George Clooney was the perfect person to play an assassin – because of his body language, the director of his new film The American has said.
The Hollywood star plays Jack, who hides out in Italy for one last assignment, in the thriller out this month.
Director Anton Corbijn said: “We needed an actor that you would stay with. He starts the film with a very horrendous act and is an actor that could talk without saying much. So his body language, his eyes, mouth and his hands keep you informed about what’s going on. That was really essential in this film.
“George is somebody who can do that… It was great because he was the first person we approached. He said ‘yes’ immediately. It’s great how he pulls the audience in, it’s really amazing. I learnt a lot from him.”
Corbijn – whose 2007 film Control, a biopic of the British new-wave band Joy Division, won rave reviews – added: “I used to talk to him about scenes and stuff, which was very helpful to me. He was an official producer on the film so we could fall back on his expertise.”
The Dutch music video and director, as well as photograher, said it wasn’t all serious on set.
“There was a scene with a train and he made a 50 Euros bet with the cameraman that the Italian train wouldn’t stop where it was meant to,” Corbijn said.
“The train stopped much further away and the actress came out and was confused about where she was. George was in stitches. My assistant director was furious. The train driver admitted George asked him to stop five metres further so he could get his 50 Euros back.”