How George Clooney made a star-studded movie with a $70 million budget? The actor/director reveals in an interview with Variety that he was able to convince the likes of Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray and Jean Dujardin to take a pay cut for "The Monuments Men".
"If you pay everybody a full boatload, it's a $150 million film," he says. "You just can't do it. Everybody worked for super cheap, like crazy cheap." He goes on dishing that the movie's actors were paid a 10th or a 15th of their going rate, but they will get benefits if the movie makes money, which was the case with the "Ocean's Eleven" franchise.
Sharing their experience filming a pivotal scene in the Harz Mountains in Northern Germany, Clooney says Mother Nature was their biggest challenge. "It starts to snow," he recalls. "You couldn't get f***ed worse."
But help came from the actors. "There's John Goodman and Bill Murray and Matt Damon all picking up camera boxes and carrying them down this hill with the crew. Bill and John would come to the set when they weren't even in scenes," he says. "It was really sweet."
In addition to taking the director's seat, Clooney penned the movie's script with Grant Heslov. "I'll write scenes, he'll write pieces, and then we'll come together," he says of the writing process. "When we do cut and paste, I take a pair of scissors, we cut a scene out of the pages and then we tape it back into another place."
To the site, the "Gravity" star also tells his story of being held at gunpoint by a 10-year-old kid during a trip to the Western Sudan for a 2007 documentary about the genocide in Darfur. "We got stopped in the middle of nowhere, where we shouldn't have been. A little 10-year-old kid came over with a Kalashnikov assault rifle to my head, basically wanted to get us out of the truck," he recalls.
With his latest directorial work "The Monuments Men", Clooney highlights the true story of the greatest treasure hunt in history. It focuses on an unlikely World War II platoon, tasked by FDR with going into Germany to rescue artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves and returning them to their rightful owners.
The drama pic will open in theaters nationwide on February 7.