LOS ANGELES/ JEDDAH: Hollywood heavyweight George Clooney is no stranger to the big screen, but his latest outing — both as lead actor and director — is set to drop on Netflix on Monday, and offers viewers a post-apocalyptic tale to get their teeth into.
“The Midnight Sky” follows a lone scientist in the Arctic as he races to contact a crew of astronauts returning home to a mysterious global catastrophe.
According to Clooney, it plays on the feelings of isolation that many worldwide may be experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic as isolating at home is enforced by many countries.
“After we finished shooting, the pandemic came around and it became clear that what the story really was enveloping was our desperate need to be home, and our desperate need to be close to the people we love and in communication with the people we love, and near them, and how difficult that struggle is to communicate to one another,” he said at a recent press conference.
It is a sentiment that the actor felt on a personal level too, as he and wife Amal Clooney, as well as their two children, found themselves stuck at home during the pandemic.
“I miss my parents, you know. I miss my sister, and I think Amal misses her parents … We’re looking forward to getting through this part,” he told Arab News in a separate interview.
Apart from exploring feelings of isolation, the film also comments on what human beings are capable of doing to each other.
“We wanted to talk about what man was capable of doing to man and mankind, and I was talking to Netflix about my take on it … all of the anger and the hatred, and all of the things that have been playing out in our lives, not just the US but all over the world,” Clooney said.
Shooting the movie was no mean feat as he was diagnosed with pancreatitis before filming began.
“I was weak for the first month while we were in Iceland. It’s actually helpful in a way as an actor because I’m playing a guy who’s dying, so it didn’t harm that,” Clooney said, adding that it is “hard as the director because the director is like the general, and you’ve got to get a couple hundred people to move all at the same time.”