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George Clooney Finally Admits He Owes Everything To Batman & Robin

george-clooney-batman-and-robin-lead

George Clooney was already in his mid-30s by the time ER made him a TV star. In spite of that success—and the enthusiasm many felt for 1996’s From Dusk Till Dawn—he struggled to make the leap to movies. Nearly four years passed between the premiere of ER and Clooney’s acclaimed performance in Out of Sight, the Elmore Leonard adaptation that made him a respectable, A-level movie star. In the intervening years he made an especially notorious flop—one that he now sees as instrumental in his success: Batman & Robin.

That’s not a joke,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “Up until that moment, I was an actor only concerned with finding work. After the failure of that film creatively, I understood that I needed to take control of the films I made, not just the role. My next three films were Out of Sight, Three Kings, and O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Two decades after making this transition, Clooney is such a big star that he barely feels the need to act anymore. “I was working at a pretty intense clip for 30 years, mostly out of fear of being unemployed,” he explained. “The roles I do now are very different than the roles I did even seven years ago. So I’m more selective about acting simply based on the roles available.”

Clooney next appears in a mini-series adaptation of Catch-22, which airs in 2019. In the meantime, you can sample his life-changing performance in Batman & Robin below.