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One of my very favorite moments in the film world every year is when some journalist plucks up the nerve to ask George Clooney about his role in Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin. The star has always been upfront and candid in his talk of the legendarily awful movie’s legacy, and this new interview with TotalFilm is no exception.
“It was a difficult film to be good in,” Clooney said. “With hindsight it’s easy to look back at this and go, ‘Woah, that was really shit and I was really bad in it.'”
I think the flaws were more in the writing and general tone of the production than any one performance. Arnold Schwarzenegger hammed it up of course as Mr. Freeze, and Bane looked inconceivably stupid, but Clooney pretty much just showed up and did his job, such as it was.
“The truth is, my phone rang, and the head of Warner Bros. said, ‘Come into my office, you are going to play Batman in a Batman film’ and I said, ‘Yeah!’ I called my friends and they screamed and I screamed and we couldn’t believe it!”
“I just thought the last one had been successful so I thought I was just going to be in a big successful franchise movie,” he continued. “In a weird way I was. Batman is still the biggest break I ever had and it completely changed my career, even if it was weak and I was weak in it. It was a difficult film to be good in. I don’t know what I could have done differently.”