George clooney in ides of march

Clooney for President?

[caption id="attachment_67264" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="George Clooney in a scene from "Ides of March.""]


Irish-American actor-auteur George Clooney insists he wasn't thinking of any particular person when he was making "The Ides of March," a drama about how a scandal threatens the presidential campaign of an idealistic U.S. politician. However, with a journalist father who dabbled in politics, as well as his own lifelong fascination with the inner workings of the government, Clooney admits he had no shortage of material on which to draw when crafting the story.

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"Some of the speeches that I used were the things and ideas that my dad used to write about in the late 1970s in the newspaper," Clooney said of his father, Nick Clooney, at a Toronto International Film Festival press conference in September.

"And the idea of [my character] having some of these issues pop up almost every week in politics - it seemed familiar to us in a lot of ways," explained the nephew of legendary entertainer Rosemary Clooney. "People thought it was about the [Sen.] John Edwards thing, but this was written long before [it] broke. We didn't really model it after anybody. There were enough examples that we could just pick little pieces all we wanted to."

Clooney, who traces his family roots to County Kilkenny in Ireland, co-wrote the screenplay for "Ides," a big-screen adaptation of Beau Willimon's play "Farragut North," with his longtime producing partner Grant Heslov and Willimon himself. Clooney, a 50-year-old Oscar-winning actor, also directed "Ides" and plays the lead role of Pennsylvania Gov. Mike Morris, a Democratic presidential candidate, in the nail-biting days leading up to a primary in Ohio.

Co-starring as Morris' right-hand man is Ryan Gosling. Marisa Tomei plays a reporter, Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Morris' campaign manager, Paul Giamatti plays the campaign manager for a rival candidate and Evan Rachel Wood plays an intern for Morris' campaign.

"I didn't think of this really as a political film. I thought this was a film about moral choices and I don't think that necessarily has any political stripe. I just thought it was a fun moral tale and once you put it in politics it kind of amps up all the problems." said Clooney, who was born in Kentucky and raised in Ohio.

The actor-filmmaker went on to say his intention wasn't to spark changes in the way politics are conducted in this country, but rather to get moviegoers thinking about the individual choices that get us to where we are, wherever that may be.

"Films don't lead the way," Clooney said. "In general, it takes about two years at the very least to get a film made, so mostly we're reflecting the moods and thoughts that are going on in the country or around the world. So this film reflects some of the cynicism that we've seen in recent times. That's probably good. It's not a bad thing to hold a mirror up and look at some of the things that we're doing. It's not a bad thing to look at how we elect our officials, but that wasn't what the film was designed to do.