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From his interviews with Deadline [HERE] and Hollywood Reporter [HERE]:
HR: Well, I was going to ask you about the physical transformation, because it's not just the beard. You're playing a guy who is dying of something, and I think you did something with your weight, as well …
Yeah, I lost a lot of weight.
I don't think we've seen you this beat up and transformed since Syriana [the 2005 film for which Clooney won the best supporting actor Oscar]. What was the process here?
I knew that he had to look like that he was in trouble. And the coughing and the weight loss and all that stuff just was — it's basically in the script, is that this guy is dying. And it's tricky because I'm kind of a jock in real life — you know, I play a lot of sports and stuff — so even the way he carried the gun had to be different. It had to be as if you're a scientist who's suddenly been given a gun to use. And so everything had to be unathletic — there isn't this heroic kind of stuff. I'm 59 years old, so nothing's very heroic anymore (laughs), but in general, the idea of trying to save the little girl? I'm leaning on her more than picking her up and carrying her, you know? And I think those were all important elements. It's a tricky balance, as you could probably guess, because we were out in — it was 40 degrees below zero and 70 mile-per-hour winds, and we've got these strings tied to us so that we don't get lost from one another when these winds come through, because you can't see your hand in front of your face. And it's a skeleton crew of very few people out there. A really, really, really hard shoot. And I've lost a lot of weight — that's good for the actor, right, because you're weak — but a director is a general. The director's the guy that's got to go, "OK, let's all pick up these camera boxes now and —"
DEADLINE: In the book Augustine is about 70, but you seem to enjoy embracing the idea of playing an older man who is clearly very ill as well. Is this kind of challenge where you want to head now in your acting career?
CLOONEY: Well, it’s not where I want to head. I mean it’s where I’m headed. I can’t stop it. If I could avoid it I’d like to look like I did in the Out of Sight years but you can’t stop the clock.
So I didn’t know that the guy was 70 because I hadn’t read the book when I read the screenplay. So I just knew that he was really sick.
So I started that summer, I lost about 25 pounds so that I was more gaunt and more drawn in.
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