George Clooney insists ‘painful’ turn as Batman changed his approach to acting

George Clooney has looked back on his career in a recent BAFTA interview, and insisted that his questionable turn as Batman shaped his future acting work.

George, 59, played the caped crusader in 1997’s Batman & Robin – slammed by critics as one of the ‘worst’ entries in the Batman saga. It was in fact voted the ‘worst film ever’ in 2010 by readers of Empire magazine.

George has described it as ‘painful’ – but believes it changed the way he approaches his craft.

George Clooney has looked back on his career in a recent BAFTA interview, and insisted that his questionable turn as Batman shaped his future acting work.

Chatting about the acclaimed film Out Of Sight, which he starred in after Batman & Robin, George said: ‘It had been a year, 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 realised 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.’

Flop: George, 59, played the caped crusader in 1997's Batman & Robin - slammed by critics as one of the 'worst' entries in the Batman saga. It was in fact voted the 'worst film ever' in 2010 by readers of Empire magazine

Flop: George, 59, played the caped crusader in 1997’s Batman & Robin – slammed by critics as one of the ‘worst’ entries in the Batman saga. It was in fact voted the ‘worst film ever’ in 2010 by readers of Empire magazine

Batman & Robin was written by Akiva Goldsman, directed by Joel Schumacher and co-starred the likes of Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl, Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy and Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr Freeze.

George has often slammed the film – even advising Ben Affleck, who played the hero in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and then a further two films, to steer clear of the role.

His new project is The Midnight Sky, which he has directed as well.

In it, he plays scientist Augustine Lofthouse who is one of Earth’s survivors after an unidentified catastrophe wipes out most of the planet’s population.

Latest film: Talking about his role in The Midnight Sky, and his status as one of Hollywood's heartthrobs, he said - 'Midnight Sky... I've got this long beard and I look really old!'

Latest film: Talking about his role in The Midnight Sky, and his status as one of Hollywood’s heartthrobs, he said – ‘Midnight Sky… I’ve got this long beard and I look really old!’

Story: In the film, George plays a scientist who ventures through the Arctic with a girl [Caoilinn Springall] to contact a crew of returning astronauts in the wake of a global catastrophe

Story: In the film, George plays a scientist who ventures through the Arctic with a girl [Caoilinn Springall] to contact a crew of returning astronauts in the wake of a global catastrophe

Talking about the role, and his status as one of Hollywood’s heartthrobs, he said: ‘Midnight Sky… I’ve got this long beard and I look really old!’

He also weighed in on the future of cinema – an industry taking a major hit thanks to COVID-19.

‘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 said. ‘We subsidise oil companies, we could subsidise the movie theatres for a period of time.

Change of approach: Chatting about Batman & Robin, George said - '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' [pictured with Alicia Silverstone and Chris O'Donnell]

Change of approach: Chatting about Batman & Robin, George said – ‘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’ [pictured with Alicia Silverstone and Chris O’Donnell]

Man of the hour: George is the latest star to be interviewed for BAFTA's A Life In Pictures

Man of the hour: George is the latest star to be interviewed for BAFTA’s A Life In Pictures

‘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 some time right? You still have to go to a concert, go see a movie. You want a collective.’

George recorded the BAFTA: A Life In Pictures interview virtually in London and joins the likes of Viola Davis, Nicole Kidman, Ridley Scott, Hugh Grant, Quentin Tarantino and Keira Knightley, who have been featured in the past.

Stars of the screen sit down with an interviewer from the Academy and discuss their careers at length, with George’s set to be broadcast on BAFTA YouTube Channels at midday on Monday 18 Jan.

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