The scars from 1997’s critically panned “Batman & Robin” still remain for George Clooney.
Discussing the film on The Hollywood Reporter’s “Awards Chatter” podcast, the Oscar-winning actor, 58, said he caught a lot of flak for his performance in the titular role of Batman, even though co-star Arnold Schwarzenegger, who portrayed the villainous Mr. Freeze, took home the bigger paycheck.
“[Arnold] Schwarzenegger was paid, I think, $25 million for that, which was like 20 times more than I was paid for it, and, you know, we never even worked together! We worked together one day. But I took all the heat,” Clooney said, adding he learned plenty from the experience.
“Now, fair deal; I was playing Batman and I wasn’t good in it, and it wasn’t a good film, but what I learned from that failure was, I had to rethink how I was working. Because now I wasn’t just an actor getting a role, I was being held responsible for the film itself,” he continued.
“Batman & Robin,” which also starred Chris O’Donnell as Robin, Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy, and Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl, currently holds at 10 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and grossed $107 million domestically with a $125 million production budget, according to Box Office Mojo.
Though Clooney has achieved plenty of success since, he did advise Ben Affleck, whom he worked with on 2012’s “Argo” as a producer, to pass on playing Bruce Wayne.
“I actually did talk to him about it. I said, ‘Don’t do it,’” Clooney said. “It was only from my experience, which is, you know …”
Affleck, 46, went on to play the Dark Knight in 2016’s “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” and in 2017’s “Justice League.” As for Clooney’s final review, he said Affleck “did great.”
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