George Clooney may have won two Oscars, acted in over 80 projects, and reigned as one of the most famous actors on the planet for decades, but he still doesn’t believe he’s mastered the rom-com genre.
Clooney, who stars opposite Julia Roberts in the upcoming comedy “Ticket to Paradise,” in theaters October 21, told The New York Times that it’s been 28 years since he has acted in a rom-com film (apparently not counting “Intolerable Cruelty” in 2003).
“They sent me the script [for ‘Ticket to Paradise’], and it was clearly written for Julia and I,” Clooney said in a joint interview with co-star and fellow executive producer Roberts. “In fact, the characters’ names were originally Georgia and Julian. I hadn’t really done a romantic comedy since ‘One Fine Day’ [in 1996] — 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.'”
Roberts added, “It somehow only made sense with George, just based on our chemistry. 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.'”
Two-time Oscar winner Clooney previously starred opposite Roberts in the “Ocean’s Eleven” films, with his most recent screen credit being Netflix’s “The Midnight Sky,” which he also directed.
Roberts, aka America’s sweetheart, previously addressed why she stayed away from romantic comedies for more than 20 years before reading Ol Parker’s script for “Ticket to Paradise.”
“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,” Roberts now told NYT. “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 joked, “You’d break a hip.”
Roberts responded, “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.'”
The “Pretty Woman” actress formerly said that “Ticket to Paradise” could have been a “disaster” if Clooney didn’t sign on to play her onscreen ex-husband. As they say in the rom-com world, the rest is history with a happily ever after ending.