George Clooney

O Brother Where Art Thou?

Interviewed by Film 2000 With Jonathan Ross

I hear that you accepted the part without even reading the script.

Well it's sort of true. I was working on "Three Kings" in Phoenix, Arizona, and the Coens came to visit and bring me the script. They sat down at the table and said "We wrote this and we wanna know if you want to do it", and I looked at it and I said okay. They said, "Do you wanna read it?" I read it while they sat and watched. It was great, it was so much fun.

What is it about the Coens that they inspire this confidence?

Their history of films. If you look at the films that are considered failures for them "The Big Lebowski", "The Hudsucker Proxy", I love those films and that's what they consider their worst. Their best, "Fargo" and "Raising Arizona", are brilliant, so you know when you have that kind of history and they send you a script, it's wonderful.

There's a similarity to "The Hudsucker Proxy", in the same manic pace of the script which sort of harps back to screwball comedies, which brings us to Preston Sturges...

It is Preston Sturges, Howard Hawks. This character, whenever he gets in trouble he talks non-stop and what you found was that you really had to do it like Preston Sturges and Howard Hawks, which was kind of have a sing-song and get it going it really quick.

Is that you singing in the movie?

They called me up and they said the song is really great, that's what catapults the whole story, and... we want to bring somebody else in to sing it for you. I guess I sucked.