is a very bold thought." [Laughter]

"You know, listen. First and foremost, I think it is a really bold thing for Disney to be willing to do a film that isn’t a sequel and isn’t a comic book, to really invest in a summer film of this sort of ilk.

"The fun part of it, to me, was when you read the screenplay, although I have to say, just so we’re clear, when Damon and Brad showed up at my house, they said,

“We’ve got a part that we’ve written for you.” And then I opened up the description of the character and it’s a 55-year-old has-been, and I’m kind of going, 'Hang on a minute, which part am I reading for?'"

JEFF JENSEN - "It said genius, by the way. It said genius." 

GEORGE CLOONEY -  "It said former genius, boy genius, who has gotten bitter in his old age."

"I just loved the idea of, you know, we live in a world right now where you turn on your television set and it’s rough out there. And it’s not fun. And it can really wear on you after a period of time. And we see generations now feeling as if it’s sort of hopeless, in a way, and what I love about it is it sort of speaks to the idea that your future is not preordained and predestined, and that if you’re involved, a single voice can make a difference and I believe in that.

I happen to believe in it, and so I loved the theme or the idea that, you know, there’s still so much that we can all do to make things better. And I liked it. I thought it was great."


BRAD BIRD (On growing up with great optimism for the future.) - "I grew up and remember the moon landing. I remember how that felt. I was actually in the air when they were about to get out on the surface. We were flying in from Denver, and I was like, “I’m going to miss it!” Fortunately, there were some kinds of technical errors and we landed in the airport. We ran to the nearest TV monitor and there were, like, 400 people just packed in, watching when Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. And everybody just went, “Whoo!” That feeling has never left me." 

Having seen the film, I can tell you that that same feeling has never left me, either. I'll do a review on it in a few days. But for now, I'm glad to report that Disney has a vision for the future and this vision includes George Clooney. Boy Genius. 


"Imagine a place where nothing is impossible."

Like Marta interviewing George Clooney? I know. Shut up.

Tomorrowland opens in theaters on Friday, May 22nd, 2015.