It’s good to know that even George Clooney needs a little validation. Life being a mere mortal is a nightmare, so it’s a relief to learn that the two-time Oscar winner and one-time Batman feels insecure about how his job performance. In a new interview with The New York Times, he admitted that he’s never “succeeded” at the whole romantic comedy thing like his co-star Julia Roberts. Join the club, Clooney.
“They sent me the script, and it was clearly written for Julia and I,” Clooney said. “In fact, the characters’ names were originally Georgia and Julian. I hadn’t really done a romantic comedy since One Fine Day—I haven’t succeeded like Julia has in that forum—but I read it and thought, ‘Well, if Jules is up for it, I think this could be fun.’”
To defend Clooney against himself, One Fine Day is one fine movie. Who wouldn’t want to see Michelle Pfeiffer and Clooney have a fine day together? People would rather see Clooney spend time with his fake ex-wife, Julia Roberts. So be it.
“It somehow only made sense with George, just based on our chemistry.” Roberts said. “We have a friendship that people are aware of, and we’re going into it as this divorced couple. Half of America probably thinks we are divorced, so we have that going for us.”
“Also, George and I felt a lot of happy responsibility in wanting to make a comedy together, to give people a holiday from life after the world had gone through a really hard time. It’s like when you’re walking down the sidewalk and it’s cold outside and you get to that nice patch of sun that touches your back and you go, ‘Oh, yeah. This is exactly what I needed to feel.”
Thank you for your service, Roberts and Clooney, for coming together as America’s favorite fake divorced couple.
Surprisingly, Clooney hasn’t made many rom-coms despite having that bubbly energy with Roberts, alchemy that helped give the Ocean’s movies a spark of romance. Aside from One Fine Day, Clooney has only starred in Intolerable Cruelty, arguably an anti-romantic comedy, and Michael Clayton, which is less of a rom-com and more of just a good movie. Maybe the lack of success is due to Clooney’s kiss style.
“I remember early on in my career, I had to do a kissing scene with this girl and the director goes, ‘Not like that.’ And I was like, ‘Dude, that’s my move! That’s what I do in real life!’” No wonder he was wearing those rubber lips in Batman & Robin.
Of course, Roberts is the master of the form, and she broke down the genre’s absence better than most could.
Roberts: I think we didn’t appreciate the bumper crop of romantic comedies that we had then. You don’t see all the effort and puppet strings because it’s fun and sweet and people are laughing and kissing and being mischievous. Also, I think it’s different to be reading those scripts at 54 years old. I can’t read a story like My Best Friend’s Wedding where I’m falling off a chair and all these things because — —
Clooney: You’d break a hip.
Roberts: I’d break a hip! Oh, George. But it was nice to read something that was age-appropriate, where the jokes made sense, and I appreciated and understood what these people were going through. That’s what people want to see, your connection to a piece of work. They want to see the heart space that you have for it — not just, ‘Oh, do something funny because we love that.’
Ticket To Paradise opens on October 21.