I was sent on an all expense paid trip by Disney Studios to experience Tomorrowland. All opinions of this movie are 100% my own.
Last month when Disney Movie Studios invited me on an once in a lifetime press trip to cover the Tomorrowland movie, I jumped at the chance. WHY you ask? Well — for one it's Disney — duh! The second and most important reason — George Clooney. Yes — I got to meet an iconic legend and stare him straight into the face and listen to his take on this new Disney movie.
Let me start by telling you about my background love for George Clooney.
Back in the day when Facts of Life was on television (I am showing my age y'all), this gorgeous dark haired man walked on the set and my heart went flip flop!
I fell madly in love with him. Then — he was on the hit drama show ER — and again I fell madly in love with him. He has been my heart throb for many, many years.
I have followed his career as Batman and more, so when I saw that he was in this movie and we were going to interview him, I began to wonder — what is this amazing man going to be like?
Because he IS George Clooney and is one of the most sought after men of all time, I just assumed that he would be this arrogant and very prideful actor who felt like he was owed something by his fans.
Boy was I ever wrong.
George walked in the room and was immediately smiling when he saw all of us star struck moms applauding his entrance. He started laughing and immediately said — “We have time for one more question”, and just let out this adorable laugh.
All of us moms were giggling because his laughter was contagious. He was completely in awe that the table was full of 24 mom bloggers (an amount that I am sure he had never seen before!).
He asked us all how long we had been a group and when we told him — “Only two days”, he was totally surprised!
As I sat there watching him interact with us moms, my immediate reaction to him was one of pure joy. One of my favorite actors simply was a humble man, who loved what he did for a living, and loved to share it with others.
At that moment, seriously, my heart swelled with respect and pride for him.
George told us right from the get go that what drew him to this film was the idea of working with writer/producer Brad Bird (which I will have an interview post for you about that soon).
He said that after reading the script, he knew right away that this was something he wanted to get involved in.
When I read the screenplay, I loved it because we sort of are inundated in our lives with lots of bad news. You turn on the television, and the news — it hurts. It's a bad time and what I loved about Tomorrowland was the idea of the fact that the future isn't just automatically inevitable.
You have to participate in it and you don't have to just accept how it ends. I'd grown up in the early 60's, so I grew up in the era where the individual actually had an effect — you know during the the civil rights movement, the Vietnam movement, the women’s rights movements, so I always felt like and believed that there was a version where you could affect the future, and you didn't have to just accept it.
I loved how intently he listened to each of our questions, giving us full eye contact and really enjoying all the questions we were throwing at him.
We talked to him about harnesses and contraptions to help him during the movie stunts. He laughed and told us that it was always tricky, but the fun part of being an actor was the fact that he never had to grow up.
Could you imagine being a kid for most of your adult life? That sounds like SO much fun to me!
George even let us in on a little secret — he's 54. But don't you think he ages well?
The movie Tomorrowland is about going to a place in the future. George shared with us that he grew up in the era when all the space shows were on television (and I have an amazing post to share with you later on that talks about some of those awesome Disney artifacts from those shows) and he was eating space sticks and drinking Tang.
In fact, he told us that he just knew by now we would all be riding around in Jetson cars.
Of course, George laughed when we asked him what his favorite futuristic item from the movie would be and he told us it would be awesome to have a jetpack.
Who wouldn't want to fly over LAX traffic to get from the airport to Studio City?
If you have seen the previews of the movie, you notice that the young Frank Walker has a jet pack that he has taken the 1964 World Fair. He wants to win $50 for the best invention of all time.
Which got us onto the topic of the looks of young Frank Walker. Many of us bloggers after watching the preview of the movie, was amazed at how the actor playing young Frank Walker had many of George's facial expressions and mannerisms.
We wanted to know if the kid followed him around all day. Again, he laughed and said, “No — they did some plastic surgery on him. You know — a little nose job here, pin those ears back — haha”. Then he told us he was just joking.
I could listen to that man laugh all day y'all.
He shared with us that he and Young Frank did not really work together that much because they were in different eras and times of the movie. In fact, he and young Frank ran into each other a couple of times during filming and George would look at him and say, “So, you're the kid who's playing me”?
And of course, the kid would look at him and say, “Yup!”, and George would say –“Don't screw this up!” and then laugh and walk away. He said he was a super cute kid and very funny too.
When Brad Bird first called George and told him that they had written a script for him, he had no clue how they were going to portray him. After reading it, he realized that he was going to be playing a 55 year old angry, grumpy man.
But then after meeting Britt Robertson (who plays Casey Newton and who I also had the pleasure of interviewing), and reading more of the script, he said it was blast getting to act grumpy all the time.
He said he had more fun yelling “SHUTUP” and “WHO ARE YOU”? at Britt when she comes to his house to talk to him about Tomorrowland.
In fact, this was his favorite part of the movie to film.
The next question we got to ask him was one I was really wanting to know the answer to. You see — I have teenagers and I deal with teenagers and after seeing the movie, I knew what I felt was the initial message to the world, but I really wanted to know what he hoped young people would take away from this movie.
His words REALLY spoke to me —
The truth of the matter is, the future is yours to decide what it will be. You know, as you look at the world, and you see how sort of, tragic it can feel, you start to realize that it has always been that way.
It wasn't particularly great in 1968 either. There were assassinations and there was wars and there was civil unrest and riots, but we weren't as inundated with it, and so there was always still a hopefulness that the future was still gonna be alright.
I feel as if we have to get to that point where, we all understand that, the individual is not helpless. And I think that's a really important part of this movie.
An advantage since I've become successful, is that I understand that I have a voice and that I can amplify things, and that there's things that you and I can do that we can try to affect change with.
But I was like that when I was 10, because I was told, that your voice has to matter and you have to participate — even if only two people hear you, because those two people may change the world.
I would say my parents taught me that and their parents taught them that, and I feel as if there's a world where we have to constantly remind not just young people, but ourselves too that we're not just stuck here.
I also think we have to find a way to put news back in perspective.
I think part of the responsibility of news in general is not just to report on it, but put it in perspective.
I feel that we're losing perspective of the things that are going on in our world, and we think “Oh, it's just nothing but apocalyptic stuff”, and I don't believe that necessarily is true. I mean, there's an awful lot of good and it's hard to report good because it doesn't sell.
So I think that maybe along the way, it would be nice to remind ourselves that there's an awful lot of good that's being done too.
We ended this section of the interview asking him about his favorite prop from the movie and if he kept any of the memorabilia, but his lips were sealed!
So what did I think of George Clooney?
After listening to him talk about this movie and his role and how he wants to encourage others that there is still good in the world and that it is up to us to find it and be a part of it, I decided this about George —
He is one of the nicest actors I have ever met. He doesn't let the fact that he is rich and famous affect how he treats people. He initially wants to do good in this world and he is using his career as an actor to show others that you don't have to let the bad of this world change you.
To me — he is the real deal and I am SO glad that I got to meet him and learn just a little more about him.
I'll have another interview later on that is the second part to the George Clooney interview. I'll get to share more about his take on the movie (of course it will be AFTER you have seen it on the 22nd)!
Featuring a screenplay by “Lost” writer and co-creator Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird, from a story by Lindelof & Bird & Jeff Jensen, “Tomorrowland” promises to take audiences on a thrill ride of nonstop adventures through new dimensions that have only been dreamed of.
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TOMORROWLAND opens in theaters everywhere on May 22nd!