George Clooney talks with TIME, jokes about why he cast Ryan Gosling in 'Ides of March': 'He was cheaper'


Image Credit: Jemal Countess/Getty Images

There are plenty of reasons to want to cast Ryan Gosling in a movie: He’s good-looking, charming, capable of driving ticket sales and stopping street fights (not simultaneously, although we wouldn’t be surprised), and, of course, inspiring Tumblers... the list goes on. But for The Ides of March director (and star) George Clooney, the decision to cast Gosling in his film came down to something much more basic: “He was cheaper,” Clooney quipped, responding to an audience member during a live 10 Questions interview with TIME’s Rick Stengel on Wednesday. “He hasn’t worked in awhile. I felt bad for him.”

During the sit-down, which also touched the star’s views on politics, advocacy, and the journalism industry, Clooney revealed that Gosling caught his attention early on. “When we were adapting the screenplay, from the very beginning, we had been considering Ryan all along,” explained Clooney. “He and I had long conversations about film a couple of years before so I always wanted to work with him. I liked him. I thought he was smart.”

Clooney, who described Gosling as a “terrific actor,” also said he was intrigued by the up-and-coming star’s career choices. “He’s an interesting actor. He’s now in sort of every movie, but for a long period of time he was sort of the reluctant star,” he said, referencing Gosling’s decision to step out of the spotlight following his breakout success in The Notebook.

Of course, talk surrounding Ides of March was only a small part of the nearly hour-long conversation, which delved into Clooney’s views on everything from the current political climate to Twitter. Some highlights below:

On supporting Obama: “I get angry at people who don’t stand around and stand for him.”

On the Republican party: “Republicans are good at standing by their candidate.”

On releasing Ides of March:  “We were actually in pre-production and then Obama was elected,” he said. “We realized everybody was in such a good mood that we couldn’t possibly make this movie now. And then it took about a year. Bad for the country, very good for filmmaking.”

On whether he would run for President: “No. I would run from.”

On his Satellite Sentinel Project: “Omar al-Bashir, who has been charged for war crimes against humanity, has said that I’m spying on him, and I just said, ‘Look, I’m not a country. I don’t have to play by the same rules. I’m a guy with a camera 400 miles up. I’m a tourist taking pictures. And if you have a problem with that, I don’t care.’ You can’t please all the war criminals all the time.”

On Twitter: “I don’t Twitter, because I will drink in the evening and I don’t want anything that I could possibly write at midnight to actually end my career.”

Are you appropriately charmed yet?

Read more:
Toronto Film Festival: Ryan Gosling in ‘The Ides of March’ and Brad Pitt in ‘Moneyball’ are movie stars at the top of their game
George Clooney’s ‘Ides of March': The year’s first slam-dunk Best Picture nominee?
‘The Ides of March’ trailer: Watch it here!

Comments (20 total) Add your comment
  • KC

    Most overrated actor today.
    Clooney, that is.

    • Tarc

      Hardly. He’s a very good actor and an even better director. He also has superb taste in scripts. I’d say Gosling is far more overrated than Clooney.

      • punch drunk fool

        gosling is not overrated! half Nelson the believer Lars and the real girl this years drive all were hella deserving performances

    • Stacie

      I don’t think Clooney is the best thing out there and I think he knows it too, which makes him so charming. He’s is using his celebrity as a currency to make projects he enjoys and fight for the causes he cares about. I like him for it.

    • Barbara Ball

      You must be an ugly little man to make a stupid statement like that

  • Andrew

    “CheapER.” I’m curious as to who else (another A-lister, I assume, based on money) was up for the role. Glad Gosling got cast, though.

    • KSM

      I’m pretty sure that was a joke.

    • Kim

      Pretty sure he was kidding about Gosling being cheaper. Clooney has a very dry sense of humor.

  • Andrew

    Gotcha. Thanks for the clear-up!

  • Sheldon Ashcroft

    Being a film about politics, The Ides Of March will be a very important movie.
    Tom Cruise and Johnny Depp should be doing movies like this.

  • real fan

    I love the guy. Honest, straight forward, intelligent, great actor, and oh yeah, handsome!

  • Iwan Rhoen is my obession

    Ryan Gosling is a thousand times more talented than george

  • H.Y

    He is no Cary Grant.Never was and never will be.

  • Polly

    From what I’ve read about the movie and the role Gosling plays, Gosling was perfectly cast. He has that same sort of effortless charm Clooney has. Gosling is a bit more self deprecating, but you can feel Gosling sort of blossoming into that same sort of charming actor, albeit with probably a penchant for more edgy movies from time to time.

    • Polly

      Yikes, sorry for all the “sort ofs”!

  • schadenfreude

    George Clooney is one of my gurus. He made one of my all-time favorite movies, “Good Night and Good Luck.” He’s not letting some chick wake up one day and walk off with half his fortune. He has a villa in Italy. He supports Obama. He fights for causes he believes in. His ego is such he would cast a younger good-looking guy like Gosling in his own movie. He looks great in a suit. Hated “The American” but he’s allowed one flop. Man-crush, bromance, call it what you will. Clooney is God. If you don’t like him, that just means you are LAME and you SUCK.

    • Krystal

      Clooney is pretty awesome.

  • schadenfreude

    PS: Dear George,

    Please make another cool group flick with Pitt, Damon and Cheadle, only NOT another Ocean’s sequel.

    Make sure you cats wear suits.

    Thanks, schadenfreude.

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