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Home Interviews LFF 2011 5 Things We Learned at The Descendants LFF Press Conference
5 Things We Learned at The Descendants LFF Press Conference Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Friday, 21 October 2011 13:24
George Clooney, The Descendants - London Film Festival press conference

After The Ides of March UK premiere on Wednesday, Alexander Payne's Hawaii-based film about a father and a husband was bound to invite yet more questions about George Clooney's desperate need to find a nice girl, settle down and become a dad.

But other issues were raised, thankfully, and the Shallene Woodley, Sideways director Alexander Payne and Clooney discussed a range of topics, from Batman and the film's tropical location to the importance of reading scripts.

Here are five things we learned from The Descendants press conference:


1. Unmarried men can't pretend to be fathers

Being unmarried and having no children, Clooney can't possibly portray these roles in film. It's not like George Clooney has ever played a husband and a father before, is it? "I've been a father in several films, and I've been a husband In several films..." fires back the actor. "One Fine Day, Syriana, Fantastic Mr Fox, O Brother, Where Art Thou. I've done it a few times. I got nice kids. This film was just more emotional, I found it challenging because I wanted to be able serve the material well."


2. Batman & Robin is all Clooney's fault

Before he actually bothered to read screenplays, Clooney admits he would do utter tripe, including Batman & Robin: "I learned that I should probably read a really good screenplay once in a while... I got a couple of films and I was very excited. I was calling everyone 'I got Batman! Wooo!' (Laughs) And then I started to understand that I was going to be held responsible for not just the role I was going to play but for the films that were going to get made."


3. Hawaii isn't paradise

Normally when Hawaii is portrayed in film, it's a paradise, but it's a place like any other. In fact, director Alexander Payne goes out of his way to show that it isn't all blue skies and ukuleles - for most of the film, it rains. "What I wanted to show wasn't so much Hawaii, but Honolulu. I had never seen Honolulu in a film."


4. There's no point complaining about being successful

Clooney knows he's got it good, and realises it would be ungracious to complain. After all, once upon a time in Kentucky... "We were broke. I remember hearing some famous actor on television complaining about how hard it was for them and I thought 'What a jerk!' You're living the dream and you should enjoy it. There are things about it that aren't fun, but I'm not going to complain. I get an easy ride and I understand that."


5. George Clooney plans to adopt Shailene Woodley

Everyone knows that your life isn't complete without children. Especially if you're George Clooney. "Yes, there are many things missing in my life," the actor admits. Why doesn't he adopt a 21 year old? A wealthy 21 year old? How about Shailene Woodley? "Oh, she's not 21 yet..."

Payne jumps in to add to the speculation about Clooney's private life, discussing Shailene Woodley's casting: "She had to physically be believably as George Clooney's wife... erm, daughter."


For more Payne and Clooney's awkward comedy drama, read our The Descendants review.