Walt Disney Studios Tomorrowland hit theaters on Friday – did you go and see it yet?
We took all 3 of our kids this weekend and they loved it (of course). At one point in the movie, my 6 year old looks at me with his eyes wide open in amazement and a big smile on his face. And I knew that what creators Brad Bird & Damon Lindelof had set out to do – create a great family film – was accomplished.
Driving home we had a lively discussion about the film and the hope & optimism for the future that it inspires. And just as I predicted, my children were inspired and excited to think that with even the smallest impact, they can change their future. And they also thought the jetpacks were cool.
At one point, my 6 year old pipes into the conversation to let us know that he really liked the “old guy with the grey beard.”
Um, you mean GEORGE CLOONEY?
“No mom, his name was Frank.”
I can tell you with absolute certainty that George Clooney, who plays Frank Walker in Tomorrowland, is not an old man with a grey beard. But apparently, he played the role that Bird & Lindelof created for him perfectly.
George Clooney – Part 2
While in Los Angeles a few weeks back for the #TomorrowlandEvent, I had the amazing opportunity to interview George Clooney. Part one of that interview can be read here. Because some of our interview contained spoilers of the movie, we opted to wait to publish the rest until after the movie had been release.
So, if you haven’t seen Tomorrowland, just a fair warning that the following contains spoilers.
Clooney plays gruff, disillusioned Frank Walker in Tomorrowland with many of his scenes alongside Britt Robertson (Casey) and Raffey Cassidy (Athena). We wanted to know what it was like working with such young & talented actors.
In typical joking fashion, Clooney tells us, “I didn’t like them. We can say nice things now, but the truth is I don’t care for them.”
He goes on to endearingly tell us how he really feels:
Well, first of all, Britt is fantastic and, her career is just at the very beginning and is going to be really fun. Raffey is spectacular. She was just 12 at the time and way too talented, for her age, and sweet and funny. It was a fun part for me because if you’d seen me speaking to a 12 year old the way I speak to her [in the movie] at the grocery store, you’d call child services.
We were a little family of three, but she’s [Cassidy] the adult, driving the car and Britt and I are the two kids, arguing and bickering all the time.
Clooney goes on to mention what words of advice he had for both Robertson & Cassidy:
You know when I work with younger actors, I always have to try to remind them that this is the fun kind of job that most people don’t get to do. And if you get to be an actor and work, and somebody pays you for it, you’ve caught the brass ring, and it’s just fun.
What was your favorite scene or favorite fun memory while filming Tomorrowland?
There was a lot of moments, because it wasn’t all done to green screen. They were nice enough to build a lot of these sets where you actually got to play in them. The most fun we had was the driving sequences, believe it or not. We’re being towed but Raffey [Athena] is driving and I keep having to tell her you’ve got to keep looking at the road.
And she’d be like, “what is the deal?” She drove like my mother actually drives! It was fun because there was no technology. There was nothing. It was just old fashioned, three people sitting in a truck for five days, arguing and doing fun stuff. And that’s really fun for actors, because you don’t have to do any make believe. It’s all just right there.
And in typical Clooney fashion, he liked to play practical jokes on the cast and crew, one of which he did on Robertson, who plays Casey. In one particular scene, Clooney has to pour a pack of sugar down her throat. Here’s what he had to say about that, laughing his way through the story:
I liked shoving all the packs of powder down her throat because we must have done, I don’t know, 30 takes, and every time I go, here you go! And she’d be like “not the whole pack” And I was like yeah….
It seems Robertson had her fair share of eating & drinking in the movie, having to down 2 bottles of coke in one scene. Clooney laughed about that one too…..
In all fairness, Brad was kind enough to only do it, I think, three times. But she does down two cokes in each take. And, and I was like, she’s gonna explode, but she did it. I remember when I was doing Descendants and we had this little girl, she played my youngest daughter in the film, and we did a scene where she gets to eat ice cream. She had never acted in a movie before and she just starts pounding the table. And they’re just sitting there watching her going, you can see her, take 9 and she literally was like uuugh.
For those of us who have seen the movie, there is a poignant moment in the film that really touches the audience. We asked if that was a hard scene for Clooney to film.
Emotionally hard, no. Because I find, movies in general aren’t emotionally hard to film. It is still make believe. But I did find that it was a tricky scene. There’s a moment where I have to let Raffey’s character, the robot, go. We’d shot it once and she kind of clicks out, but her eyes are open still. We drop her and it literally feels like I’m murdering her. It really does. It was odd. And you’re watching it and it was really awful, so we went back and re-did it where she sort of completely goes out, because otherwise it really felt horrible.
Being the charming man that he was, he graciously offered to take a photo with the group before he leaves. He chatted with all of us walking out of the rooms and is still joking through the photo shoot, telling our photographer he has to take another, because he was talking too much. Now Mr. Clooney, we all know you don’t take a bad picture.
Our experience with George Clooney was humbling for me. I am a big time fan, as I fell in love with charming Doug Ross on E.R. years ago. I didn’t know what to expect when meeting him. But I did not expect such a down to earth, fun, easy to talk to guy. It just reminds us that no matter how many magazines your photo has been on, no matter how many movies you have starred in, no matter how “big” you are, you are still just a person, like each and every one of us.
Tomorrowland is now in theaters. It’s the perfect summer movie to take your whole family too.
Want to hear more about Tomorrowland??
Find out what prop George Clooney may or may not have taken from the set of Tomorrowland in my exclusive interview with him. Also, find out what valuable lesson his costar, Britt Robertson learned from Clooney. And find out what inspired Director/Producer Brad Bird and Screenwriter/Producer Damon Lindelof to create Tomorrowland in my exclusive interview with them.
We visited the Walt Disney Archives to learn how Tomorrowland producers used items from the archives to recreate key scenes in the movie. Then we headed over to Disneyland’s Tomorrowland- here’s 13 Fun Facts You Don’t Know about Tomorrowland. Visitors to Disneyland can get a special sneak peek at Tomorrowland and see props from the movie. And check out all the fun that Disneyland has planned for it’s 60th Anniversary, starting May 22, 2015.
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Follow Disney Pictures on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DisneyPictures
Visit the official TOMORROWLAND website: http://www.Disney.com/Tomorrowland
Disclosure: I was an invited guest at an all expenses paid trips to Los Angeles for the Tomorrowland Press Junket by Disney Pictures. I was not compensated for any of these articles. All opinions are my own.