Clooney talks about upcoming political flick

Amanda Seitz Contributor
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As Americans become increasingly fascinated by the budget battle and frustrated with politicians, George Clooney will soon unveil a film that questions the moral compass of Washington’s political swamp.

Clooney co-wrote, directs, and stars in “The Ides of March,” a political drama slated for release this fall. Production was set to start shortly after President Barack Obama was elected, but Clooney and his co-writer thought Americans were too elated about the recent election to identify with the film’s characters.

“We were in preproduction on this,” Clooney tells USA Today. “We were really getting close to starting up. But I remember sitting in a restaurant with (co-writer) Grant (Heslov) when Obama won, and we both realized we couldn’t make this movie right now. Everyone was so hopeful and happy. Now, the cynicism has come back around, so it’s time.”

The movie is based on Beau Willimon’s play “Farragut North.” It follows a young, Howard Dean-esque staffer’s struggle with a political scandal upon entering the realm of politics. The staffer, played by Ryan Gosling, is press secretary to a morally dubious presidential candidate played by George Clooney.

“It’s really about a character who drank the Kool-Aid,” Heslov said.

Clooney has long proclaimed his liberal views. In 2006, when the Hollywood playboy released “Good Night, and Good Luck,” his cinematic re-telling of Edward R. Murrow’s career, he told Newsweek that he loved being labeled “liberal.” (George Clooney to testify in Italian prostitution trial?)

“I’m going to keep saying ‘liberal’ as loud as I can and as often as I can,” Clooney said.

His latest flick, however, doesn’t favor a particular political party.

“We’re not trying to be polarizing,” Clooney said. “Republicans hate the beginning of the movie, Democrats hate the end. So, we’re good.”