George Clooney Says Backlash Over 1997 ‘Batman & Robin’ Role Changed His Approach To Acting

George Clooney spoke out about being slammed for his role as the caped crusader in 1997’s “Batman & Robin” in a tell-all new interview for the BAFTA “Life In Pictures” series.

The actor insisted the flick was a learning experience for him and changed his approach to taking on acting roles.

While discussing the acclaimed 1998 film “Out Of Sight”, Clooney shared, “I’d gotten killed for doing ‘Batman & Robin’ and I understood for the first time — because quite honestly when I got ‘Batman & Robin’ I was just an actor getting an acting job and I was excited to play Batman — what I realized after that was that I was going to be held responsible for the movie itself — not just my performance or what I was doing.

“So I knew I needed to focus on better scripts, the script was the most important thing. You can’t make a good film out of a bad script, it’s impossible. You can make a bad film out of a good script,” Deadline reported.

“Batman & Robin” Alicia Silverstone, George Clooney, Chris O’Donnell, 1997. (c) Warner Bros./ Courtesy: Everett Collection / CP Images
“Batman & Robin” Alicia Silverstone, George Clooney, Chris O’Donnell, 1997. (c) Warner Bros./ Courtesy: Everett Collection / CP Images

Clooney, who directed, produced, and starred in the recently released Netflix movie “The Midnight Sky”, discussed the current challenges facing the cinema sector amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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“I know there’s this panic about cinemas because they’re not being looked after by our governments, which is a huge industry issue,” he shared. “We subsidize oil companies, we could subsidize the movie theatres for a period of time. I’m not worried about us being back, cinema will always exist, we’re all going to be back together, you still have to go out sometime, right?”

Clooney continued: “But here’s what streaming services have done: they’ve democratized and opened up so many different avenues of storytelling for young, interesting storytellers. Now between the streaming services there’s thousands and thousands of acting jobs and directing jobs and producing jobs.

“The world is open and the world is in need of content. So, I’m really excited as I see this blossom, in the idea that we’re going to be getting more and more and more of this opening up. I completely understand the question and I think we’re going in the right direction. I hope, look I’ve been wrong before about this but I think we’re going in the right direction.”

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Clooney was also asked to discuss what it is that makes a “movie star” in today’s day and age.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I can’t comment on that because I can’t comment on how people perceive or how I am perceived by people. I can comment on movie stars in general. I know a few of them and I’ve known some big ones. I was really good friends with Gregory Peck, he was a big one. Newman, there’s some other ones I’m friends with who are movie stars, proper movie stars. Brad Pitt’s a movie star, Julia Roberts is a movie star.

“I suppose the only thing — I can’t remember who it was — a government official once said, you know I can’t give you the definition of porn but I know it when I see it.

“It’s sort of that way with those stars, there’s not one specific thing, there’s something intangible about them that I see, that is impossible to describe it’s just… You watch Gary Cooper who is an interesting actor and Bogart and actors like that and you go, ‘Why are those guys movie stars? He doesn’t look like Cary Grant,’ but you couldn’t take your eyes off him.”

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